The Šaš (pron: gosh with a sh – Shosh)

“It’s been found that 52.3% of people who have lumps on their genitalia have been doing garden work,” the man says this with absolute confidence. He is immense and sitting behind a desk smoking a cigarette. His face flab jiggles with every movement, partially concealing that a portion of his jaw is missing.

There is no way to fully appreciate the man’s voice. He has a slight lisp, almost slur, which sneaks out of the side of his mouth as though he’s trying to convey a prohibited secret. Imagine Marlon Brando if he were a character on the Muppets. Each sentence rivals the last in its grandeur and extended syllables.

This man is The Šaš, and The Šaš is my doctor.

I am always nervous at a doctor’s office, but this visit holds an enhanced terror and my skin radiates with the humidity of a Colombian rainforest. I found the lump on my testicle while in the Jeseníky Mountains a couple weeks before and since then I have been ignoring rationale, sizing coffins and pricing funeral caterers and their cold cut buffets.

“Let’s have a look,” he says and points to a table. I shift over, drop my pants and prepare to be groped by a giant. He doesn’t disappoint. He raises the pendulous parts of my anatomy up and says, “Hold these.” He roots around for a moment, humming the theme to Star Trek in the Marlon Brando Muppet voice.

“My friend, have you been engaging in sexual relations with any low class prostitutes in Bangkok recently?” The cigarette bobs on his lip as he speaks. “Interestingly, 38.4% of people who have relations with Thai hookers end up with this same problem.”

I blanch at this line of questioning and begin stuttering something about a one off with a woman a few weeks back when he smiles. I brace myself for The Šaš’s peculiar brand of phrasing to tell me that he is going to cut off my genitals and the incredibly specific statistics that will back it up.

His relationship with words is like that of the Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys – they are his hairy little minions, meant to do nothing but his exact bidding. There is no way to tell if they are based on truth or created to fit the moment, nevertheless he slings them about like ready-made information pellets.

He slaps my knee. “You have juicy giblets.”

After several seconds of staring at him, he clarifies, “Inflamed sweat gland.”

“Am I going to die?”

“Yes, but probably not today.”

“What do I need to do?”

“Well, 60% of these come back if they are only treated with antibiotics.” He stretches the last word out so that it has eight syllables. “So, we’re going to chop it off.”

“Chop off what exactly…?”

“Nothing you need. I’m sending you to a guy I know, Dr. Pik”

“He’s a specialist?”

“Not in any area of his life.”

“Oh,” I am pulling up my pants and The Šaš scribbles on a pad in erratic hieroglyphics, which I have always suspected are naughty notes to his receptionist. He explains the procedure using no less than fifteen statistics.

He lights up another cigarette. “Dr. Pik’s cheap and his patients have a fairly good survival rate.” The Šaš’s look tells me that he fails to understand why these qualities don’t excite me. He hands me the paper. “Give this to Bara.”

I step out of The Šaš’s office and Bara, who is the most beautiful person I have ever seen in real life, is noticing my limp. I smile and hand her the slip of paper. From behind her desk The Šaš appears again, as if out of a secret compartment.

“Tell Dr. Pik to call me after he cuts the growth from your gonads, ok?” He nods his head, “No more low class Thai hookers, spend a little cash next time, ok?”

I stare at him. He slaps the cigarette into his mouth, cracks a miniature smile behind his ancient mandibulectomy and disappears.

Bara drops the paper I have just given her and wipes her hand on her shirt. Her perfect face scrunches into a pained sneer as she no doubt imagines what I have just shown The Šaš. I pay, step through the door prepared to introduce my giblets to the inexpensive and better-than-averagely successful Dr. Pik.

My body’s humidity is at 97%, overall embarrassment at 81%.

  1. #1 by melissa on July 8, 2011 - 3:07 pm

    thank you for making me shoot coffee out my nose this morning.

    • #2 by Damien Galeone on July 8, 2011 - 10:04 pm

      Anytime! If you’re not feeling well, I could send you the Šaš’s number…

  2. #3 by Clea on July 10, 2011 - 2:20 am

    He was my doctor too! The first time I met him we were making the requisite small-talk in his office, he asked where I was from. His response was: “’re from California…have you smoked any good marijuana lately?” Then he proceeded to list where in Prague I can get the best weed, and who to buy it from.

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