Monday, October 31, 2005

A first date

Here's a tale originally posted way back in March of 2002 to a Yahoo Group frequented by some friends. For a while, I've been contemplating pulling this one out of the archives and posting it. Not on your life, I've always decided. That said, a recent post by Bad News Hughes led me to share my own story of indignity, because when shit happens or, more specifically, when shit happens with alarming symptoms, it's good to know you're not alone. Here now, for your reading displeasure, is the story of my first digital rectal exam.

P.S. As it turned out, we wouldn't be seeing each other around.

* * *

Are you sure you want to read this?


Okay, moving right along...

Today, I had my first appointment with my new family doctor. I haven't been to the doctor for a really long time, and my old family physician lives back east, is about a hundred years old, and won't let anybody in my family wear a hat. So, I figured it was time to get a doctor right here in Toronto, especially since my dad tells me that it's time to start getting checked for colorectal cancer, as does the blood in my stool.

Colorectal cancer is the third most deadly kind of cancer, mostly because it's the first most embarrassing kind of cancer, and manly men like me usually won't go to the doctor about it until blood starts shooting out of their bottoms like a firehose. Determined not to become either a statistic or an ersatz firefighter, I went down to the Family Practice Unit at Mount Sinai to get myself a doctor, and was given an appointment with Dr. C. K——, a resident due to start her own practice in July.

When I arrived for my appointment today, my worst fears were realized: Dr. Caroline K—— is not only young, but also female and attractive. This is not such a bad thing if you're just there to get a plantar's wart looked at (which I was also there to do), but is a little discomfitting if you're there to get your nether regions not only looked at, but poked and prodded. I'd have preferred somebody with a greater resemblance to Ernest Borgnine, only with the long, tapered fingers of a hand model.

But Marty was nowhere to be found, and I was left with Dr. K——. The appointment was oddly similar to an awkward first date; looking back on it, it was so even from the time I showered and got dressed in the morning. I didn't think I'd necessarily wind up getting naked at any point — it being just a first encounter — but I made sure to put on a nice new pair of boxers just in case.

I sat down across from Dr. K—— — Caroline — and we started with an interview, which had all the usual dating-type conversation. "So, what do you do?" she asked. "Tell me about your family history," she said. "Do you smoke? Drink? Exercise? Are you single?" I was comfortable. It seemed to be going well. I was being witty. We were hitting it off.

"How much blood was in your stool?" she asked.

"Um . . . well, any seems like a lot to me," I replied, thrown by the turn in subject matter.

"A dash? A teaspoonful?" she suggested.

What is this — cooking? I wondered. Nonetheless, I gave my best estimate — clarifying that it was all gone now — and we pressed on. She showed me a small card.

"Because you're young, it sounds like it's more likely to be hemmorhoids than cancer. But I can give you a couple of these cards which will show any microscopic traces of blood. You can do this at home. The best way is to put some Saran Wrap over your toilet, and —"

"Wait, wait. Isn't that just a practical joke?"

Dr. K—— made a little grimace. "I know. It's a little gross. But if you can think of a better way, I'd like to hear it."

She then left the room for a little while. When she came back, she said, "I just talked to my supervisor and it's not necessary for you to do the Saran Wrap thing."

"Whew," I said.

"Because," she continued, "we're just going to have to eventually bring you in for a colonoscopy anyway."

"Jesus fuck!" I said.

There had to be a better way. And in fact, Dr. K—— soon thought of one. I have a hunch she knew all along, but she just had to sweet-talk me into it. She suggested that we could do a physical right now, if I was comfortable. "I usually like to give people the option to come back another time, rather than do it at the first appointment," she said, "but. . . ."

"No, no," I replied. "I'm already here. It makes sense." But inside I was thinking, don't I at least get dinner first? What kind of first date is this?

She handed me a gown, as if to say, "Here's something you can wear. Why not lie down? Get comfortable." By the time she came back into the room, I'd stripped down and changed, but still hadn't managed to tie up the strings in the back. I gave up. "What's the point?" I said. "It's not like I'm going to be able to keep you from seeing my butt."

So I laid down, and she began pressing on my stomach. "How does that feel?" she asked. "Any discomfort?" No, I suppose it felt all right to have an attractive young woman massaging my thorax.

