The grace period has ended.
I was told by my youngest that “we may not speak of *it*“, but before the pure visceral power of the moment escapes me forever ,I feel I must document what happened on a warm September afternoon during a late summer pool party in a picturesque, leafy New England town…….
Try to picture the scene.
I am on my knees in the luxurious guest bedroom of the Norwalk Connecticut home of one of my best friends with kitchen scissors, a tube of vaseline and my partially nude seven-year old son.
You see, over the course of a long day of jumping with great vigor into and out of her pool he’d had a most unfortunate situation occur where the delicate skin on the underside of his “private area” had been pulled through a tiny mesh hole in his swim trunks and ballooned out the other side. Much like what would happen if you took a partially deflated balloon, wrapped a rubber band tightly around an area three-fourths of the way towards the end and then inflated that part. Except, of course, it’s someones penis and it’s slowly being strangled by a malevolent patch of fabric which seemingly defies all laws of reality. Like a Chinese finger trap, the more you pull, the worse off you are.
Seriously, now let’s return to the action..
After numerous attempts at just “pulling it off fast” like a band-aid, the imagery was becoming increasingly gruesome as each try elicited ear shattering guttural screams and the area was beginning to look raw. In an effort to do something to seem in the smallest bit productive, I used my kitchen scissors with surgical precision to cut his entire bathing suit off his body, leaving only a small modest patch of mesh to cover the “problem area”. Telling him that our most promising idea and best chance for penile freedom, was for him to utilize that tube of vaseline gave him hope and was the only thing providing brief respite from the impassioned wailing that punctuated his conversation every few seconds. I’d be just about to cut the mesh square a little smaller when I’d be jolted by his yelping and begging “PLEASE DON’T CUT OFF MY NUTS”.
I violently cursed the person who had invented mesh and silently put a pox on the group who voted to install it inside swim trunks. Here I was, with a working area covered in shredded shorts, gauze, sharp objects and a screeching child. Like the interior of a medieval pediatric hospital but surrounded by party going New Englanders gaily frolicking poolside with drinks and finger sandwiches .
Needless to say, an hour of failed ideas later and after having slid into the desperation zone, we were able to wrangle what remained of his privates away from the strangulation clutches of a fabric I will never again underestimate. Several long drawn out monologues about how he’d never have kids and perhaps live on a eunuch farm later – it was over.
We emerged from the bedroom to thunderous applause, and I dutifully disposed of the white mesh devil that had dragged us into the third circle for what seemed like an eternity.
Years from now, Il Duce will look back on this episode without fondness and remember how close he came to being childless and I of course will be apologizing for making it public record.