Medical Tuesday Blog
Uncle Willy’s Willy
Last month we were enlightened by a patient who referred to his phallus by the vernacular for “Richard.” Our family had a different vernacular for a guy’s phallus. As near as I can research our family’s history it started when my father and mother’s brothers were helping each other in the barn, garage and tool shed building business. Since these were all men and we didn’t have indoor plumbing, the men just stepped behind a tree or a shed to decompress their bladders. When Uncle Willy, my mom’s brother was helping with the carpentry, making foundations, setting up the 2 x 4 studs, doing the roofing, setting in the windows and doors, he always seemed to go a little further out to empty his bladder. We boys would always notice that he took two hands to pull out his “Richard.”
Back on the farm, when someone’s fly was un-zipped, we would always tell him his “barn door was open and he better close it before the mare poked his head out.
After Uncle Willy got his “Richard” out of “the barn,” he would always to continue to hold it with both hands to aim it in the appropriate direction. We boys always tried but we never did get a good look at Uncle Willy’s “Richard.”
Now we boys always wondered if Grandma had any problem in showing Uncle Willy how to wash that long “thing” and if she showed him how to retract his foreskin and wash his prepuce? Nobody had seen Uncle Willy’s “Richard” when he emptied his bladder behind the barn. He was always turned to the side away from us. But we all knew it must have been some instrument since Uncle Willy had to use both hands to control it. His son Richard had pre-deceased him and it felt rather odd to use the vernacular for Richard, so we renamed his organ, his “Willy.” That avoided generational confusion. So it was now easier to refer to his voiding manner.
If Uncle Willy’s “Willy” was as phenomenal as we suspected, we understood why he had to use both hands. On the farm it was very important not to pee in your own boots. Because if you did, you would find the other workers would be working farther and farther away from you during the course of the day.
Hippocrates and His Kin / Hippocrates Modern Colleagues