Viagra

The King of the Congo

The King of the Congo 

As I got older, I became an animal rights advocate. My reasoning was a concern that human overpopulation was causing so much loss of natural habitats that many of nature’s wild creatures were being squeezed onto pathways that could only lead to extinction. I also had to make up for all the rotten things I has done as a child. This included shooting birds or mice with a B-B gun, making frogs into race car drivers and setting them on fire, sending Bumble bees on sub-orbital rocket rides, stoning dozens of Blue Claw or Horseshoe crabs to death and in general disrespecting most of nature. I don’t know when my attitude changed, but I eventually came to believe in preservation of the environment, coupled with a feeling that the only way to accomplish this would be to advocate for human zero population growth.

Being one of those people who has even gone overboard the other way, when I find them in my house, I will set spiders, bees and beetles free; much to the chagrin of my wife who prefers to handle issues like this more expediently with a fly swatter. She shows little or no interest at all when I chide her about the teachings of Buddha who said that all life is sacred.

We had this argument.

  • There is nothing sacred about a wasp, an ant, or a spider.
  • Then what about an Angel fish?

For certain areas of the planet it is already too late, but there is still a chance to save large tracts of nature in both the Amazon as well as in Africa. Two common African practices that are a horrifying waste of animal life are killing elephants or rhinos for the sole purpose of respectively harvesting their ivory tusks and their horns. It is sickening to see photographs of tusk-less or hornless carcasses left behind to rot after these trophies are removed. Ivory has value in the music industry or as jewelry, but even piano keys can now be made from more durable synthetic material. I have also seen women wearing ivory pins who should worry more about their elephantine weights than what they stick on their blouses to offset their dowdy or dumpy appearances. Despite the silk gown and the exotic baubles, they still look like the sow’s ear.

I also knew that rhino horns, like the lore about Grizzly Bear gallbladders, are taken because they are then ground into powder and sold as an aphrodisiac to reverse erectile dysfunction in human males. The primitive two step equation becomes: Horny animal = Horny man; which may sound logical enough; except for the non-sequester that the male rhino uses his horn to root around for food; not for diddling rhino pussy.

When Viagra came on the market, I contacted the Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company to suggest that they could do a great deal to save the Rhino. The plan would be to grind their pills into powder with the same color and consistency as powdered horns― then supply it in bulk to African or Chinese apothecaries who could dispense it in naturopathic bags or pouches. In saturating the market, this would not only bring continuity to the culture and preserve whatever rituals might be involved but would also bring an end to the senseless slaughter of this magnificent primitive beast. I did receive a polite response from the company’s Medical Director that he would send my suggestion up the corporate ladder; but that was the last I ever heard from them. Years later, the decimation and near annihilation of the rhinoceros remains unchecked and the White Rhino is now extinct.

At one point I considered stockpiling the drug, going to Africa, and then distributing it as a wandering crusading merchant of human sexual satisfaction and savior of African wildlife. The fantasy went as far as becoming a great white witch doctor or medicine man; then made ruler of the tribe after saving the virility of all men both young and old alike. Placed on a throne, then fanned, fed by Nubians and having all the women I could possibly desire put at my disposal; I would be a veritable third world Hugh Heffner: Priapus 1st, House of Pfizer, his most revered and majestic: King of Eros.

I suppose the CEO of Pfizer did not like the idea because at $18 per erection, Viagra has made an enormous contribution to the corporate financial bottom line. A more likely explanation is that either he never got my letter; or if he did, dismissed it as only one more example of senseless ranting from yet another one of far too many misguided tree-hugging fools.

One day when the drug patent finally expires, the generic version will cost pennies a pill. The Rhinoceros, however, will always be proprietary; and when its patent expires, so does a species that will only then exist in photos or on a taxidermy display.

 

 

 

A Crown of Horns

 

 

Pacemaker Sex

Pacemaker Sex

The prior story about a female Resident getting fisted by the electronically paced flailing arms of a D.O.A. John Doe paled in comparison to what happened to my loan shark friend, Chubby.

