I was watching this TV show a couple weeks ago — a relentlessly manipulative program like “This Is Us,” which wants you to shed a tear during virtually every goddamn scene. Anyway, this new soap-operatic show is about three guys from Boston who like ice hockey and other guy stuff and have perpetual girl trouble, mostly with their frustrated wives. One of the guys commits suicide in an opening scene. It turns out another member of the buddy collective had previously cheated with the dead guy’s wife. (Whether the guy who leapt out the window knew about this betrayal is left up in the air.) The third buddy has breast cancer. He goes to a cancer support group and beds down various women who are pondering mastectomies and death. Actually, before he beds them down at home, he screws them in a bathroom in the building where the cancer victims gather to share their angst.
Which brings me to my man-boob.
Yes, friends, there’s a lump in my breast. I noticed it the other night while watching a much, much better show called “Escape At Dannemora,” the debut directorial effort from Ben Stiller. I’m not sure why I was fondling my nipple at the precise moment of the show where the female protagonist — a married, middle-aged prison employee — was engaged in an unseemly sex act with one of the prisoners at the maximum-security facility. It was not a sexy moment. Not at all.
Anyway, for some peculiar reason, I touched my nipple and noticed a little bump. It felt kind of sore. I ignored it for a few minutes, riveted by the performances of Patricia Arquette and Benicio Del Toro, which are truly outstanding. Then I checked the bump again, thinking I’d probably imagined the thing. It was still there.
My wife gave it a quick check and agreed: There’s a bump in your man-boob.
“It’s probably nothing,” she said. “But you should have it checked out.”
I hemmed and hawed a bit, but then my forceful daughter, who’s just home from college for the holidays, demanded that I follow through first thing tomorrow. And so I did, at 7 a.m., before the sun had come up. The young doctor at the clinic, who looked like she’d recently graduated from high school, felt me up and agreed that I wasn’t imagining the lump.
“It’s probably benign,” she said, “but I do think you should have an ultrasound, just in case.”
Her diagnosis wasn’t as dreadful as cancer, but it was alarming just the same.
“It’s probably a fat deposit,” she opined.
I’ll be having that ultrasound next Friday. I’ll be heading to the gym this afternoon.