It was hard not to laugh about this friend’s hard situation19 october 2012, 01:27
There was such desperation in his voice that I immediately became concerned something was terribly wrong.
“You’ve got to help me – I’ve got a real problem,” Samir pleaded in a tone so plaintive I thought he was going to cry.
Normally he’s a happy-go-lucky type, so I feared the worst. The only thing I could think of was that he’d developed a life-threatening illness or lost a family member.
So it was with some trepidation that I asked: “What’s wrong, my friend?”
He hesitated before speaking. “I was with a girl last night – the first one since I broke up with Tanya two years ago,” he said.
“That doesn’t sound like a problem to me,” I replied. “I’ve been encouraging you for a long time to forget about Tanya and move on with your life. Are you trying to tell me your date didn’t go well?”
“No – actually it went very well,” he said, although there was no elation in his voice, just continued misery.
“Then what’s the problem?” I wondered.
“It had been such a long time since I was with a woman that I was really unconfident going into it,” he said. “So I took Viagra to make sure everything would go all right.”
“But you’re only 38, and you’re healthy as a horse,” I said. “You don’t need Viagra.”
“That’s what I found out,” he said.
“You’re not making sense, Samir,” I said. “Please spell out for me exactly what your problem is.”
“Uh, well, it’s been 30 hours since I took the Viagra – but, uh, it’s still working,” he said.
Many of you gentle readers are very perceptive, so you’ve probably figured out already what Samir’s problem was. But to make sure we’re all on the same page, let me take a moment to translate what he said
Since this is a family blog, I can’t be too graphic, so let me use a metaphor.
Those of you with military experience know that when you fall in to formation in basic training, your squad leader orders you either to stand at attention or stand at ease.
It seems that Samir had been standing at attention for more than 30 hours after taking the Viagra.
When I finally grasped what he was unhappy about, I burst out laughing – and kept guffawing for several minutes.
“Samir,” I said, “most men can only dream of having a problem like yours.”
“This isn’t funny,” he replied. “I’m really worried. What am I going to do?”
“To start with,” I said, “you can invite every woman with a crush on you to your house for therapy.”
“You’re no help,” he moaned. “This is serious.”
I ignored his whining, and continued to be a smart-aleck. He had made the mistake of confiding in a guy who had always wanted to be a comedy-show gag writer.
“I’ve got a great idea,” I said. “You know those testimonial TV commercials – the ones where people get up and say how great a product is? You need to call the advertising people at Viagra. Get up on the tube, hold a bottle of the pills, and tell all the guys out there they can’t go wrong with this stuff. And to emphasize this to women viewers, wear some ballet tights when you shoot the commercial.”
“Or I could loan you my meat-tenderizing mallet,” I offered.
“You’re cruel,” he replied.
I thought maybe he was right – that I’d gone a little too far -- so this time I tried to be helpful.
“There’s a costume party coming up next week,” I said. “You could go as the Khan Shatyr.”
Then I added in the most sympathetic tone I could muster: “By the way, if you continue to have this problem when you return to work on Monday, I’ve got a 320-pound buddy who can loan you his size Extra Extra Large baggy pants. You wouldn’t want to cause a sensation in the office, you know.”
“You’re all heart,” Samir said.
Finally, I told him I was fresh out of ideas. “If you’re really worried, see a doctor,” I advised.
“It would be too embarrassing,” he replied.
“I think the medicine will run its course soon,” I said in the most reassuring voice I could summon up. “Just hang in there. Sorry -- let me rephrase that: Just be patient.”
The next day I got an early-morning phone call from an exuberant Samir.
“The problem’s gone!” he gushed.
“Thank goodness,” I said. “There’s only so much stand-up comedy I can endure in one day.”
He groaned again. “You’re incorrigible,” he said.