I’m not a fan of the great outdoors.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I dislike the beach or hate camping.  OK, I hate camping.  Hiking is more my thing, as long as there are no mosquitoes, snakes, bears, tarantulas, scorpions or inbred hillbillies.  Oh, and it can’t be a hike in the summer and there must be a clean shower, preferably in a nice hotel, after the hike.  And later a sunset cocktail overlooking the expanse of green I just traversed in an air-conditioned lobby bar with big windows and attentive wait staff.  There is a reason man sought shelter way back in the day after all.  To avoid death and to be served killer martinis. 

Last month, while visiting one of my best friends in historic, woods-infested Williamsburg, Virginia, a tick bit my testicles.  In my defense, her husband had been bitten by a tick on the penis two days before I arrived, so groin bites aren’t that uncommon.  Incidentally, she kept referring to him as “Tick Dick” the entire time I was there.  Thankfully for him and his penis, my friend managed to pluck the tick out, head and all.  I wasn’t so lucky.

I’m highly suggestible.  I don’t mean that I’m naive.  I just tend to dwell on the what ifs too much.  What if that old lady on the bike riding down the sidewalk hits me and bumps me into a speeding truck?  What if I’m the victim of that one isolated shark attack near the beach in knee-deep water?  What if John McCain wins?

So if you tell me there are ticks out in dem woods, I’m going to start to scratch–everywhere.  I needed to scratch my balls on my second day in Williamsburg.  I had been washing my hands before I peed just in case, and of course afterwards.  It was hot and humid outside so I just figured my boys were adjusting to the warm weather.  But they kept itching the next day so I took a look.  There was a small, bright red bump where my boys met. 

At this point, I went into a deranged denial.  Deranged because I thought about my itch all the time.  Denial because at the same time, I kept telling myself it was all in my head.  My partner is always accusing me of whipping myself into a needless frenzy.  Maybe I was being paranoid.  I returned to Tokyo and said nothing about my boys to him. 

Fast forward to yesterday and several localized red bumps reappearing and then fading on my boys for the past few weeks–always leaving me with the need to throw myself on the ground and itch until the cows not only come home, but make milk, are slaughtered and then served at McDonald’s. 

I finally took myself to see my doctor, a woman that has seen me through the horrors of my life in Tokyo, providing me a shoulder when I needed to cry and prescribing me anti-depressants when I was ready to die. 

I apologized to her in advance that she was going to have to see my balls.  I mean, she’s my doctor and I consider her a friend of sorts–as much as you can consider your doc your pal.  I think she really likes me too.  And now, I had to show her my boys.  It just seemed indecent.  I told her that I thought of going to that one male physician I had seen the first time I went to the clinic.  But he’s an old, crusty, English curmudgeon with the bedside manner of the BTK killer.  No thanks.  I’d rather show my normal doc my nuts.  Besides, it would be un-feminist of me to see the English curmudgeon just because he has a pair of balls too. 

In the end, my nice lady doc provided me with antibiotics as a precaution against Lyme disease-that’s where your balls turn into a green, round citrus fruit.  I needed to lay off the sauce for a bit anyway, although she said a glass (or two) of wine at night wouldn’t kill me.  I love her!

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