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Leeking Ink #23 COVER Leeking Ink #23 Table of Contents
Fun Mail
Free-Range Hunchbacks
Embarrassing Pets
Ohio, um, yeah, we went to Ohio
September 21, 2000
My History with the Icky Doctor
Feline Poetry
Types of Antiques Dealers
When Did I Become a Confirmed Straphanger?
Do What You Say
The Conspirators
Simple Pleasures
Getting What You Want Vs. Wanting What You Get
The Oliver #9

My History with the Icky Doctor

It was something I had thought about. Something I had dreaded. Something I figured I could put off. It was something I had managed to avoid for the last ten years. It was a trip to the gynecologist.

My line of reasoning ran along the lines of, "I shouldn't need to take my car to the mechanic if I seldom drive the car." Thus I had managed to justify my avoidance of "down there" doctors. Then I found myself entertaining the notion of crawling under my desk at work to lay down and cope with the cramps. I ended up taking 6 aspirins and a shot of vodka that evening to get through the day. I realized I had felt similarly awful for the last several months. I also realized that the two day period wasn't a one-time thing and it had happened several times now. It seemed the severe first day of my cycle and disappearing fluids should be of some concern. I made an appointment with my "regular" doctor (I had seen him once before), but he couldn't see me for about a month. I happened to meet a female vegan doctor through work who said she could see me right away.

I hadn't been to the doctor for any type of feminine needs since I was 18. It was the first and last time. I went an old man who was somehow associated with my health insurance. It was creepy and uncomfortable and something I wanted to avoid ever after.

I had been chided by my co-workers because I had refused to go for so long. After I made my appointment they started trying to ease my mind by telling me their gyn horror stories. Little did they know that I had one that topped their's…

When I was about 11 I attempted to deliver a Christmas gift to the old people across the street. It was a bottle of perfume for the wife. I still remember that part. They had a big male German shepherd who used the opportune crack in the door to bolt out and bite me. The puncture wound on my thigh was obvious, but it wasn't until we were at the hospital that the puncture wound to my groin became apparent. I should mention it was Christmas Eve.

We waited in the emergency room for an hour or two. The doctor who was supposed to stitch my thigh up was callous in both manner and technique (I still have an ugly scar). I wasn't a sissy kid, but I had spent the last two hours looking at a hole in my thigh, I never had stitches before, and the irrigation needle hurt like hell. I was freaking out. I knew that once my thigh was done…well…

The callous doctor turned me over to another doctor who was much nicer. He gingerly removed my undies so he could suture my damaged private parts. He asked my mother if he should shave my sprouting pubis. Even now the recollection is horrifying. Equally horrified was Earl, who where there in the curtain area. She said no, to let the little bit of hair that was there alone. So there I was 11, with several hospital staff and my family staring at my dog-bitten private parts.

They sewed me back together and sent me home. Recall that it was Christmas Eve when all this started. We arrived home around midnight and it was suggested I should be allowed to open my presents. This would have been a more touching gesture, had I not already known what most of what my gifts were. In the weeks prior to Christmas, Nigel, a Pekinese we had, chewed on the corner of a package. This revealed the gift inside. Thinking this was a great idea I proceeded to chew the corners of all my gifts. I wonder now if anybody noticed my gifts were "Nigel's" only targets? Anyhow, due to this duplicitous act, what might be been the night's only saving grace made me feel guilty and foolish.

So the only two times my privates were on public display were painfully embarrassing and my reluctance to go to the doctor becomes more understandable. I arrived at my appointment and went through the rest of the physical exam, explaining my concerns. Then it was time for the paper gown and stirrups. The exam wasn't as bad as I expected and the fact the my doctor bumbled a bit and hit me with the exam lamp actually made the experience more comfortable. However, she was deeply concerned that the bumbling and lamp whacking would cause me to wait another ten years.

She said everything seemed normal and that what I was experiencing was really only a problem if I wanted to get pregnant (um, no thank you). She said birth control pills would regulate me, but as a fellow vegan she understood some of the reasons why I did not want to take them. She prescribed 600 mg of ibuprofen for the cramps, nausea, and fatigue. I still had two weeks to wait and find out if it would work.

I realized after the appointment that I must have been at ease with the doctor because a just few hours after I met her I called and basically asked a stranger to inspect my genitals, as if this was a casual everyday thing one did.

This month was a breeze with the new meds. I couldn't believe it. Perhaps I had misjudged the need for the icky doctor…

The Oliver Typewriter #9

I was out at the North Point Blvd. flea market when I spied the most beautiful typewriter. It was green with U shaped keys that struck from side. My reaction was immediate old office supply lust. I love fine papers, card, wax seals, pens, old mail scales, ink wells, cast iron staplers, and anything in that vein. I have lost control in art and stationary stores more times than I care to remember. This typewriter would be the perfect addition to my quietly growing collection. I asked and learned it was $20. This brought a bit of a dilemma. I was broke. Then I remembered I had recently been paid for my "Vegan in the UK" article that appeared in Clamor. I could justify spending money made by writing on an exquisite example of a tool of the craft.

OLIVER I handed over a $20 and heaved the weighty typewriter up by the convenient wing-like handles near the base. At home I cleaned and polished my new friend. Everything seems to be in working order except the broken band that causes the keys to make the barrel move along and return. I stared at it repeatedly and showed everyone in the house my fine. Repeatedly. To the point of being obnoxious. I even took pictures of the Oliver. The lovingly lighted and composed shots are like office machine boudoir photography.

I became curious about the history of the machine. Dover had The Typewriter: An Illustrated History and I also found a typewriter fan website (http://xavier.xu.edu/~polt/typewriters.html).

The book says they are named after their inventor, one Reverend Thomas Oliver. The were well regarded and my particular model was made in 1916. According to the website,"The popular Oliver was manufactured in the US from 1896 to 1928, and even later in England. The no. 9 was made from 1916 to 1922. All Olivers are distinguished by their U-shaped typebars that hover over the platen. Most are painted olive green (hence the name) and have curious ears or teaspouts on the sides -- probably meant as handles." The #9's type is "Printype" a "beefy typeface meant to resemble printing in books…The mascot for Printype…is a cherry little policeman who looks like a Keystone Kop."

Also, if you have seen "Naked Lunch," the metamorphosing typewriter, posing as a Mojahedin, is really portrayed by an Oliver #9.

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