"Now, I'm going to ask you to turn on your side and put your knees up to your chest."

"So we're really going to do this?" I asked.

"If it's all right," she said. I complied, turning toward the wall as I heard the snap of latex gloves being donned. It was reassuring to know she played safe. I soon felt some poking and prodding. "How does that feel?" she asked.

What to say? "It doesn't hurt," I said.

"Okay, she said. "Now I'm just going to put on some lubrication. Take a deep breath." I gulped. "It's just going to feel a little bit like you have to go to the bathroom," she reassured me. How many times had I used the same line?

A little in and out, and it was all over. "Was that it? You're done already?" I asked. I turned to face her.

To look in the eyes of someone you've just met who has just stuck her finger into your rectum is a little awkward, to say the least. As Dr. K—— and I locked eyes, I think we both knew our relationship was forever altered. There wasn't much left to say.

Medically speaking, there was good news and bad news. The good: no apparent sign of cancer. The bad: no apparent signs of hemmorhoids. It was all good news really, it just didn't explain what had brought me there in the first place. Dr. K—— explained that she would recommend me to a specialist, as she moved toward the door.

"Will you call me?" I asked.

"One of the secretaries from out front will call you, " she said. "I'll just let you get dressed, and we'll be seeing you around." She left the room and I knew she wouldn't be coming back. I felt like I'd at least deserved a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

I took the walk of shame through the waiting room, enduring the eyes of the receptionists and the other patients, took the elevator down, and emerged blinking into the morning sunlight.

It had been like a one-night stand; a little light conversation, then the seduction and the act itself, followed by the awkwardness. Would I be seeing Caroline again? I didn't know.

In the meantime, I felt a little cheapened, a little used. I needed to shake off the experience and go shopping for compact discs. And so I did.

Quoth subtlety: Somebody saaaaaaaaaave me!

One of the things I like about the show Smallville is that the writers sometimes throw in subtle references for Superman fans.

Take their propensity for stunt casting. You might have seen Christopher Reeve guest star as crippled scientist Dr. Virgil Swann, with Margot Kidder as his emissary, Bridgette Crosby. But don't forget that series regular Annette "Ma Kent" O'Toole played Lana Lang in the movies, or that before Terence Stamp guest-starred as Jor-El, he commanded the last son of Krypton to kneel before Zod. And hey, they're even bringing in John "Pa Kent" Schneider's fellow Duke Boy Tom Wopat in a guest shot this season. And they throw in cute little bits of dialogue too, like when Clark finds a super-powered dog and briefly considers naming him Krypto before discarding it as a stupid name for a dog.

But sometimes, they're not so subtle.

Take the following bit of dialogue from an episode I saw last night featuring fast-swimming newcomer Arthur Curry, who, if the name didn't give it away for you, sported an orange tank top and green shorts that announced him as Superman's future comrade in the Justice League of America, Aquaman:
Arthur Curry: You're a pretty good swimmer yourself, Clark. We should form some kind of Junior Lifeguard's Association.

Clark Kent: Oh, I don't think I'm ready for the JLA just yet.

Smallville writers: [nudge! nudge! wink! wink!]

Me: [audible groan]
And who wrote the episode? Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer. Hey! Swimmer! Writing an episode about Aquaman? I'm surprised he didn't work a self-reference in there. In fact, I'm not totally sure he didn't.

* * *

Speaking of subtle references, you might have caught the news this weekend that Star Trek's Sulu, George Takei, is gay. (You might have also caught this news about a decade ago when he casually outed himself in his memoirs. It was after the part where he dissed Bill Shatner and before the other part where he dissed Bill Shatner.)

Anyway, remember Star Trek IV. Upon returning to the past, Sulu gazes upon the Golden Gate bridge and with true satisfaction, says, "San Francisco ... I was born there." Well, there's a reason they made the character from San Francisco. Yeah, it's got a lot of Asian people, but you know, so does Asia. There's another reason they made the character from San Francisco. Trust me, I know these screenwriters work. Take this previously unpublished transcript of a writers' meeting for Star Trek VI:
Todd Slavkin: Okay, then Kirk says, "Second star and straight on till morning."