One of his sideline enterprises was to pimp women to local clients including police officers, lawyers, bankers, and a few other unsavory fellow shysters. The women were not a consistent cadre of reliable girls from a “stable” but instead were usually indiscriminately pulled off the local sidewalks or out of grocery store parking lots. For this reason, the women were also not consistently available, such that when something suddenly came up, he would place phone calls to line up the Johns.

He solicited sex from just about any woman he saw and when he scored would temporarily procure them for his client base until the women got tired of it or did not need the money anymore. he said:

  • Doc, you can’t believe how many housewives are broke and what they’ll do for a buck, especially when economics is bad. Recessions are always good for me.

The going rate in the 1990s was about one hundred and three dollars an hour for intercourse and thirty-three dollars for oral sex, although he once got a staggering one thousand and three dollars out of a retired but impotent eighty-year old business tycoon and former CEO of a major US steel company who paid just to have the girl sit naked in a chair and talk to him for an hour. The arbitrary rounding on the price was based on a superstitious love of the number three.

Several years later, this same tycoon was indicted in an insurance fraud scheme in which he tried to smuggle a vintage Mercedes-Benz sport coupe out of the country after reporting it stolen; an act that everyone who knew him and how much money he was worth thought to be stupidly perplexing in its perverse logic.

Chubby said:

  • I don’t know, doc. It’s like he just got a soft spot in his brain.

Later in life, Chubby happened to have had a heart attack. Several years after the fact he then had an AICD (Automatic Implanted Cardiac Defibrillator) implanted for unexplained fainting that later turned out be related to poor blood flow in the posterior cerebral circulation. Even though the essential point was that implanting it was probably not necessary, it was done anyway because of uncertainty about the possibility of lethal ventricular arrhythmias. This underscores the fact that sometimes medicine, for all its sophistication is nothing better than a guessing game.

These electronic devices are set to deliver sequential shocks of about 15 to 30 joules of direct current internally to the heart which will reset the cardiac rhythm if a life threatening one is detected. The shock is not at all comfortable. It can also be felt by anyone who happens to grab hold of the victim who might be collapsing when the arrhythmia then secondarily causes his blood pressure to bottom out. Some spouses have stated they suffer from the guilty dilemma of deciding between letting their loved one fall down, as opposed to being exposed to the shared experience of internal electrocution. Personally, I thought the original contract called “For better or for worse.”

Chubby reluctantly accepted to have the implant but said he would feel much better about it if we were going to put in a pacemaker that would give him a permanent erection instead of an electrocution.

  • You doctors are all numb. Forget Viagra. With modern technology yez should be able to do a better job with boners.

One afternoon I received a frantic call from him. He said he wasn’t sure what had happened, but he thought his device had discharged.

  • Doc. I think my thing went off.

When I asked the circumstances, he said he had picked up a tried and true regular at the supermarket, a local housewife who had already been paid thirty-three dollars for blowjob.

As she was in the middle of the head-bob he said he was suddenly lifted two feet off the bed, that all he saw was a bright white light, and that his hair stuck straight out off his head. At the same time, the girl had been blasted and fell across the room, then banged her head on the bedroom door.

She got up screaming that he was a crazy demented pervert and what a shitty way that was get off, as she bounded out the door, following that diatribe with a statement that no matter what he might ever pay her, she was never coming back.

  • Doc. The woist part of it was I lost my thirty-three dollars and didn’t even get off. But oh, what a thrill!

As all the data is stored in memory, when one of these devices fires it is customary to interrogate it to see if the shock was appropriately sensing a real event. So, when Chubby came to the office to let me look at it, I discovered that the trigger for the shock was a paroxysm of not a lethal ventricular tachycardia but rather a harmless one that had originated in the atrium. Perhaps the excitement had over stimulated his epinephrine producing adrenal glands as well as his testosterone loaded gonads.

The device was fooled into doing its job by a rapid heart rate that was associated with an abnormally wide configuration of its cardiac complexes. It was essentially acting appropriately in an inappropriate situation; as was the housewife whore when she perceived she was being perversely abused.

I felt compelled to share this story with a colleague at the specialty hospital I had customarily referred not only Chubby, but also numerous other cases for AICD implants. Although the implanting physician, Joe, was amused, he then told me he had a story that might be even better than mine.

