65. It’s very simple Mr King. In 4 hours you die. Cue evil laugh – ha ha ha ha haa

James Bond

There is a quaint little park in South Korea called Haesindang Park which is on the border to North Korea.

It is more commonly known as Penis Park as it has about fifty gigantic erect penis sculptures. Some are many meters tall, some are anatomically correct while others have faces and dual heads. Take your prick (couldn’t resist!)

The story behind it was that a virgin woman was waiting for her fisherman beau to come back from a fishing trip. She was sitting precariously on some rocks (as you do) and a storm suddenly came in and swept the pour soul out to a watery demise.  The fish stock then completely dried up.

Boo hoo!

One local suggested that he knew the answer. The deceased virgin female needed a male penis to please her.

Yes, of course, she did (I am rolling my eyes with you, my sisters!)

At that he climbed onto the highest rock and tearfully announced, pounding his chest “I do this for crown, country and fish stock” (or the South Korean equivalent), dropped his shorts then his knockoff Calvin Klein boxers and promptly concluded a five-finger shuffle into the welcoming waves. That seemed to have worked somewhat and some fish stock returned. Thankfully, for fish lovers everywhere, to sooth the virgins spirit even more instead of, as the French would say ‘Hommes dans la mer’ (Men into the sea) they erected this noble park.

The memorable words still shock like someone just whispered it in my ears yesterday.

“If you don’t use it, you will lose it”

That was the nurse leading the Erectile Dysfunction class 101, cheerfully informing us that if we didn’t use the pump after the prostatectomy what would be in store for us. I didn’t need telling even the once, I was happy to do whatever. What they never said however is when to stop using it. Many months later when feeling and function in the King began to slowly return to some sort of normality, I wondered if it was time to bin it. Luckily, I never did but just stopped using it. I have instead been using my friend the injection, once a week, to speed things up while the recovery process continues.

Gradually, even the injection was not much more effective and he was still a bit sluggish. Eventually, I put it down to the general lack of exercise and started to use the pump regularly as well and that seemed to get things back on track. The general modus operandi was to put together the injection parts, administer the injection, the King would watch me, I would watch the King out the corner of my eye and we would watch Netflix together. Normally, we would find a nice horror film or a couple of juicy episodes of Forensic Detective. Nothing like someone’s grisly demise or science unraveling a so-called perfect murder to entertain.

Now on this particular occasion, there were a couple of juicy episodes. Brat of a son decides to blow his dad’s head off all because he wouldn’t buy him a new car. He had deliberately set his car on fire hoping dad would get him the latest model but when dad dared to suggest a secondhand one or nothing that was it – fate sealed. I looked at the instant parallels with my life and my son and as long as I remained poor and didn’t turn into a banana, cake, slushy or chocolate the voracious Joel would continue to love and look after me.  The second episode was the husband who wanted to run off with his new floozy but there was the little matter of the wife who would be taking half of his fortune. Shame on her after washing his boxers for nineteen plus years! Finally, not to be outdone the third episode was the wife who was partial to slipping her husband a little bit of our favorite lethal heavy metal friend, Thallium, in his Ice Tea drink that he took to work.


What an excellent evening’s worth of viewing.

Then something hit me. Well, more precisely something was just staring at me. The King with his big olde one eye was nonchalantly staring up at me. I looked back at him confused. I had just been engrossed in three episodes of Forensic Detective, a total of an hour and a half worth of TV. Undeterred, I just ignored it. The King should have only been around for two episodes, you could pretty much set your watch by it.

When we hit the unrelenting two-hour mark, with the king still staring menacing away at me action had to be taken.

“I do this for Crown, country and I don’t have any flipping fish stock”

He didn’t and wasn’t going anywhere!

There was something else that the nurse, leading the Erectile Dysfunction class 101 class cheerfully told us which was even more frightening than her ‘use it or lose it’ quote. The new word that entered our vocabulary.


‘Priapism is a long-lasting painful erection. If you have had an erection for more than 4 hours it can cause permanent damage to your penis if not treated quickly. An erection that lasts this long needs to be treated in hospital as soon as possible to help avoid permanent scarring, damage or disfigurement to the penis.’ Another quote also threw gangrene in there just in case you didn’t get the message.

There are times in my previous life when this story would have been the thing of sweet dreams. It would have enabled me serious bragging points, cult status and a possible alternative career on a smutty small screen somewhere. However, when it seems to come to me nothing is straight forward and usually, I tend to be on the hot fag end of the situation.

We were not quite at the three hours mark and the King was indeed a pain both mentally and physically. It was at that point I did what any rational, sensible, educated, prostate cancer expert would do and said sod this I’m going to bed. I threw off my slippers, turned off the light and climbed into bed in pain and thoroughly pissed off. It was almost comical how a few short minutes later I jumped wide-eyed and said what the hell was I doing. I actually swore quite a bit and almost sucker-punched myself in the face but you get the drift.

“I do this for Crown, country” blah, blah.

Nah, mate. Think of the Rocky movie with the Russian who says “Is that the best that you can do? I am still here!”

I really didn’t fancy an Uber ride to A & E. I would rather have gone in there with a severed leg in my hand than end up in some doctor’s bestselling memoirs of funny memorable moments in A&E. So, as you do, I hit the tried and trusted Google and found the NHS page on said condition.

First of all, it reassuringly announced that the safety limit was three hours and not the four that I had believed. I had just passed that by fifteen minutes. What a fantastic start!

These were the things it said to try,

Try to go for a pee, have a warm bath or shower, drink lots of water, go for a gentle walk, try exercises, such as squats or running on the spot or take painkillers like paracetamol if you need to.

I had to ask, well actually I swore a tad. Did they accidentally cut and paste this from either the headache page or their damn date night page instead because it was a fat lot of nonsense, in my serious time of need. The only thing missing from the list was the Chicken Korma, candlelight and Teddy Pendergrass playing in the background.

These were the things it said not to do,

Do not apply ice packs or cold water to your penis – this can make things worse, do not have sex or masturbate – it won’t make your erection go away, do not drink alcohol and do not smoke.

Well, I found out twice one suggestion doesn’t work and I’m hardly going to ask him if he wants a fag or a drink for his efforts so that left only one to try.

I got a jug from the kitchen and I had plenty of ice but the only cold liquid in the fridge was strawberry flavoured water. I said this isn’t some tantric, pampering nonsense so he isn’t getting that. Luckily it was winter so the tap water was ice cold.

Nothing happened for the first few minutes.

Then slowly, oh so slowly the King slipped back on his jacket, took his encore and headed for the stage door. He took his flipping time walking across the stage but eventually after about fifteen minutes he slammed the door shut, sticking two fingers up as he did.

I looked at the injection package. Nope, not written in Russian or looking dodgy in any way. Just that good olde Ellis luck paying me a visit.

To quote an old idiom of getting back on the horse, I did just that weeks later with another injection and all was well.

OK, move along now nothing more here to sea (no, not a spelling mistake so don’t write in to tell me).

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