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Ben Trovato

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Five things you didn’t know about your penis (his name isn’t really Mr Bojangles?) and other health snips from WebMD

Somewhere between the Nigerians trying to empty my bank account and an Indian who says he can give me a penis a horse would be proud of, I keep getting unsolicited e-mails from something called WebMD. I don’t know what is worse – the Mumbai Willy Whisperer or Internet-based doctors who think they know what is best for me.

Health is a sensitive issue right now, what with the local quack squinting down my ear hole, then shaking his ancient head and telling me I should see an Ent.

I found this odd. Why would a giant tree-like creature that helped destroy the evil Saruman’s fortress at Isengard be interested in my ear? Besides, these brutes are capable of killing an Uruk-hai with a single punch and I wouldn’t want one fiddling about near my eardrum. When I pointed this out, the doctor looked at me through narrowed eyes and said he wanted me to see an ear, nose and throat specialist. Apparently they are also called Ents. I bet people confuse the two all the time.

I generally ignore e-mails from strange doctors on the grounds that, if they were any good, they would be in the Bahamas up to their eyeballs in cocaine and dusky foxes and not wasting their time writing for free on the Internet.

One of their more recent nuggets was headlined: “10 Foods to Boost Male Health”. While I am the first to support the argument that there are enormous, almost insurmountable, differences between men and women, I find it hard to believe that there are as many as 10 different types of food that are great for men but are of no benefit to women. We’re different, but not that different. Bunny chow, for example, is very good for both sexes. And everyone knows that five servings of fruit and vegetables a day will eventually kill you, regardless of your gender.

Oysters are top of the WebMD’s list of food for men. They say that just a few oysters a day can boost the cardiovascular system and help erectile function at the same time. What they don’t say is that a few oysters a day will end up costing you at least R3000 a month. Sell your children into slavery, if you must. The main thing is that your gentleman parts work properly. They also warn that people with liver damage caused by alcohol abuse are susceptible to infection from raw oysters. It’s a crying shame, really. There’s nothing better than a dozen freshly shucked Knysna specials washed down with 500ml of methylated spirits.

They say that another of the Super Foods for Men is broccoli. Good God. Real men don’t eat broccoli. In fact, it’s safe to say that broccoli is the Elton John of the vegetable world. Harsh on the eye and quite unpalatable.

These cyberdocs squatting in my inbox also say that a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help prevent heart disease and cancer, “the No. 1 and No. 2 killers for men over 35″. Not around these parts, they aren’t. Where I live, desperadoes in balaclavas and shattered dreams are the two biggest killers of men.

Here are some of the other topics:

The truth about beer and your belly. They seem to get along just fine.

Why men like porn. If the deputy minister of home affairs and her cabal of right-wing advisers are to be believed, it’s because they are possessed by the devil.

Six sex mistakes men make. I know of only one – not leaving before the sun comes up.

Five things you didn’t know about your penis. His name isn’t really Mr Bojangles?

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