I had no idea that I, a small-town, naive, aah-shucks kid, would become a thong expert. For better or worse, though, thanks to my job as an ER physician, that's exactly what I've become. Just don't look for that entry on my resume!
I was attending medical school, in Philadelphia, the first time I walked into a Victoria's Secret. I was with two of my buddies and we were on the hunt for something sexy, something hot, something that would tell our girlfriends that yeah, we might be medical students, but we were hip medical students. Good luck trying to find the nerd in us that Valentine's Day!
I had never been in a Victoria's Secret before but, because my buddies seemed real comfortable about the whole thing, I tailed them through the front door. "The secret," they confided, "is not to touch anything."
I lasted less than five minutes. Okay, I'm lying. It was more like five seconds.
I felt like I should have paid a cover charge, my bobble-head taking in all the life-like mannequins modeling the newest underwear trends. I could have sworn one of them winked at me as I was checking out the intricacies of her lace borders. Easily my lowest point ever on the wishful thinking scale.
Not paying attention to where I was walking, I knocked into a table loaded with skimpy undergarments. Luckily, though, I was able to catch myself and right the table before we both hit the ground. Like a klutz, I tried to straighten a few piles of panties before giving up, realizing that never again would I hold ten thongs in my hands at one time.
My face felt flush. Ebbs of desperate sweat trickled down my back. I took a deep breath and recovered slightly. Keeping it cool, I continued walking down the aisle, pausing here and glancing there, sure that I was looking more and more at home.
My confidence, however, was short-lived. Directly in front of me, approaching, was a pretty girl with a Victoria's Secret pin on her lapel. Brandy, it said. I turned and looked behind me, hoping I wasn't the one in Brandy's line of fire. No such luck.
"Hello, sir, what can I help you with today?"
"Um, well, I um, well--I'm looking for a Valentine's Day gift for my girlfriend," I stammered.
"That's easy enough," Brandy said enthusiastically. "What size is she?"
What size is she? What size is she? WHAT SIZE IS SHE? Shit, I had no idea.
"Um, I think, well, um...I'm not sure," I said, now definitely feeling a little woozy.
Sliding her hands down her hips, Brandy asked innocently, "Is she my size?"
What??? Was this an open invitation to check her out? Did I need a coupon for this?
I passed on Brandy's invitation. "Yeah, well, I think she is," I said, eyes downward, feet pacing side-to-side. "I'm not feeling all that great, though," I mumbled, trying to escape, "so I'm going to go out in the hallway and sit down for a minute. I'll be right back." Yeah, right. Liar.
Thus, my history with Victoria's Secret. Needless to say, Karen (my eventual wife) did not get a VS outfit. I'm good for chocolate and jewelry and wine, but if she wanted a guy to buy her those skimpy outfits, she married the wrong one.
How does this relate to my life in the ER? Well, with as many thongs as I have seen in the ER, sometimes I wish I had been born in a Victoria's Secret. Then I wouldn't be so caught off guard, so queasy, each time I saw one.
Especially on a guy!
Recently, after hearing a trauma alert called for Room 29, I ran into the room to find a very belligerent middle-aged male, quite intoxicated, with multiple contusions and abrasions to his face. A victim of a barroom assault, per the paramedics. He was being both verbally and physically abusive to our staff, aggressively swinging his fists and kicking his legs at several of us. Another drunk tough guy talking big and hitting low.
We were unable to calm him down, despite our best efforts. Not knowing if he had any life-threatening injuries, we chemically sedated and paralyzed him before emergently intubating him, hooking him up to a ventilator. This ensured our safety from his flagrant behavior while we got a more thorough physical exam and ran the appropriate tests, all in a calmer manner.
After stabilizing this gentleman, one of our newly-hired aides began removing this patient's clothes so we could do a fully-exposed physical exam.
Now, picture it. Balding, middle-aged man. Scruffy, ruddy face. Gold-plated incisor. Carhartt jacket. Flannel shirt. Wrangler jeans. Steel-toe boots. All coming off.
The aide cleared his throat. I looked up to find him blushing. "Does this come off, too?"
Everybody stopped what they were doing and our eyes followed his. Oh no! This patient had on one of the skimpiest candy-apple red thongs that any of us had ever seen, frilly-lace included. And although I didn't know what size this patient wore, I would bet the thong was too small, evident by both of his testicles hanging out on either side of its sparse fabric.
I know, fricking gross. That's what I thought, too. I imagined connecting a cable between them so they could catch up with one another. Can you imagine that conversation?
"Hey, Leftie," his right testicle would say, "can you believe this asshole? Packing and suffocating us in this thin, red snatch of flimsy fabric! I'm pissed!"
"Hell, yeah. This better be the last time or I'm outta here. It's nice to breathe again. That damn thing was pressing me right low to the brown hole."
Needless to say, after the appropriate gawking was done, we cut the dainty, delicate undergarment off this patient and placed it in its own clear plastic garment bag to give to his family. The nurse placed it smack on top of his pile of possessions, no less. Accidentally, I'll assume. (Side note here--always be kind to your nurse and never, ever spit at them!)
Based on his wife's expression when the nurse handed over his clothes, this patient had some serious explaining to do. I could only imagine his testicles' flagrant screaming for mercy when she got done with them. At least, to this guy's credit, he didn't have a matching "tramp stamp" tattoo in the small of his back.
Soon after that day, I was at our local mall and passed by Victoria's Secret. Sadly, despite all the skimpily clad mannequins, all I could picture was a near-naked guy in a red thong sitting on a rickety bar stool guzzling Budweisers and slamming back shots of Jim Beam.
And they wonder how we in the medical field get jaded!
As for my wife, well, she'll just keep getting chocolate. And jewelry. And wine. And a pair of Hanes granny panties. Again.
As always, thanks for reading. Next post will be Wednesday, February 24. See you then. Big thanks for all your support and votes in the recent Medgadget Medical Blog Awards!