The Adventures of Hunch Nut
Welcome to Day 96 of the 100 Days Project. As you have likely learned, there have been many weird and surreal times in my life. As I sat down to write this post, I was sure it would be about my brutal (yet hilarious) vasectomy. In fact, I had already written most of it in my head in the wee-wee hours of the morning, but then my foot started to throb with the telltale signs of a gout flare-up, which got me thinking about one of the times I broke my foot.
Yes, I said, “one of the times I broke my foot.”
However, this post isn’t about that. It’s about the lead-up, which was much less fun but equally hilarious. Allow me to paint the picture for you: It’s the mid-nineties, and I had become obsessed with Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and had been training daily for the last few years. I was awarded my Assitant Instructor belt (Brown with Black Stripe) and had taken over operations of Bissett Jiu-Jitsu Downtown and The Executive Protection Group. Ron Bosely was our Head Instructor, and we taught members of the Calgary Police Service, TAC Team, Drug Unit, Constables, military personnel, security teams, bouncers, and members of the public.
Leading up to my Black Belt test, I taught three to four classes a day and trained specifically for my test for another three hours every day. As a result, I was able to make teaching, training, and running the school my full-time job leading up to my test.
Japanese Jiu-Jitsu is not gentle. It is a martial art designed to stop an attack and prevent further attack — in the most direct way possible. We had a philosophy in the dojo to train as hard as we would fight. Obviously, we didn’t beat the crap out of each other, but we also didn’t NOT beat the crap out of each other. One day during training, one of my ukes (training assistant) kicked me hard in the groin. I miss-timed the block, and as directed, he was coming at me full force and speed.
You may want to stop reading here. Testicular trauma lies ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
Usually, this wouldn’t have been too big of a deal because the “cups” we use to protect this delicate area are fantastic and designed to protect against such a blow. However, we had been training for several hours, and this protective gear wasn’t as snug as when we started and had slipped to the side a little. Just enough so my right testicle was caught between the edge of the cup and my leg when the kick landed.
I’m not sure if this has ever happened to you, but when I stopped throwing up and got up off the mats, I saw stars and knew something was wrong. So off to the hospital I went.
“I think I broke my testicle,” I said to the pleasant lady sitting dutifully at the Emergency Admitting desk.
She wrote down a couple of notes on a chart and asked if I could sit down, to which I replied, “I’m not sure. Probably not.” She wrote some more notes and made a quick call.
A nurse appeared from the depths of the Emergency Department and said, “Sir, please follow me.”
I limped through rows of sheeted rooms until we got to one for me. I had a pain so deep in my insides that I could barely walk. We found my room, and she closed the curtains and asked me if I could remove my pants and get onto the bed. Martial arts pants are great for this. Two drawstrings, and fwooosh, they’re at my ankles.
I’ll spare you the details of removing the rest of my gear but suffice to say, I was naked from the waist down when I saw my injury for the first time. I had my suspicions but didn’t know exactly what I would see when it came down to it. The nurse was not traumatized — she has obviously seen some really crazy injuries — so I took solace in the fact she didn’t pass out when she saw mine. But I almost passed out, and she could tell.
“Mr. Dargie, are you okay? Can you get into the bed, or do you need some help?“
I’m not sure how I got there, but the next thing I remember is being in a hospital bed, covered in a blanket, but the blankets had been arranged, so the only exposed area was a weird giant grapefruit where my right testicle would have been located. What the hell? Surreal. Where was I? What happened? Is that my nut?
Slowly everything came back to me, including the pain. Finally, that helpful nurse came back in to check on me and let me know they’d be taking me for an Ultrasound shortly. “Did you want something for the pain?” she asked pleasantly and handed me a purple pill.
I have no idea what this pill did, but I trusted her implicitly and swallowed it down.
My next memory was being wheeled through the hospital ball first. My testicle was still surrounded by blankets like they had built a pillow fort for it, and it was having the time of its life. It was having a ball being wheeled through the busy hospital (I hate myself a little for writing that). The purple pill made everything fluffy and inconsequential, including the embarrassment of my giant ball being paraded through the hospital. And then onto a crowded elevator.
You know how people behave in an elevator? Not looking at each other. Checking their watches? This was like that but different. Everyone was really intent on not looking directly at my huge ball. But how could they not? It’s not every day you see some poor shmoe with a Hunch Nut. Someone started whistling. My ball was thinking about ringing bells in a church tower.
We went down the hallway, my ball and I, and into a large room. I was rolled into the middle of it. My doctor showed up and asked me how I was doing. Purple Pill answered, “I’m great, thanks for asking.”
The doctor removed the pillow fort that presented my testicle to the world, so I was now completely exposed. He gently tried to move Hunch Nut to try and get a better look and said, “Hmmmmm,” a lot and looked at it from every possible angle. “Would you mind if I invited some students to watch your procedure?” he asked professionally.
“Sure,” replied Purple Pill, “why not.”
He nodded to someone I couldn’t see, and then people started streaming into the room. A lot of people. This was an auditorium of sorts with seats all around. I want to say hundreds of students came in, but it was probably only one or two dozen. Purple Pill thought this was hilarious. The lights went out, a giant movie screen came down from the ceiling, and a massive video of my lower half was on the screen.
Huh. The camera really does add ten pounds.
Absurd is the only way I can describe this adventure. The doctor squirted warm jelly onto Hunch Nut, and with that, the giant movie screen split in two. We could all now see my Hunch Nut in living colour on one side, and the Behind The Scenes story revealed in Ultrasound on the other side. “Wow,” said the doctor. “This isn’t something you see every day.”
Purple Pill snickered.
This event went on for 30-minutes or so. The doctor asked the class questions. Students answered. Students asked questions about my ball and were encouraged to ask me very specific doctor-type questions. Every once in a while, they’d check in with me to see how I was doing. I was doing great. I felt no pain and no shame. It was just the three of us in this room. Me, Hunch Nut, and Purple Pill.
Wiping the warm gel from my testicle, the doctor told me I should see a Urologist when the swelling goes down. Fortunately, nothing appeared to be permanently damaged and suggested that I use a bag of frozen peas for the swelling. He wrote on a prescription pad, “and take these for the pain.”
It was a prescription for Tylenol 3, not the purple pills, which is just as well. I still have no idea what those things were, but they were outstanding.
A few weeks later, I was back to training and was in top shape when I went for my epic Black Belt test — where I promptly broke my foot in the first 10 minutes of an hour-long test. I finished the test on a broken foot and was awarded my Black Belt, but that was nothing in comparison to the Adventures of Hunch Nut and Purple Pill.