He queried:

  • You know how the Japanese perfected the art of autoerotic asphyxiation?

With me answering in the affirmative, he then told me about the wife of one of his patients who had brought that art-form to a new escalated jaded height. He said her affect was a little rough around the edges. She also tipped the scales at an estimated 250 lbs.

Apparently, her husband had suffered a heart attack, and then required an AICD implanted, but because of his relative debilitation, along with a lack of stamina she became accustomed to screwing him in the female-on-top sexual position.

On one occasion, the device discharged but instead of reacting negatively this woman immediately derived a great deal of pleasure from the experience. I suppose it was like having a mini electric socket inserted into the vagina, which in her mind was better than any orgasm she could achieve by using a conventional AA battery powered vibrator. Or perhaps her blubber not only attenuated electricity but then also made her threshold for sexual stimulation much higher than that of her average contemporaries.

But the perverse thing about the whole scenario was that the woman then educated herself about shocking devices. Then each time she went with her husband to the clinic to have his device was checked, she would beg the doctor to turn down the rate sensor on the AICD, so that there would be a greater probability of the thing going off when she climbed on top to rev up the sex.

So here is this poor bastard with a bad heart to begin with, losing consciousness as his heart is fibrillating, while he is getting jolted; as simultaneously his lovely fat wife also gets a DC shock jolt as she sinks into the stirrups to giddy-up the old dying horse. If nothing else, at least this was a clear-cut situation of her ability to turn the worse for him toward the better for herself: A classic combination of both positive and negative feedback loops.

Not only does it go to show that everyone has a different threshold for pain, but also gives great credence to the aphorism: To each his own.

I said to my colleague, Joe:

  • Yes. In the category of interesting clinical pacemaker anecdotes; you win the gold medal.

I Go Blind

I Go Blind

Suddenly in the transition from third to fourth grade, I went from being a straight-A student to being a marginal flunky. Because of my preference to sit in the back row, it was soon discovered that my sudden academic decline was due to two factors; I couldn’t recognize the teacher and I was no longer able to see the blackboard.

My eyes were so near sighted, also including astigmatism that the proverbial coke-bottle-bottom-lenses would be a requirement that would once again allow me to properly visualize and focus on the world around me. The ophthalmologist referred to myopic astigmatism as though it were some sort of ocular leprosy. Although I still don’t know what it means, except for the fact that presbyopia has also been thrown into the mix, the bottom line is literally ocular mysticism. He should have made it simple by telling my mother:

  • Your son is as blind as a nocturnal marsupial.

After being outfitted with a horrendously heavy pair of thick horn rimmed glasses, which my mother said made me look “so handsome” while at the same time being outfitted with a nifty set of old fashioned metallic braces which made me afraid to ever smile again, I was ready to once again tackle academia.

Making up for lost time, I soon moved back from column F to column A in grades.

It was easy. With four eyes and a metal mouth, I developed such little confidence in an appearance instilling such a monumental lack of self-esteem, that without any burning desire whatsoever to socialize, I just went home to my room every day and studied or fiddled around with toy trains, model airplanes, or my chemistry set.

Beside the horrible physical appearance of the old style glasses there was something else about them that bothered me to the point of distraction until I finally solved the mystery.

When someone else looks squarely at your face, near-sighted lenses will cause a refractory distortion making the facial lines at the level of the orbit become discontinuous. The lenses pull the eyes closer to the nose, thus enhancing the beady-eyed rodent like aspects of the encumbrance. The stronger the lens, the more the facial distortion and the beadier the eyes become.

As a natural consequence of this ocular stigma, the blind mice of a feather at school began to flock together creating a local scientific geek community.

Several years later with the help of another introverted scientifically oriented friend, Richard, the home chemistry set passion blossomed to the point that I became an expert on making gunpowder out of powdered sugar, granulated charcoal, and Saltpeter.

Being enamored with scientific names, but also with rudimentary sophistication on scientific terminology Richard gave it the secret code name: “phithle-phathle-phithalene.”

The Saltpeter was obtained at a local pharmacy from my father’s druggist friend Henry Nash who always handed it over with a skeptical look in is eye.

