Friday, August 28, 2015

The day I learned about enemas...

I'd like to include a photo of an old fashioned enema for this post, but when I do a search for images, I come up with a bunch of pictures that are not safe for work.  So readers will have to form their own mental images as I share this special story from my youth.

When I was about eleven years old, I enjoyed reading Mad Magazine.  It should be no surprise that I was introduced to Mad by our neighborhood pervert, the man who referred to himself as The Home of the Whopper.  He had given me my very first issue of Mad.  


Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

There it is... December 1981's issue that I got from the guy who used to show me porn on a regular basis.  He also introduced me to the brilliance of Alfred E. Neuman.  I got hooked on Alfred's humor and started reading the magazine regularly.

One day, there was a feature on doctors and the running gag was a physician who would prescribe enemas for everything from a sore throat to hemorrhoids.  Naturally, as a somewhat sheltered eleven year old, I didn't know what enemas were.  I also didn't have access to Google in those days.  So I decided to ask my dad.

My dad was a somewhat formal guy.  He had a sense of humor and could be funny when the mood struck him.  But he was also very military and conservative and he didn't always approve of my raunchy sense of humor.  Still, I was totally innocent about enemas.  I had never heard of them and wanted to understand what they were so I could get the joke in my favorite magazine.

"Dad," I asked, "What's an enema?"

Dad put down what he was doing and said, "What?"

"What's an enema?" I repeated.

He got a strange look on his face and said in a rather matter-of-fact tone of voice, "An enema is a very uncomfortable and unpleasant procedure in which someone forces a tube up your behind and flushes out your bowels with liquid."

"Huh?" I asked, suddenly shocked and grossed out.

"It's very unpleasant." my dad reiterated.  I guess he hadn't heard of Fleet's, which are somewhat less horrifying than the old fashioned enema bags he was likely thinking of.  

I started thinking about it and wondered if my dad was speaking from personal experience.  He probably was, come to think of it.  But somehow, I knew better than to ask him more specific questions about enemas.  At least his reaction to this question was less dramatic than the reaction I got when I asked him about prostitutes.  I learned that word on the school bus when a couple of my classmates called me one.  I went home and asked my dad about it.

"Dad, what's a prostitute?" I asked.

"What?" He was pretty shocked at the question, since I was about eight years old.

"What's a prostitute?" I repeated.

"Where did you learn that word?" he demanded.

"I heard it on the bus." I replied.

My dad got a look of disgust on his face as he explained.  "A prostitute is a woman who sells her love to people."

I was a little confused, since love is supposed to be a good thing.  Selling is legal.  So is loving.  So is fucking, for that matter.  But I didn't press him for more details, because he looked kind of pissed.  My dad could have used this handy musical number from the folks at South Park.


"Sometimes a man needs to be with a woman..."

Josh Duggar can certainly educate his kids about prostitutes.  

I also asked my dad about hemorrhoids, but all he told me about that was that your intestines come out of your ass and bleed on your underwear.  That happens to be factually incorrect as well as disgusting.

I really could have used Google when I was growing up, but if I had, I wouldn't have these memories of asking my dad about inappropriate things like enemas.  At least I never asked him about douching.  And at least this post has taught me how to spell hemorrhoids.  

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