It’s Movember, Let’s Talk About…Balls

Posted on November 16, 2013

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TestesIt’s Movember, and since I can’t grow a mustache to save my life, I’d like to take a minute to talk about…testicles. Hear me out.

Ladies, I’m not going to pretend to know your struggles. Yes, a small hiccup in the chromosome distribution system has enabled one branch of the human gender tree to get off easy, free to enjoy a lifetime of carefree knuckle-dragging while the other side gets stuck with all the heavy lifting. That’s not fair, I realize. I also think it’s accurate to say that women are, generally speaking, sharper, more complex and better equipped to navigate life’s uneven terrain than men. I don’t think that’s an accident.

That said, there are some things on this odd, muffin-shaped planet that a man has a greater depth of experience with than a woman, and one of these things is the concept of “inconvenience.”Why? Because you don’t know “inconvenience” until you’ve spent some time with…balls. Yes, some of you are squirming in your chair right now, making involuntary “it smells like cheese in here” faces as your brain tries to jog that last image out of your now-time lobe. “Gross. Put that genie back in the bottle,” you say.

Look, no one likes testicles. Certainly not men, who never asked to be handed a pair of poached eggs in a fur sack and told, “Protect these with your life. And get used to them always being in the way. And, oh yeah — watch out for short-hop grounders and little kids. And zippers.” And certainly not women, some of whom view a man’s scrotum as irrefutable proof of his inherent Neanderthal essence (who the hell gets born with a useless piece of hairy flop skin bouncing around under the loincloth? A man, that’s who. Look — there’s one now, scratching himself).

Testicles are never fashionable. There are no off-Broadway productions of the Testicle Monologues, no catchy testicle sing-along songs or cute testicle mascots raising awareness for Yay Testicles! week. There’s no Merchant-Ivory film about Anthony Hopkins and his stoic testicles leading a life of quiet dignity under the oppression of the English class system. The testicle is Axl Rose at a Dixie Chicks concert, standing off in the wings while everyone holds their noses and pretends not to notice.

And every man reading this is only too wincingly familiar with the sensation of taking a “shot to the package,” of being brought to his knees by an unexpected missile to his squishy area that crosses his eyes, curls his eyebrows and leaves him flopping around like a beached salmon while his buddies laugh themselves to tears (it’s an odd corollary: great pain = great humor). This is partly why all men have a tiny Herm Edwards voice in the back of their heads imploring them to go into PREVENT DEFENSE when danger is lurking (and trust me — danger is always lurking). And let’s not forget that, all kidding aside, testicular cancer is something that afflicts thousands of men every year. As if having an over-sized turkey wattle tacked to your groin isn’t insult enough, the thing can actually kill you, too.

“That’s all well and good,” you say “but what about all the fussing around you guys do down there. It’s creepy.” Look, I’d be a dues-paying member of the Lifetime Movie Channel fan club if I told you that men aren’t preoccupied with making certain “adjustments.” Without getting into unnecessary detail, let me put it to you like this: there’s more than one car in the garage, ok? Sometimes you gotta jump in and make sure everyone’s pointing in the right direction.

So, please ladies, take a moment this month to tell the man in your life, “I’m sorry about your balls. Here’s a sandwich and a beer. Later, let’s have sex in the backseat of your truck. Yes, I’d love to hear more about your fantasy football team.” Your man will thank you. His balls will thank you. The world will be a better place.

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Posted in: Marginalia