The universe had a moment of quantum indecision while I was sat in a doctors' waiting room.
It flickered randomly between playing nicely and messing with my head.
I tried to collapse the probabilities by uttering a most unusual secular prayer for a man...
Don't be pretty.... don't be pretty... don't be...
Maybe that's the nurse. She's barely out of her twenties. Yes. Obviously the nurse. They don't make doctors that pretty, surely.
"Come this way. I'm Dr Lena."
Arse. She was very pretty.
"What seems to be the problem?"
Despite acres of research with doctors Google and Wikipedia, I'm still not entirely sure what it is I am suffering from. So I take a deep breath and out pour the words that no man ever wants to hear himself say:
"I've had an ache in my right testicle for about a week. Last night... I think I found a lump."
An actual diegetic fanfare... I am momentarily confused. Am I living in a film? That would make so much sense...
Dr Lena blushes beautifully and flips her iPhone on to silent. "Sorry about that," she says.
In a sense, it's an excellent way to break the tension of what is about to happen. With very little fanfare she says, "Ok, hop on to the bed, pull your trousers down, and let's examine you."
My stupid animal brain is now faced with a quandary. When a young lady (did I mention how crushingly gorgeous she was?) asks you to pull down your trousers so she can have a rummage, it seems... well... rude not to be...
But, luckily, the more mature part of my brain kicks in. Relax, stand down, think of Margaret Thatcher stealing your milk. Deep breaths. Calm.
But, of course, the insecure part of my psyche is going "Oh gods! Your penis is minuscule! If you don't at least get a semi, she'll laugh you right out of the surgery!"
But, of course, she's seen it all before. Some, no doubt, in a far worse state. Whatever level of flaccidity nothing bad is going to happen.
But simply as a matter of professional pride...?
Keep it together... keep it together... Relax.
Dr Lena locks the door. She walks over to me as I lie prostrate on
her bed the bed.
She leans over.
"Oh!" she giggles nervously.
I swear - I am not making any of this up. Honestly.
"Would you like me to fetch my colleague?"
I smile confidently, "Am I too much for you to handle by yourself?"
She licks her lips and calls for a buxom nurse to assist.
Ok! Ok! That last bit I made up. My mind wanders very quickly when I'm under stress!
"Would you like me to fetch my colleague?"
I look confused.
"You're allowed a chaperone if you want," Dr Lena explains helpfully. I decline.
"So, show me where exactly this lump is."
I look down. My penis has decided to misbehave.
In terms of penile span, I appear to have achieved my objective of exactly average length without any hint that I find this ridiculously good looking, intelligent, well spoken, highly educated, dream of a woman in any way attractive.
Except the damned thing is now laying squarely over the offending testicle.
With one hand I gently move my pizzle out of the way. With the other hand I indicate where on the testicle the lump is. Dr Lena takes over.
As she proceeds with her examination, I'm struck by an awful thought. My right hand is laying limply by my side. My left hand, however, is still tenderly gripping my cock. While the wholesome doctor is groping my balls, I'm casually hanging on to my willy like a dirty old man. If I remove my hand now, I'm only going to draw attention to it. If I leave it there, am I going to look like a lonely old man who gets his jollies by self-pleasuring while female doctors fumble around on his goolies?
I feign to scratch my ear. I have a really itchy ear. Yes. Nothing suspicious about that.
"Hmmmm," the good doctor says. Not the sort of sound you want to hear. "Is that it there?"
She squeezes and there is pain. The pain is tempered by the realisation that I have no interest in dominatrices. Pain, it turns out, ain't my bag.
"Yes! That's it!"
"Well, the good news is --"
My heart sings! My penis remains silent.
"-- The good news is that it isn't attached to the testicle. It's on the epididimus, that's the tube which runs from the testicle.."
She doesn't say to where it runs - but we both know it's not down to the shops for a packet of crisps.
"It's probably epididymitis."
All of a sudden I relax. My research indicated that epididymitis was the best prognosis. I'm no longer hanging over the prospect of bollock cancer! Galloping knob-rot is off the cards! My balls shall remain incision free! A weight lifts from my shoulders.
As it does, I realise that I'm still half naked. Only now, I'm half naked and smiling. This somehow makes me feel even more naked than I did before. I literally feel like I am only wearing a smile.
Dr Lena is a kind and noble doctor - and graciously turns her back while I perform the rather ungainly exercise of sliding off a bed, with my trousers round my ankles, while pulling my pants up.
Epididymitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. It's just one-of-those-things. Usually.
"The other cause," says Dr Lena, "is sexually transmitted diseases."
She looks me straight in the eye. I melt a little.
"Is that something you would like to discuss?" She asks.
In a way, I'm happy that she thinks I'm the sort of bloke who sleeps around, has his way with all the girls, and gets an exotic array of STDs. She's seen the goods and thinks the ladies about town can't resist me.
I break the news to her that I am happily married and that neither of us really has time for an affair.
She gives me a sample jar to piss in - just in case.
The cure for epididymitis is nothing more than a strong course of antibiotics. Dr Lena writes out a prescription with penmanship that would make a poet blush, then sends me on my way.
And I am cured. The antibiotics do the trick, my STD test comes back negative. I am a free man!
If you are in possession of a set of testicles, do me a favour and check them for lumps and bumps. If you find anything unusual, pop to your GP straight away. It won't be too embarrassing, nor too frightening, nor too stressful.
Women, if you want to make yourselves useful, find a gentleman friend and offer to examine his balls. He will almost certainly be very grateful and - if you're lucky - will reciprocate by checking your breasts.
Everyone's a winner!
Six Months Later
It's back. It came back a few weeks ago. Another course of drugs - which worked for a while - and another test for chlamydia and gonorrhea - which showed I still wasn't sleeping around.
But it's still there. A dull and nagging ache. A tiny, but annoying lump that twinges every now and again.
So, today I am spending at a urologist. Where I will be prodded, poked, made to give specimens, ultra-sounded, analysed, and exposed.
I've looked up the urologist on the Internet. He's not as pretty as my Dr Lena. Which is probably for the best.