Darren Swimmer: Okay, then Sulu says, "Aye, aye, captain. Setting course for Uranus, warp factor 69." Hee, hee!

Todd Slavkin: Ha! Ha! Okay, but he should say "warp factor number two." No, wait! "Warp factor cock!" Ha! Ha!
I rest my case.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

More on dental care

Today, I brushed my teeth and put my toothbrush back in the medicine cabinet. It rolled out of the medicine cabinet, fell into the sink, bounced out, and fell right into the toilet. I watched as it slowly settled at the bottom of the bowl. Then I fished it out, threw it in the garbage, and took a new toothbrush out of its package.

I realized then that washing my hands so that I didn't also expose the new toothbrush to toilet water should probably have been the penultimate step in that sequence.

Free Falling

I ran across this on Neil's Livejournal, and I'm mesmerized. It's only because I've got tabbed browsing that I've managed to tear myself away for a second to write this note. Once I hit "publish", I'll be closing this tab and going back to that one. If anyone needs me, I'll be making Dubya free-fall through space, all limp like a rag doll.

Update: I had to come back for this. Also on Neil's website is the news that an article he wrote (which may be based on the real-life case of former. Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman) is required reading in a course on humour at Marietta College. Simply astounding.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I Am So Sorry

I sold the rights to this old piece to National Lampoon a month or so ago, and I've been wondering when it was going to show up on the website ever since. Jay told me today that it was actually posted right away, but it had fallen off the main page by the time I got around to checking. Anyway, here it is: "I Am So Sorry We Led Your Son to Christ".

Bonus: Here's the Jack Chick tract mentioned in the Lampoon piece. It is at least as amusing, and probably more so.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The early bird is a sucker

[Note: I'm on vacation, so posting might be light around here for the next few days.]

I had a dental appointment on Saturday, and I went despite still having a bad cold. If I'd canceled, I'd have been charged for it, and hey, they're wearing surgical masks, right? I overslept, though, and was actually woken up by the dentist's office calling to see where the hell I was. I didn't pick up the phone—I just read the number off the call display—and immediately threw on some clothes and made the five-minute walk to the office. And when I arrived, I found something interesting:

Every time I've gone to the dentist, I've showed up a few minutes early, only to be made to wait at least 15 minutes. This time, I arrived around 15 minutes late, and was ushered in to see the hygenist immediately.

The lesson? Screw courtesy. I've always called doctors and dentists by their courtesy titles. They always call me by my first name. Not "Mr. Lynn". Courtesy is for doormats. The dentist isn't doing you a favour. You're paying him (or your insurance company is). He works for you. Treat him like it. Make him wait. Make him call you "Mister". Make him change the radio station. It throws him off his game, and you get better service.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Little Hits

Way back in 1972, future Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye compiled a double LP called Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 that caused people to realize that there had been a lot of great underground American music during the late 1960s. In 1998, Rhino Records, realizing there was a lot more great underground American music during the late 1960s, expanded Nuggets into a 4-CD box set. In 2001, realizing there was a lot of great underground music outside the US during the late 1960s too, Rhino released another 4-disc box, Nuggets, Vol. 2: Original Artyfacts From the British Empire & Beyond. And now, in 2005, Rhino's realized there's been a lot of great underground music outside the late 1960s, and released yet another 4-disc box, Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era - 1976-1995. (By all rights, I believe, the children of Nuggets should be entitled to take the patronym and call themselves McNuggets.)

But someone else has already been introducing us to
some of the best music most of us somehow missed during the last couple of decades: Jon Harrison, proprietor of the blog Little Hits. Beginning on New Year's Day of this year, Harrison has worked toward this goal by posting an MP3 each day and leaving the entire archive available for download. By April, he had already posted the equivalent of a 4-CD box set.

We're talking about obscure stuff. Stuff that in a lot of cases is out of print. Stuff that was never digitized, pressed on plastic, and brought into the CD era. Stuff that Harrison has converted into MP3 format from cassette, LP, 45, picture disc, and flexi-disc, often complete with the crackling of a needle on vinyl. And good stuff. Stuff that deserved to go to the top of the charts instead of falling off the bottom and straight into the discount bin. The site is full of power pop and post-punk gems that are catchier than Asian bird flu and make you wonder at how the hell it could be that you've never heard of any of it before.

