Dr. Mario (1991)
I must set the scene for my most recent trip to the doctor’s office by telling you about my GP. I’ll warn you beforehand though, this one is going to get a bit graphic and inappropriate. First of all, I hadn’t had to suffer the displeasure of seeing this doctor for about 15 years up until then – my last visit had concerned my unfortunate bout of balanitis, an inflammation of the old policeman’s helmet.
On that occasion, I was asked to lie down on the doctor’s bed and produce my 6-year-old lad for him to examine. What with me being intimidated by the doctor at the best of times, and sporting a mickey that by now had turned brick-red, I was almost ready to throw punches to stop him from coming near me.
Fast forward to me at age 21, as I looked up at the same doctor in the same embarrassed manner with the same embarrassed willy. He referred me to a urologist, as I expected he would. I was to be circumcised.
Really it’s a procedure I should have got done far sooner, but through a mixture of apathy, fear and embarrassment I neglected to go for it. Not exactly dinner table talk, this, but you’d better believe that before I got my procedure done I was reading any online anecdote I could find to see other people’s experience with it.
It was all pretty helpful to me, reading how other men had got on with getting the chop in their adult life, although putting ‘circumcision gone wrong’ into Google Images was not so helpful. Either way, although I’m completely oversharing here and you’ll now think I’m a raving weirdo, please think of this as just one more anecdote that might help men out there in preparation for putting their own crown jewels under the knife.
Problems with my penis arose fairly early in my life, I’m thrilled to tell you. At around the age of 5 or 6, the tip of my little man suffered from pain and severe reddening. Only a week before my operation did I find out what balanitis actually was, and how it had affected me when I was six. So an inflamed knob as a young child was hardly a terrific start. Still, that was the last such mickey trouble I had until puberty.
To put it bluntly, and I promise you it won’t get any more visceral than this, my foreskin was so tight that it had never fully retracted, properly revealing the whole of the actual bellend, to use a scientific term. It just couldn’t get there, and it hurt like a bugger under strenuous testing.
It was phimosis that was pulling me back, or not letting me pull back as the case was. A physical condition whereby the foreskin is too tight to retract fully from the glans penis, to get all scientific on you. My first time under the knife, and my penis was to be the target. Isn’t that a joy?
The urologist was a fairly sombre man – not a hint of craic off him. To be fair, it must be difficult to wake up in the morning with a bright outlook when you know you’re going to be examining diseased privates all day. Still, I’m sure it pays beautifully, and nobody was making him do it.
My conversation with the urologist was the same as with the doctor: I volunteered as much information as I could regarding balanitis and phimosis. He seemed distinctly unimpressed as I babbled on about things I did not understand and did not want to understand. Only medical practitioners can achieve that level of disdain. My voice faltered the more he frowned, and I quickly ran out of steam. He seemed very suspicious of me. Then he told me he wanted to “have a look” at me.
My heart sank. It was inevitable, of course, but I had started to think I’d escape his office without having him interfere with my mickey and fondle my Niagaras. Resigned to embarrassment, I shambled over to the leather bed. You know, those backbreakers that every doctor has in their practice?
I unbuttoned my jeans and whipped down my loose boxers (and they were very loose, specifically chosen so as not to squash my manhood into a humiliating pile of mash), hoping against hope that I’d have something worth showing off.
Christ, I’ve never seen it so shy, and that is saying something. Utterly flaccid, it was less manhood and more maggot. I am simply not accustomed to exposing myself to strange men. With a sigh, I lay down before the consultant and looked absently at the roof, already grimacing, gloomily expecting the nauseating thwack of rubber gloves slapping wrists.
Instead he simply asked, “Now, pull it back for me”, it being my foreskin. A reprieve, almost, but I couldn’t help being a baby and whining “But it’ll hurt…” “I know,” he replied, deadpan. If I didn’t choose to believe better, I’d say he was loving and hating me in equal sadistic measures.
I gave it a few goes, trying not to think of either the pain or how it felt more like I was moulding a small lump of Blu Tack. He peered in to have a look at me as I struggled desperately to retract the thing, and after a mere three futile goes of it he seemed satisfied (or perhaps fed up) and asked me to get back to my feet.
“It’s normally bigger than that!” I said desperately, to cover my shame as well as to try and get a bit of craic going with him. Silence. Not just silence, but unvoiced resentment also. This man didn’t like me at all. All throughout our meeting, however, I thought it wise to keep him sweet; after all, he’s going to be taking a blade to my willy in a couple of weeks’ time, and I presumably wouldn’t feel any of what was going on. The ultimate exercise in trust, for a man at least.
Then the big day came, and I wasn’t actually that nervous. Circumcision is a relatively simple cut, I’m sure. Devastating if you get it wrong of course, but any surgeon worth their salt could do it. In total, I was made to wait for about 2 and a half hours before I was called through the double doors into the old inner sanctum, where the beds were situated.
Golly, it was a morose place. I was asked to wait in a small area, sealed off by a curtain, and instructed to remove all of my clothes and slip into the hospital gown. You know, those gowns that you put on arms first and expose your back?
Of course, inevitably I was unable to get it on and needed help. Once I was gowned up, I sat and waited for what I thought would be about 10-15 minutes. It was 2 more hours before I was summoned, or about that long. I was able to read Casino Royale cover to cover during the time I was waiting, and I was still left bored.
So there’s a bit of advice for you – for God’s sake, bring a book in with you. Possibly this gave me a psychological boost; I grew so fed up with waiting that I just wanted to get in there, have the bugger chopped, endure whatever pain ensured and crabwalk on out of there.
Brave words, but ultimately foolish. Did I tell you that, to save a few quid, I elected to go under local anaesthetic? If there is another top tip to be taken away from this piece, for those out there looking into getting circumcised: Do Not Go Local You Tight Arse.
I kept needing the nurse to fill me up with more anaesthetic as, every so often, I’d feel the pull of something down there. If you’re a man reading this and your teeth are now itching and your skin now cringing, then just think about how I felt – go for general anaesthetic, even if it means you’ll have less of a story to tell.
The operation was only about 45 minutes, although it obviously feels like an eternity when you’re in there, especially when the man has you quite literally by the balls. As for recovery, it was a much slower process. The rest of that day was hazy, but after a week, I was just about getting better.
But remember that you’ll have a ring of stitches around your sensitive area, so long as you don’t try to move too quickly, and you’re careful when standing up and sitting down, you’ll have no discomfort. I didn’t have to shuffle about the house like John Wayne anymore, which was nice. It’s interesting how much effect a well-functioning penis has on one’s gait.
I just spent most of my recovery time on my back, in bed. When you’re not able to move much without straining yourself, when you’re a college student on summer holiday and when you’re recovering from surgery in bed, it’s a special kind of ‘nothing to do’. That’s when you can properly get stuck into a game with no guilt, but you also don’t want your brain to be taxed too much either – remember what part of the body men think with.
What better way to give tribute to those medical wizards than a bit of Dr. Mario, an interesting NES puzzle game? It’s just another Nintendo puzzler with a Mario character on the front – in this case, the man himself. You’ve got to get rid of three colourful sets of pesky germs, by throwing the right colour pills at them. Match 4 colours in a row and the whole lot will disappear, whether they’re pill or virus.
That’s really all there is to say about Dr. Mario. It’s a decent, easy to follow game that’s spawned a few sequels on later Nintendo consoles. Notably, it became half of the Tetris & Dr. Mario compilation on SNES a few years later – but only a fool would plump for the doctor over Tetris. Indeed, when it comes to fun, longevity and addictiveness, I’d have to say there’s a vas deferens between the two.
9 July 2021