  • You know, Sal, there isn’t a lot you can do with this stuff except to make bombs or dissolve tree stumps.
  • It’s OK Henry. These kids don’t know what they’re doing anyway. Just let them have all they want.
  • You’re the boss, Sal.

An ancillary rumor spreading around the High School at that time was that if one drank a solution of Saltpeter, it would make a person so horny he would not be able to live with himself and might go crazy if he didn’t masturbate.

I never tried it, because I was more interested in making rocket fuel, didn’t want to waste it on an experiment in masturbation, didn’t have a girlfriend, didn’t know how to get one, and then wouldn’t have known what to do with her anyway.

It is also fortunate that my shy diffidence and lack of self-confidence,  would have never allowed me to approach a girl in the first lace, because if so I might have taken my friend Eddy’s advice on sexual intercourse in his distorted interpretation of “The Facks a’ Life”, and asked her if I could piss in her ass.

Nevertheless, it remains fascinating that Saltpeter is a sodium nitrate and that modern drugs like Viagra designed to enhance male potency have nitrate like effects; meaning that many rumors actually do have substance, credibility and a ring of truth to them.

Richard was fascinated with rocketry and the German V-2 program. He idolized Werner von Braun; so between the two of us, we traded recipes on making gunpowder.

Over time the gunpowder mixtures started to become more efficient to the point of achieving the manufacture of a few small functional firecrackers that we used to blow up neighborhood mailboxes. Still we never did quite attain the ultimate intended goal of making a successful solid fuel rocket.

Our Amory already included CO2 gas powered plastic rockets with little plastic astronaut capsules on their tops, in which we placed honeybees for manned sub-orbital space flights.

We were sadistically entertained after blasting the bees into subsonic space; retrieving them and then watching them spin around in hopelessly disoriented circles because their sun focused navigational sensors had been scrambled up.

But the science lab was forced to close down when my mother, then in her mid thirties, had a prolonged hospitalization for beast cancer surgery. Aunt Polly had to come up from Virginia and moved in temporarily to take care of us three children while my father went to work. Because it was during the school year, Byron had to stay home under the care of his father; which meant that he was being only partially supervised and probably having a ball, while my siblings and me, under the scrutiny of the mother-clone, were not.

One day Aunt Polly did a giant load of wash, including all the bed sheets, towels and pillowcases. With the weather being bad, she couldn’t hang everything outside to dry, so instead she strung some makeshift clotheslines in the basement, and then put all of the laundry up on it to dry.

At that time, I was working on obtaining a lower flash point on my gunpowder and was using the basement bathroom as a temporary laboratory.

Having mixed quite a large amount of the stuff in a big bowl, while trying to get a small portion on the side to ignite quickly, the entire batch suddenly caught fire and burned itself completely into aerosolized soot, which then filled the basement with a smoky ash akin to a small pyroclastic volcanic explosion.

Needless to say the soot landed on and imbedded itself into the newly washed whites which completely wrecked the laundry load beyond salvage.

To put it in perspective, it took Tom Sawyer all day to cajole his friends into helping whitewash his Aunt Polly’s fence, but it had taken me only less than thirty seconds to blackwash my Aunt Polly’s entire laundry

Polly was furious at having to do the whole laundry over again and banished any further experimentation from the inside of the house. She said:

  • Not only did you ruin my entire laundry, but think what could happen if you set the house on fire. And why are you playing with that stuff anyway. What are you going to do, grow up and be some kind of bomb maker?

When my father got home from work he put an end to the gunpowder business for good by calling his friend the pharmacist, Henry, to forbid him from letting me have any more Saltpeter.

Perhaps I would have been better off, if I had embarked on the search for refining a male potency drug, instead of trying to launch miniature insect astronauts or blowing up the neighbor’s mail boxes by making progressively bigger, ever better bombs.

In the over all scheme of things then, perhaps it was Aunt Polly’s whitewash hanging  on a makeshift basement clotheslines that may have saved the world from the Unibomber II. Or instead, it might have been the proscriptions against continuing to experiment with Saltpeter that delayed the development of what would eventually become the world’s most famous nitrate based wonder drug: Viagra.

H Bomb

 

Make love. Not war.

And don’t stare directly into the sun. It will make you go blind.

 

Photo source © National Archives