Tuesday, March 4, 2008


When I lived in San Francisco, I worked for a urologist in Chinatown whose specialization was what he called "electile dysfunction". Most of his reports involved takng a painful personal history from a patient, injecting the guy's penis with a dose of papaverine and slipping a little tissue paper sleeve over his penis to see if he would get hard enough to tear the paper. After what sounded like a brief, cold discussion, the unfortunate man would be sent home, if he was lucky, with a monster woody and the reminder if it was still there after four hours to go to the emergency room. Since many of his patients arrived via public transportation, I felt their anguish on being signed out.

I also felt for the women who might have to ride pressed up against them on BART or Muni.

This doctor's dictation was sprinkled throughout with glib talk of elections. I always think of him on vote day. Here's hoping we all have a good election.

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