In Honor of the Venture Bros., I Got Testicular Torsion

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS TALK OF THE GENITALIA, BOTH IN FICTIONAL AND NON-FICTIONAL TERMS. THE AFFLICTION IS REAL AS IS THE PAIN AND RISK IF EXPERIENCED. IF ANY OF THIS MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE, MOVE ALONG OR GO SEE A DOCTOR. OTHERWISE, PLEASE BE AN ADULT ABOUT IT AND LAUGH IT UP AT MY EXPENSE!

“Suddenly it felt like someone kicked me in the rocks… and never took their foot away!” – Dean Venture.

Some people get tattoos in memoriam of lost love. Some create artwork, whether paintings to gaze upon or paeans to listen to in awe.

Others however are gifted by simple divine providence.

When I had lain eyes on episode 1.09 of The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim) titled, “Are You There God? It’s me, Dean.” I was introduced to an alien malady so severe to the male nether region, I felt nauseated just hearing the ailed wails of the poor afflicted Dean Venture.

So where do I fit in all of this? Well, I haven’t been super active as of late on this site because recently, I had fallen victim to that which had me captivated throughout this entire episode.

Dr. Venture asks half his brood, how this could have happened? That’s the number one question you will get, whether at the hospital or from friends who didn’t even know something like this existed.

I haven’t been hanging out with Triana Orpheus, as Dr. Venture suspects Dean is and also thinks is on the dope. And NO, I haven’t been “shooting dope into my scrotum.”

The causes are varying and much more pedestrian. Age, frequency of bouts, or inheritance (surely not the good kind) can play a role. A condition that is known as Bell Clapper is also a massive contributor. I’ll spare you the details, but if you’re of the academic mind, there’s a keyboard right in front of you.

When the Patriarch Venture insists his son drop trou so he can palpate the region, Dean is mortified. He would rather see a real doctor and outside of Dr. Orpheus, the only one “on-call” so to speak is the inimitable Billy Quizboy (and not, you know, a certified urologist.)

Even when the doctor’s in, Dean refuses to show. It’s wicked embarrassing. With no other recourse, Dean relents and shows the gang what’s the BIG fuss. They stand aghast, which leaves poor Dean painted with an even more worried face.

To be honest, I was pretty mortified to tell anybody close because it’s not exactly that common an ailment and one of rather a private (yeah, I know) nature. Things like this are what keep men out of the hospitals and into the funeral parlors. I don’t mean to sound so maudlin, but men simply refuse to see doctors because they are too embarrassed for things sometimes totally less vulnerable than this. I digress.

Billy reveals to Dean that it is no space parasite but rather acute testicular torsion. In layman’s terms, his balls pulled a 180. At his age, it only happens to 1 in 4,000. For men like me, the numbers are there, probably just not as high.

Having experienced this before, it’s simply worked itself out. I thought had no reason to worry and if I did, I’d wait it out before I told anyone for the sake of shame. Yeah, bad idea.

Dean’s options are really quite simple at this juncture. The path of least resistance, which is doing nothing does the most damage. The way of science shows orchiopexy, a surgical procedure that corrects the problem and prevents further instances by “tying it down.”

Dean is none too keen with this latter option, but waiting it out would have catastrophic effects, resulting in imminent death and removal of the gonad(s). Hey, this is a fucking show about science, no matter how outlandish and fantastical that science may be!

Through the hot score of J.G. Thirwell contrasting Dean’s operation and Brock’s single-handed trouncing of the Monarch’s Minions (a fantastic complementary B plot), ends in the success of the operation, complete with Billy’s signature Sheepshank knot.

Coming to, Dean wakes up in a big diaper fashioned of dressing. He’s visited by a procession of well-wishers including Dr. Orpheus offering him a Zuni fetish doll, Billy informing Dean he’s hooked him up with the “complete package”, H.E.L.P.E.R. offering him a melted freeze-pop (possibly to exemplify what Billy was referring to), Pete White offering Dean his first pubes in an envelope and Trianna offering him the best gift of all- sympathy.

Now, in reality, the post-op protection was done to cartoonish effect, I mean, DUH! (It’s more like a brassiere for your bits.) I didn’t have any visitors outside of my girlfriend who was by my side most of the time (outside of the operation, of course.)

The episode ends where it started, with the Ventures and Brock, suspended over a lake teeming with nightmarish exotic fish. This is the Venture BROS. though and before they are cut loose to their deaths, Hank has the ‘situation’ as well. Ugh. Sins of the father.

The tag to this hilarious bit of television is a PSA by the Venture Clan from the Scrotal Safety Commission for Testicular Torsion. They explain the dangers of this seldom talked about the situation.

Now, this isn’t some cheap mining for sympathy or some sick way to pass a recent genetic mishap for nostalgia. You know me better than that.

What prompted me to put digits to keys and pound away at this piece (had to) is: For one, I’m still pretty bed-bound, convalescing, and watching the Venture Bros. I now pine for as the wound is still fresh (had to part Deux). Secondly, this particular episode resonated with me in a way I fully understand along with the author of it, Doc Hammer based on his experience. Tertiary, I’ve decided that instead of dreading to explain something to friends and family through spoken word, I’d do it through the best creative and cathartic vessel I could: writing about something with a dash of humor and owning it with unparalleled gumption.

In that ‘gut-busting’ (seriously, shit really makes you feel like your insides are tearing at the seams) PSA, there are three words to take heed: Stop. Touch. Tell.

To be honest, in all this, I’d rather take the dreaded fucking Candiru any day of the week over this shit.

About Robert Kijowski

Robert Kijowski
Robert J. Kijowski is a screenwriter who enjoys a good chuckle and an even better weep when indulging in art both good and even better bad. He enjoys the company of strangers in a theatre but adores the camaraderie of friends watching Netflix. He also loves to talk- a lot. This can be read through his recaps and reviews on the Workprint or heard through his weekly movie podcast, After the Credits. His presence can be felt through Facebook, Spotify or Ouija. Don’t use the latter though- he almost always ghosts people.

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