So. Last week, I got the prostrate operation. I am showered in the blessings of having so many friends who all, coincidentally, share the mental acumen of an eighth grade girl. As soon as I say, “Prostrate Operation,” they throw a hissy fit, scream, nag and squeal: “NOOOO! It’s called, ‘pros-TATE!!!!’”
As in “Little Man You-Know-Who.”
Calmly, I point out that my surgical procedure is a “prostrate” operation in that you have to be lying down for it to be done correctly.
Then, they skulk off like coyotes, like Signal Editor Tim Whyte. When Tim read that sentence in the opening graf, the Canadian illegal alien automatically changed “prostrate” to “prostate” before changing it back again.
Didn’t you — Tim?
(Editor’s note: Sigh. Yes. Yes, I did. Damn you.)
My urologist opened his black satchel of overgrown manly man gland one-liners a few months back. The lights dimmed. He sat on a stool, held a mic, sipped whiskey, lit a cigarette and noted:
“Your prostate is SO BIG, San Francisco’s homeless could all join hands and sing ‘O Shenandoah’ on it.” My surgeon’s prognosis was far from gentile. He said my prostate was the size of a 256-ounce Porterhouse steak and that if I didn’t get it shrunk, I’d be buying my underwear on the King Kong Tall & Large Aisle at Walmart.
As I start to approach Middle Age, I’m finding not all in the committee that makes up John Boston are in complete agreement as to the present direction of the company. Can’t hear. Soon I’m scheduled for cataract surgery because in driving around, I see spots that are either meteorites or nuns in a crosswalk. Pain? Getting out of a chair, I have to now sing, “UGH!” followed by, as a cover, “War! What is it good for, absolutely nothin’!!!” My new companions end in “opothies,” “etes” and “Syndrome.” I’ve counted. There’s 31 major things wrong with me. But, you know what? Any given moment, there’s several billion things RIGHT with me. A sun that warms my face. An incredible collection of dear friends, filled with monkey business and wisdom. There’s hot tea and a large mug in which to pour it. Any given second, thousands of complex reactions occur in my body. The heart beats. Blood circulates. My feet know, all by their lonesome, how to wiggle into socks and I’ve a pretty neat brain that somehow figures out that if there’s food bigger than my head, I probably can’t fit it into my mouth.
Life is so profoundly beautiful in 21st-century America. When something does go wrong with The Body Boston, mostly, it can be fixed. I’ve got dental filings. Contact lenses. Titanium hip. Band-Aids when boo-boos visit. And, when my oft-ignored prostate decides to grow to Godzilla-like acreage, medical science has made recovery pretty much a breeze.
I was relieved when I woke from the operation that my voice hadn’t reached Minnie Mouse levels, nor had I any cravings for show tunes, wearing Espadrilles, fanning myself while speaking, clutching invisible pearls or voting Democrat.
Recovery took a few days. The only downside was the unsightly fashion statement of having to cart around a small Hefty trash bag with your by-products for all the world and Kiwanis to see.
Note to Science: Why are colostomy bags — clear?
Good thing I didn’t have to take communion last week. Or get married. Walking down the aisle, hands folded in prayer, I’d be pulling a giant Radio Flyer red wagon with the wheels squeaking. Its cargo? A 55-gallon see-through trash bag sloshing with digested Tootsie Roll Pops and chum, accompanied by funereal Gregorian chants in the background and the sounds of women’s bodies hitting the pews. Catholicism, if nothing else, is entertaining.
In recovery, I didn’t sit for four days. Couldn’t. I worked. I had one of those Indian burial platforms built in my office, chest high and complete with a medicine man chanting (I’m with Kaiser). The Medicine Man and I moved my computer and all desk-like things to the wooden burial platform. I took care of business standing up, including writing this column. The pain wasn’t so bad. The Medicine Man was. A rather tall fellow, he kept staring over my shoulder. The Native American/Kaiser Rep kept clearing his throat and making innocent suggestions. Like: “Don’t you mean to write, ‘prostate’ instead of ‘prostrate?’”
Everyone’s a critic.
I can’t say that I enjoyed the procedure, as that would probably nominate me into some new hepcat gender identification complete with my own new Indian name:
Like, “Flying Biohazard Bag” or “Painted Entrails On The Outside.”
I’m glad I’m on the other side of the operation. Just went through a couple years of all sorts of major to minor maladies that were eventually traced to that one, rascally little organ. Speaking of Indian names — Rascally Little Organ? I’m about to pass out from all the possibilities. There’s the obvious Methodist Sunday Guitar Mass on Bouquet to inappropriate and unasked-for snippy one-liners from long ago ex-wives.
Hm. Another note to self. Now I know to which former missus I am leaving my Post-Operation Portable Doggie Bag.
OK. So this actually happened, I’m told. My operation was over the hill, at Holy Cross. (I am currently banned from our local Henry “Hold The” Mayo Mammarial Hospital after the unfortunate “Bring Me Two Fetching Lesbian Nurses And A Glass Of Water, Please” incident.)
When I drifted out of anesthesia, most of the Holy Cross Hospital staff were standing around me, grinning. Seems as I attempted to regain consciousness, I was robustly singing Black Sabbath’s, “Iron Man.” Not kidding. Here. With apologies to Ozzy Osbourne, a coupla bars …
“He … was … turned to steel. In a great magnetic. Field. Run. As. Fast as you can. Fear the wrath of I-Urine Man …”
One younger nurse had never heard the rock anthem lyrics before and feared I might be a security threat.
And now, with a more aerodynamic prostate, truly, am I not?
John Boston (normal-sized prostate) is an award-winning (120) writer. Visit his bookstore at johnbostonbooks.com.