categories: Cocktail Hour
Yesterday I got a call from Guy Hoden, the deputy chief over at the department of testicular affairs. As you can imagine, things are in a tizzy over there, and he sounded frazzled.
“Look, Gessner,” he said. “We need your help….we are up against it here….”
“Anything for you guys,” I said, magnanimous as always. I am a great believer in supporting the fellow members of my tribe of one-balled men.
“Ok…well, it’s like this. With Lance down we need a new hero.”
I was flattered of course. The way to my heart is through my ego. But I’m also a realist.
“That’s very kind, Guy. But I’m a mid-list environmental writer. I’m no celebrity.”
I was hoping he would argue with me on that point, but he simply said:
“Look, it’s between you and Tom Green.”
I could barely remember who Green was–some MTV personality?–but was still a little flattered.
“And we couldn’t find Tom Green,” he continued.
Crestfallen, I asked what was expected of me.
“Can you still ride a bike?” he asked.
“Well, I’m a little chubby these days. And kind of old.”
“If we pumped you full of human growth hormones and steroids do you think you could win something?”
I tried to answer but couldn’t. Guy had broken out into wild peals of laughter.
“Sorry, sorry,” he said. “Just a little in-house joke ’round here. Gallows humor, you know.”
“Well is there anything else you can do? Anything else we can celebrate about you?”
“Well, I teach.”
“Not sexy enough.”
“And I write a lot of books.’
“Nope. Nobody uses books anymore.”
For a long time we were both silent. I got the feeling Guy was going to hang up and resume the department’s search for Tom Green.
“Well, I do have this Youtube video where I use my cross country skis to ski on the beach. A bunch of people have seen it.”
“Youtube? Why didn’t you say that first! And skiing the beach! Perfect!”
I said nothing. I could almost hear him thinking on the other end of the phone.
“Hey,” he said at last. “You don’t happen to be the world champion of this beach skiing thing ,do you?”
“Well, as far as I know, no one else does it.”
“So you kind of are the world champion! I like it, I like it. I can see the campaign now. Having recovered from death’s door, this one-balled hero slowly returned to health by skiing the beaches of North America. And then he took home the gold!”
“Well, technically there’s no gold—“
“Quiet I’m thinking. We’ll sign up Nike, they need somebody new.”
“Nike doesn’t make—“
“This is going to work! America needs a testicular hero and you’re going to be our man!”
I tried the idea on and found that the more I thought about it the more I liked it. And hell, it might even help me sell some books.
“I’ll do it!” I said.
“Great, great. But first one question.”
He paused for a second before asking:
“Do you think you could ski the beach faster if we pumped you full of steroids?”
I started to answer but my words were drowned out by his laughter.