One of the perks of journalism is getting approached by companies that want to use your work as a source of free advertising. Sometimes they’re nice enough to send you a free early copy of an upcoming book to review, but most of the time they try to sell it as a great opportunity for you to write a great article about whatever they’re trying to shill.
This is how, in the fall, I found myself browsing a website specializing in $6.99 realistic human testicles that you can grow in a glass of water in your very own home. They contacted me right before November so I could fondle their product in time to write it up for Movember’s month of men’s cancer awareness. I was all for it, despite their unwillingness to send me a free pair of their novelty testicles (half of the proceeds from sales go to the Testicular Cancer Society), because I was planning on going shave-free for the first time.
I’ve been smooth most of my life and figured, with 40 coming at me like a freight train full of Cialis, I might as well see if the second half of my life was worth living elegantly bearded. Using the excuse of No Shave November to cover the awkward, newly homeless look of growing facial hair seemed far more plausible if I could point people toward an article I’d written in reference to Movember’s altruistic purpose.
“I’m not just doing this out of fad or vanity. I’m trying to help my fellow men by selflessly growing an awesome beard” was my justification.
The website is worth checking out, if for no other reason than to see all the pictures people sent in of the testicles they grew at home (think those weird, rubbery dinosaurs you got as a kid) and placed all over creation like lawn gnomes. The site also links to a number of informative sites about testicular health and a free app that walks you through the proper way to testily test one’s testicles.
My smirk went screaming from the room faster than Martin Shkreli from a morally justifiable business decision.
Being a serious journalist, I downloaded the app and gave it a walk-through in the bathroom at work.
I’m aware the ladies reading this got a wildly different talking to in middle school in regard to the changes occurring in their bodies, one I’d always assumed involved comparing breast sizes while giggling and throwing pillows at each other before I was eventually corrected by my wife. Guys get one that focuses on wet dreams and testicle checks. The app called Ball Checker (no, really) is a convenient reminder of everything they walked us through and more.
Stand in front of a mirror and check your sack for swelling. Roll your testicles one at a time between thumb and forefinger, checking for lumps. Feel for the epididymis (that tube in the back that connects the yogurt to the slinger) and make sure it’s pliable. Throughout it all, remember to be gentle.
This will soon become a very important note.
I did my check precisely as the app explained, but with the knowledge that I am just outside of the 15-to-35 group for which testicular cancer is the tumor of choice. This led me to believe I could laugh it up while fondling my junk mere feet from my boss’s office.
Not wanting to show favoritism, I started with the right one (I’m left-balled) and then dipped slightly lower (totally natural) to check lefty. That’s when I felt the lump.
My smirk went screaming from the room faster than Martin Shkreli from a morally justifiable business decision. By the end of the day, I’d rechecked my nuts so many times I could sculpt you a topographical map of my nethers blindfolded.
It was like middle school all over again.