I advise you start right at the beginning, on the post from January 1, which contains one of the best: The Someloves' "It's My Time". The Grottybeats' "Love Games" follows on January 2, and is just as good. Move forward through the archive. There's lots of great stuff. Some of my favorites include Daryl and the Chaperones' "My Baby's a Spy", The Tony Head Experience's "Debbie One", and The Corn Dollies' "Forever Steven", but it doesn't end there by any means. Got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell? Then check out Tonight's "Drummerman". Or, if you think your ailment might actually be gonorrhea, try They Must Be Russians' "Don't Try To Cure Yourself".

If you like music at all, you ought to find something you really dig at Little Hits. So dig around in the archive and do yourself a big favour.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Playing ball

From the latest "Sports Daily" column by Salon columnist King Kaufman (emphasis mine):
Pujols didn't go from goat to hero like Henderson did, though he had gone 0-for-4, twice making out with two men on base.
Ha! Ha!

Also, from an Emily Schmall article on Harriet Miers in the same publication (emphasis mine; line breaks preserved as they appeared on my screen):
"I was interested in having a woman president," Raggio says.
"She was an electable woman, a woman with a big firm behind

Hee hee!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

How much do bank tellers make, anyway?

"And if that's all your transactions, here's your new balance."

"Huh. It's actually higher than I thought. My paycheque must have been deposited."

"I can check for you." A pause. "Well, there's a deposit from payroll, but ..."


"It's small. That can't be it."



"How small?"

She cites the exact amount of my weekly paycheque.

"That's small?"

A shrug.

"You're saying my paycheque is small?"

Another shrug.

"We get paid weekly, you know. It's not like that's for two weeks."

"Have a good evening, sir."

Mugshots lead to a conviction

Tyler, owner and operator of the best 404 page on the internet, forwarded a link to The Jenville Show, an internet-based cooking show featuring indie rock stars as guests. And it's a great idea; necessity being the mother of invention, it's a good bet that starving musicians are probably well practiced at working wonders with whatever foodstuffs they can scrounge together, making perfectly good meals out of, say, a box of Kraft Dinner and a jar of relish.

Anyway, I'd been ruminating over something for a while now that the Jenville page brought into sharp focus. Check out the mugshots of the guest stars on the main page, or, if you prefer, just look at the two I've reproduced here:

Image hosted by
This is Miles Kurosky, lead singer of the sadly defunct band Beulah.

Image hosted by
This is Neal Pollack, author and frontman of the Neal Pollack Invasion.

There's no way around it. The same hair, the same eyebrows, the same chin ... they are undeniably the same person.

And the thing is, I've actually had up-close-and-personal encounters with both guys. I won the opportunity to eat dinner with Pollack at a book reading for the Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature (a copy of which he forced me to buy, but I'm not complaining, because it's pretty good). And more recently, as I've mentioned, I got to make some chit-chat with Kurosky and a couple of the guys from the band after a Beulah show.* And not only do they look alike, but judging from my experiences with both and from interviews I've seen, they even seem to have similar personalities.

The A Good Band is Easy to Kill DVD shows that after I saw them at their final Toronto show, the band went back to the home of a fan to party, but the host inadvertently provoked Miles into a rather bitter debate over US foreign policy, which led to the band leaving early and Miles calling the host a real asshole in a subsequent interview segment. I can't remember quite clearly if "asshole" is the word he uses, but that's the point he's getting at. I do remember that guitarist/van driver Bill Swan calls Miles a "fucking faggot" after the latter slaps him across the face from the backseat for not heeding his backseat driving. After a long, tense minute of silence, Miles grudgingly apologizes for hitting him, but insists he should have been obeying him. Note that prior to this point, Bill has come across as very laid-back. (And he provides my favorite moment of the DVD when another band member goes into a rant about how much the Massachusetts interstate system sucks, to which he nods sagely without taking his eyes off the road, and adds by way of agreement, "Count Suckula.") So you get the idea that, despite his choice of epithet, Bill wasn't the bad guy here.

