Most women, on Valentine’s Day, are quite happy to wake up and find a couple of hundred bucks on the bedside table. But not Brenda. Oh, no. She woke up and said she felt like decent breasts. “No problem,” I said, getting off the floor upon which I had inexplicably spent the night. “I’ll nip out and pick some up.”
By the time I left the pub, I had forgotten what she wanted so I sent her a Please Call Me. “Breasts,” she said. “Chicken or beef?” said I. She pointed out that cows did not have breasts. “On the udder hand, Darren,” I said.
Anyway. Turns out that I had cocked it up as usual. She wanted a completely new set of human breasts and not something smothered in honey and mustard sauce and nibbled on at lunch, although why we couldn’t combine the two was beyond me.
Most women, I imagine, choose the enhancement option in matters this close to the chest. Brenda wanted the opposite. Unheard of, where I come from. Come to think of it, where I come from most things are unheard of. Intellectual gigantism is one of the few conditions my so-called friends do not suffer from.
To men, the notion of a breast reduction makes about as much sense as gobbling handfuls of Chinese medicine guaranteed to make one’s willie smaller. Ever since we were born, we have been conditioned to believe that bigger is better – the exception being the willie department. Here, we are more than happy to cling to the unusually charitable Cosmo myth that size doesn’t count.
The first thing boy babies see when they open their eyes is a giant breast bearing down on them like some terrible Peruvian landslide. It has a tremendous impact on their outlook on life, especially if they are expected to swallow a nipple the size of a bricklayer’s thumb.
I tried telling Brenda that if she really wanted smaller breasts, there was a far less permanent way of getting them. She headed me off at the pass. “You will never have a threesome for as long as we are married.” I keep a very good divorce lawyer’s number on speed dial for moments like these, but he is due for release only in 2035. By then I expect I shall be more interested in philately than philandery.
And lo, it came to pass that I found myself helping Brenda into a backless gown in the gynae ward of a city hospital. Private, naturally. Go for a boob job at a state hospital and you risk walking out with a size 36C bum.
The week before, she had gone to see a couple of plastic sturgeons. Apparently it’s like getting your car panel-beaten. You need to get at least two quotes. She wasn’t that keen on the first doctor because he specialised in labiaplasty. Can’t blame her, really. Even I think there’s something a little odd about a man who sculpts designer vaginas for a living.
Nurses aren’t what they used to be. The guzzling of ethyl alcohol, the hideous screaming, the broken bottles, the stabbings. Perhaps they weren’t nurses at all. Come to think of it, they weren’t wearing uniforms. Neither did they have teeth. And they were on the pavement outside the hospital.
So I got Brenda into her ridiculous medical frock, all the while trying to talk her out of it. “Listen to me,” I said. “It’s not too late to run.” It’s not as if Brenda had enormous bazookas lashed to her front. Sure, they were more than a handful, but then so is she. Her breasts were fine. It’s her brain that could do with a nip and a tuck.
A nurse walked in and started filling in Brenda’s chart. Judging by her questions, I thought she might have been one of the ladies I saw in the street. “Where are the pain?” she asked. Brenda explained that she was about to have a breast reduction. “Dids you call a doctor?” I began giggling like a schoolgirl but saved my face by feigning stomach cramps. “Please may I have some pethidine?” I begged. Unfortunately, the nurse had absorbed just enough training to know not to hand out awesome drugs to people who were sitting in the visitor’s chair, even if they were clearly suffering from some sort of paroxysm.
Then the anaesthetist burst in, full of piss and propofol. He offered me a cursory handshake and proceeded to focus all his attention on Brenda. How very dare you, I thought. Why don’t you ask how I’m feeling? Maybe take my blood pressure? For all you know, I’m about to have a stroke. Brenda said later that he seemed nice. Yeah, right. To the bedside manner born.
I swallowed Brenda’s pre-med when she wasn’t looking and slipped out before Dr McDreamy swaggered in, flashing his scalpel and telling my wife to get her babylons out.