Other day I’m pulling weeds from the sidewalk when of all people, my pal Raddy — Radicchio R. Peggio, Jr. – cruises up on his bike for a socially distanced visit in the driveway.
A man of the world, Raddy grew up in the cockpits of his father’s post-WW II airline (Air Hellair), traveling extensively through France, the British Isles, Scandinavia, etc. Raddy Sr. made a fortune when he sold the airline to Aer Lingus, leaving the only offspring he ever acknowledged as his own in admirable financial shape. Raddy’s never had to work, but he’s always looking for An Angle, and he loves to talk about it.
“Got something cooking,” he tells me, in confidential tones.
Sure hope it’s better than your bird brain brainstorm.
“You remember that! No, this is much more down-to-earth. (Ha ha! See what I did there?) This idea comes to me just last week when I’m in CVS for a covid-19 test. I sit down, answer some questions, and they hand me this javelin with a cotton tip that they tell me to stick up my nose ‘til it punctures my brain.”
Yikes. Did you bend the javelin?
“Funny. I do that in each nostril, then hand back the two probes. They remove the cotton swabs, drop ‘em in a sealed bag, and tell me they’ll text my results in a day or two.”
Do you get to keep the javelins? Might come in handy at your next fondue party.
“Um, no. But here’s what occurs to me. Who actually performs the test? Me! All they do is issue instructions and process results. Me — I’m both patient AND technician! CVS doesn’t hire anybody to conduct testing, they just tell the patient what to do.”
Sort of like pumping your own gas, except for the credit card. And octane.
“So I’m thinking, Why not develop a business plan that uses this reduced medical personnel model in other specialties? Gynecology, for example.”
Why doesn’t it surprise me that this is the first one you think of?
“So for a routine exam, the patient reviews her records with the medical staff, who then hands her the spatula…
I think the term is “speculum.”
“Yes, whatever, and the patient inserts it herself as instructed, then returns it for processing. Results arrive a few days later!”
Raddy, it’s not just a matter of stuffing it in. The doctor needs to actually look and feel. Are you confusing a speculum with a dildo?
“The other obvious application would be the proctologist,” he enthusiastically continues. (Raddy’s not known as a listener. It’s part of his charm.) “Why pay a medical staffer to conduct a prostate exam or explore for hanging chads…..”
Oh my god. You mean hemorrhoids?”
“Yes, them. Piles, Lashings. Gobs. Point being there’s no need for additional staff when the patient can conduct his own supervised probe!”
I can’t be sure, Raddy, but I suspect in matters like these, your average patient would prefer having a trained professional on the northern end of the device.
“No doubt, but times change and people adjust. To use your own example, there was a time when it was unthinkable that a driver would pump his own gas. Remember Atlantic Red Ball Service? Pump your gas, wash your windows, offer to check the air pressure or your gas was free? Attendants called it Busted Balls Service. Go ahead and find anything like that in the 21st century.
“Besides,” (he goes on. Doesn’t he?) “People don’t trust their doctors and medical staff as much anymore. They’d rather do it themselves. And the lawyers will love it because their clients the doctors are a step removed from responsibility. Win-win!”
Okay. So where do you go from here?
Raddy shrugs. “Well, I need a medical engineer to help redesign equipment for self-use. And I’ll have to hire a marketing pro to help me promote. I might start by opening a stand-alone self-exam clinic on my own first, until the concept catches on. Which means I’ll need financial backing – one thing my dad taught me was Never risk your own money. That’s what banks are for, and in a worst-case scenario, you can screw them over, like Donald Trump.”
Donald who? Name sounds familiar. What’s your timeline? When do you start?
Another shrug. “Well, it’s close to cocktail hour, but maybe right after.”
Raddy, for you it’s always cocktail hour.
Big smile. “Yes! One thing I learned in the cockpit, winging through time zones. It’s always cocktail hour, because it’s 9:00 AM somewhere.” He gives me a big smile and a salute. “Stay safe!” And pedals off.
Worry not, dear readers: this idea, like all of Raddy’s schemes, will come to naught. I doubt he’ll get as far as even the equipment design stage, and in the unlikely event he does, that’ll just make him the proud owner of schematics for unique sex toys.
Which, come to think of it, is probably a more viable business for him anyway.
For years, I have carried, in the trunk of my car, gynecological stirrups that can be temporarily installed on a bar stool. This could be the intermediate step in Raddy’s plan — taking exams out of the realm of white-coated know-nothings and moving them into places of relaxation and comfort, examinations by a friend rather than a cold-handed stranger. I’d suspect that bar-stools could also be used to ‘position’ the patient for the hemorrhoidal handjob.
Ask Raddy if he’s interested.
What else have you got in your car trunk, Tim? Asking for a friend.
Hey Tim, I think I saw Hemorrhoidal Handjob at the Jersey shore back in the 70s — they opened for the Ramones. Well, maybe “open” is a bad choice of expression here.
Nothing new here, really. You remember how the doctor used to tell you to turn your head and cough while he grabbed your nuts? I’ve been doing that by myself for years.
i remember in one of the loony bins i stayed in there was this orderly who liked to threaten us with frontal lobotomies if we didnt behave (and we didnt) and make us watch a video of how theyre done with an icepick rammed up between the eyebrow and eyelid pretty sickening but one inmate said he wasnt afraid and he could do that to himself if he felt like it and damn one day he mustve felt like it because he stuck a plastic spork in his eye (we werent allowed real silverware like knives) and did in fact damage what was left of his own brain not that it changed him noticeably.
You still in touch with this guy, Odtley? Raddy might have a job for him.
Ha ha!! Red Ball Service I remember it well! Worked gas stations in south Jersey every summer including Atlantic (later Arco) and that was part of the service package. Check the radiator, too. I’d have burned fingers all summer long thanks to the shoobies cruising down the Black Horse and White Horse pikes stopping for gas. You’re right: it was a pain in the ass, just made our jobs harder, and nobody ever gave me any kind of tip.
In fact, this isn’t any more far-fetched than these so-called dentists practicing their trade from their cars in Little Havana. People will take all sorts of chances, even with their own health, to save money. Maybe your pal Raddy should develop a tool that people can use to give themselves butt-lifts and fillers. Butt-A-Matic much?