Add that to the fact that Miles and Bill disliked each other from the very beginning, way back when they were both mailroom workers, and to the interview footage that makes very clear how Miles is an erudite but very opinionated "strong personality", and you can see that the question is not why Beulah broke up, but why they ever came together in the first place. The answer is that Miles needed an eight-track recorder, and Bill had one, which is similar to how the Van Halen brothers' constant renting of David Lee Roth's P.A. system led to his eventually being invited to join.

As for Neal Pollock, he's no longer associated with former publisher McSweeney's, which Dave Eggers chalks up to his beginning to believe his self-created persona as the World's Greatest Living Writer.

I have the utmost respect for both, but you can see how they might be basically insufferable if you were locked in a room with them. This may be the reason for this apparent dual-identity thing. Maybe Miles/Neal decided his ego was simply too large to be housed in just one persona. Or could he/they have a more nefarious reason for this deception?

I really should have called him/them out on this earlier. So help me, the next time Pollack takes questions from the audience at a book reading, I will. "How, sir, do you explain that you are the same person as Miles Kurosky?" I will demand. "The charade ends here!" I'll be taking my life in my hands, you understand, but this tangled web must come unraveled.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sucking eggs

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI don't want to be too mean, because he's apparently a friend of a friend, but I must say that Metro contributor Ian Nathanson's mugshot for his "Sound Check" column (seen at right) looks like Humpty Dumpty receiving a blowjob.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

On things I'd rather my family didn't read

This weekend, I was watching Hockey Night in Canada and praising Eric Lindros' ability to not only play exciting hockey but also give artfully boring, content-free interviews, ala Crash Davis in Bull Durham. "That sounds like you every time I call," she lamented. "I always hang up and I've never learned anything." She's got a point. It usually goes like this:

"How's work?"

"I'm just happy to be here and hope I can help the organization."

"Well, are you dating anybody?"

"I just gotta play this game one day at a time."

Like that. So you can probably guess that I've taken pains not to reveal the existence of this blog to the family. I think the reasons for this were perfectly summed up in the Onion article "Mom Finds Out About Blog". I just like to keep things on the down-low. I have a creeping sense of horror that they may have found out about it nonetheless. My sister has dropped the occasional reference to things I've posted about, which I've let slide by. Better not to know. But if they are in fact reading this, and while I'm on the subject of things I'd rather they didn't read, let me say this:

Kevin Trudeau is a fraud. Do not buy his book.

Both my mother and my sister have expressed interest in this Kevin Trudeau huckster and his book, Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You To Know About. But I bet the book jacket copy neglects to mention that he's a convicted con man.

My first exposure to Kevin Trudeau came via a Salon article, which made it clear that he's bad news. I could tell that just by looking at him, of course: He may have the name of a Trudeau, but he's got the slick, smug look of a Mulroney, and that ought to be a warning sign right there. I haven't seen a con man this obvious since Creflo Dollar. But if you want a more fair and balanced view than you'll get from those protectionist commies at Salon, try looking him up at Wikipedia, which, by its nature, should give you a more neutral view. And the neutral view is that he's bad news. Check out the various links at the bottom of his Wikipedia entry's page—to the Skeptic's Dictionary, to Quackwatch, to MSNBC. Read an annotated transcript of his latest infomercial. Just do a Google search on the guy. Bad news.

In 1990, Trudeau fraudulently posed as a doctor in order to deposit $80,000 in false checks. The next year, he was convicted of credit card fraud and subsequently spent two years in prison. In 1996, he was forbidden from doing business in the state of Michigan for operating a pyramid scheme. In 1998, he was fined $500,000 by the FTC for making fraudulent claims in six infomercials. In 2004, the FTC fined him another $2 million and banned him outright from appearing in infomercials for his unrepentant, recidivist shysterism. Nonetheless, this convicted felon defies the ban and continues to shill his wares in the late-night time slots. But this time, he's shilling bogus all-natural cures. That means that this time, trusting him may potentially lose you not only your money, but your life, too.

