Embarrassing Bodies: The Good, The Bad and The Incontinent

'There's no shame, we're all the same' says the blurb for Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies. Well I don't know about you, but I don't have knockers like Spaniel's Ears...
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'There's no shame, we're all the same' says the blurb for Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies. Well I don't know about you, but I don't have knockers like Spaniel's Ears...

‘There’s no shame, we’re all the same’; I have a problem with the strap-line for Embarrassing Bodies, mainly that the programme content doesn’t illustrate the sentiment. I don’t have a fanny that looks like a Vileda mop head. I don’t have anal warts, spots on my arse that look like someone’s sprayed me with poison or a weeping wound on my leg that prompts my work colleagues to ask, ‘what’s that smell?’ whenever I get too close. Inexplicably, some of the people featured have suffered for twenty or thirty years, too ashamed, too embarrassed to visit their regular GP. They must have been so relieved when Dr. Christian arrived with his mobile surgery to film it all for national TV, their built-up shoes dragging along the street with hasty excitement. Not that the prospect of private treatment paid for by Channel 4 has anything to do with it.

The first patient was Dean. Dean suffered with ‘extreme’ bowel movements, and not in an adrenaline-fuelled way. They didn’t skydive into the toilet without a parachute, but rather just came out when they felt like it. Ten to twelve times a day. And sometimes in his pants.

‘I’m not a stranger to squatting in fields when I get stuck’

He informed (the annoyingly perkily named) Dr. Pixie McKenna.

‘And they’re very loose’

Cue Dean balled up in the foetal position on an examination table, and Pixie probing an arse which looked like what I can only describe as plankton-sucking sea creature. The good news was it ‘looked clean’, which can possibly be interpreted as relief that he didn’t shit on her hand. The bad news was he then had to go and visit a ‘Biofeedback Physiotherapist’, a job that surely nobody would ever want. Ever.  Apart from Jean in her multicoloured polo-neck, jauntily shoving tubes up Dean’s nipsy and beaming like a benign auntie.

‘This will assess muscle control’

Incredibly, the decision to visit the Embarrassing Bodies clinic was affected by her daughter comparing the lumps to bollocks and commenting, ‘for God’s sake mother, put your testicles away’

She smiled, merrily sticking the tube in with increasing vigour and ignoring his erection. But you know what it’s like; you’re being filmed for national TV, the country now knows you shit your pants and a woman who looks like Joan Sims is shoving something up your arse. That boner isn’t going down, Dean. And attempting to cup it only draws more attention to it. Now that is embarrassing.

But not quite as embarrassing as Joanna. Poor, simple Joanna who had been backcombing her hair for THIRTY YEARS to hide two large lumps on her head; when I say ‘large’, I’m not exaggerating. They were bloody massive. She could have gone out with an eyepatch and people would have given her money for Children in Need.

‘They’re like a little party piece’

She simpered.

‘But I think now’s the time to get rid of them. I have to put hairspray over one side and then I fluff up the other side to match’

Unfortunately the result was similar to a Playmobil Chewbacca, and didn’t take other factors into consideration. Like wind. Incredibly, the decision to visit the Embarrassing Bodies clinic was affected by her daughter comparing the lumps to bollocks and commenting, ‘for God’s sake mother, put your testicles away’. After a bit of arse-clenching (no, not Dean again) prodding and poking, the diagnosis was swift; cysts. Hard, veiny cysts that grow wherever hair grows. And have to be sliced out.

‘I think it’s time they went’

Nodded Joanna. Fuck me, Lansbury. You think?

There followed a myriad of strange complaints, including a man whose fingernails grew out of the end of his fingers like talons, a woman with coldsores (that’s not fucking embarrassing enough; get some Zovirax and stop wasting everyone’s time), a girl in her twenties with tits that looked like Spaniels ears and Leanne, who kept pissing her pants. To be fair, it wasn’t a surprise - if ever a woman looked like she would piss herself, it was Leanne. She had the watery, flaccid face of a gusset sprinkler and the gormless attitude that almost made you believe she deserved her affliction. Dr. Christian sent her for some kinds of tests involving tubes and measuring jugs. Fuck her, was my opinion. That’s why Always created sanitary towels and Ikea created mattress protectors. Funny how some people just get your back up.

Get some fucking weight off, you’ll be amazed how quickly lumbering like cartoon henchman will turn into a normal run. Dyspraxic my arsehole.

Then we learnt all about Polycystic Ovaries, a condition that can make women rather more hirsute than normal. I mean, I’m no stranger to plucking witchy hairs out of my chin, but this lass looked like a cross between Terence Trent D’arby and Grizzly Adams. And then they zapped her goatee with lasers, and she looked like Terence Trent D’arby chewed by bears. Maybe a classic example of not sticking your nose into something a bowl of warm water and a Bic can handle; I hope she read the terms of her contract before they fucked her face up.

There was a very interesting section on falling fertility rates in men; for example, did you know that men could become totally infertile in a couple of generations? And that 2.5 million men in the UK are jaffas?  To illustrate this, Dr. Christian took a trip to a local paintballing centre to (groan) ‘see if they’re firing blanks’.  Twenty-one year old Joe said he wasn’t worried about the prospect of being infertile, despite his habitual thirty fags a day and twenty pints a week; personally I would have said his pronounced twitch and cats arse goatee was more of a concern. Wanking over his ‘tennis player itching arse’ Athena poster won’t get anyone pregnant and that’s probably as much use his sperm’s going to get, though it didn’t stop him getting excited scrutinising his little fellas under the microscope. Shame none of them were actually moving and it looked like a mass tadpole burial site.

And then for the round-up. Dean came back to tell everyone he was shitting himself less. Joanna revealed her normal head, free of the bollocks now lying in the surgeons Tupperware box and the woman with pensioner tits revealed normal tits that were now sliced up and scarred for life. Dr. Christian took to the streets to test how dyspraxic the general public are – that’s fucking clumsy to you and me.  Apparently the condition can be embarrassing for children as it often means ‘being picked last for games’. I’m sure this was an honour previously reserved for the fat kid who couldn’t kick/throw/run but the good news is that he/she can now add dyspraxic to their list; what a load of utter shit. Get some fucking weight off, you’ll be amazed how quickly lumbering like cartoon henchman will turn into a normal run. Dyspraxic my arsehole.

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