Contrary to my mom's arguments, just because the government doesn't want you to have something, that doesn't make it a good reason for you to have it. But sometimes the goverment is right. The government doesn't want you to have sarin gas or fissionable uranium either, and for good reasons. I have no problem with them adding snake oil to their list of banned substances.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I hear she's very bright

Forget Roe v. Wade, says Slate's Bruce Reed -- where does US Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers stand on serial commas?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Walking in Memphis

Rock and roll all started with Elvis, some say. That’s not quite true, but let’s start there anyway. A number of famous musicians in Elvis’ home of Memphis, Tennessee, had the honour of working with the King of Rock and Roll. Of course, they were mainly famous for the sole reason that they worked with Elvis; however, blind country legend Ronnie Milsap, who played on From Elvis in Memphis as a session pianist in 1969, later became famous in his own right.

When Milsap released his debut, Ronnie Milsap, in 1971, legendary Memphis-based producer Jim Dickinson contributed extra keyboards. Dickinson worked with a lot of local artists, the most well-known of whom is Aretha Franklin, to whom he also lent his keyboard skills in 1970’s Spirit in the Dark. However, what makes Dickinson a legend is his work with cult power-pop group Big Star on their swan song, Third/Sister Lovers.

Future Blues Brother Steve Cropper also played on Third/Sister Lovers, and as guitarist for Stax Records house band Booker T. and the MG’s, he worked with pretty much every artist on the Memphis-based label, including soul legends Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, and Wilson Pickett as well as bluesman Albert King. But the real star of Third/Sister Lovers is, of course, the frontman of Big Star (and the only member left in the band by then except drummer Jody Stephens), Alex Chilton.

Prior to joining Stephens and fellow band members Chris Bell and Andy Hummell, Chilton enjoyed the most success of his career as the teenage singer of The Box Tops, who are chiefly remembered for the single “The Letter”. Chilton was the only mainstay of the band throughout its brief lifetime, and was surrounded by a revolving cast of musicians.

One of these was keyboardist Rick Allen, not to be confused with the one-armed Def Leppard drummer of the same name. Allen was previously a member of the Gentrys, who are mainly remembered (if at all) for their hit single “Keep on Dancing”. Note that even if Chilton had never joined Big Star, that band can still be connected with the Gentrys: Ken Woodley played bass on Chris Bell’s I Am the Cosmos and was a member of the band Alamo with former Gentry Larry Raspberry.

Another member of the Gentrys was Jimmy Hart – yes, that Jimmy Hart, who became known to wrestling fans years later as “The Mouth of the South”. Besides yipping through a megaphone during his charges’ matches, Hart employed his musical skills behind the scenes by writing a staggering number of entrance themes for good guys and bad guys alike, and by distinguishing himself on The Wrestling Album with the now-dated but surprisingly not-bad “Eat Your Heart Out, Rick Springfield”.

In notable wrestling-related recordings with fellow Memphians, Hart (aka “The Colonel”) collaborated with Elvis impersonator/grappler Wayne “The Honky Tonk Man” Farris on the latter’s eponymous theme song, as well as “Honky Love” and “Cool Cocky Bad”, and with Farris’s cousin Jerry “The King” Lawler on the song “Stormy Weather”.

You can draw more direct connections through non-performing personnel (Chips Moman was engineer to The Gentrys and producer to Elvis), but the knob-twiddlers aren’t as fun. And you can go in surprising directions if you're willing to leave Memphis city limits. But as shown above, by playing six degrees of separation from musician to musician and without ever leaving the Memphis music scene, you can draw a path from the King of Rock and Roll to both the Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All Time and Memphis’ Other King.

Future plans

My mom: When I go, I don't want any funeral or any service. Just cremate me.

Me: Well, is there anything you want done with the ashes, at least? Like, do you want them in the garden or anything?

My mom: Well, I don't think you'd want to eat the tomatoes that year.

Me: Good point. Where do you want them, then?

My mom: I don't care. Surprise me.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Something to try

I'd like someone out there to please try this:

The next time you're in the bathroom standing at a urinal and the boss walks in, finish urinating and then walk over to the sink and wash your hands. Feel free to make polite conversation. Then, once you've thoroughly washed and dried your hands and only then, tuck your penis back into your pants and do up your fly. Until that point, feel free to look your boss in the eye and talk to him, but leave it just hanging out there.

What can he say about it? You're all guys there, and it's nothing he wouldn't see in the change room at the company gym. And if you make sure you wash up both before and after you zip up, you can make the valid point that you're doing it for sanitary reasons.

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