Suggested Audio Wumpa:
There comes a time in every man’s life when he must accept that he may not be the person he thought he was. On the outside everything my well appear fine and dandy, life could be treating you kindly with no cause for concern. Then, out of nowhere whatsoever, a nagging doubt can begin to sneak in and make us question everything we think we believe in. We’re convinced we have it all sewn up, after all, who else could possibly know us better than ourselves right? Then, one visit to the GP later, and your whole world can be thrown into total disarray. I woke up this morning in much the same manner as I have every morning for the past forty years; weary, aching and hungry. It wasn’t until my third spoonful of morning Cheerios that I suddenly couldn’t shake the feeling that I was living a lie. My breakfast cereal didn’t hold the same appeal that it normally did and instead I had a strange craving for apples and other forest fruit.
I never partake in the consumption of fruit, it’s years since I last bit into an apple and ordinarily I avoid these natural fuels like the plague. Granted, they may be crammed with nutrients and contribute to a lustrous pelt and well-rounded stools but they taste like chalk once the initial bite has passed and there’s nothing less appealing than a mouthful of flavorless mush. I have also heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away but was desperate to disprove this theory so booked an appointment with my local practitioner with the aim of deciphering this conundrum. I expected nothing less than a clean bill of health and to be sent packing with a lollipop and a smile but, what I hadn’t been expectant of, was that my whole life would be thrown into outright chaos and would never be the same again.
The surgery had undergone something of a change in personnel and a new locum had been drafted in after my regular physician, Dr. Honappa Choudrey, had been struck off for not wearing protective gloves during a routine rectal examination. Ordinarily I consider myself a creature of habit and, if there’s one thing that grinds my ghoulies, it’s some sanctimonious stranger with no clue as to my medical history thinking he knows best. However, needs must, and I was determined to suss out these sudden alterations to my regular routine so I took a seat in the waiting room and waited for the desk clerk to call me in. “You’ll be seeing Dr. Neo Cortex. The doctor will call you in shortly” she mumbled, words barely scaling her burly nostril growler.
I often pondered why she hadn’t invested in a dash of electrolysis to cure her affliction. It wasn’t as if she was particularly repugnant or, at least, nothing that a little eye liner and an ironing board wouldn’t remedy. She couldn’t have been any older than fifty and it appeared that she had simply let herself go a little. Sometimes life just happens, one day you’re a beauty queen with legs that stretch right up to your appetite and, the next, you’ve enough hard skin on your heels to graft an extra limb and your breasts, once perky and voluptuous, now resemble a pair of Dachshund’s ears and slap frequently against your love handles. That’s what happens when you forget to moisturize for too long and cease taking care of yourself. One good waxing and she would no longer look like Quint from Jaws and that seemed like a fair trade-off to me.
Anyhoots, I took a seat like a good little lemming and began to peruse the magazine selection. Now, here’s one for you, why is there never a single publication available which caters for the male patient? The last time I checked this was a unisex clinic so I objected to having to read about gardening, home baking and the cellulite of the stars. This was by far my strongest bugbear, tabloid trash teaching us all how to obtain that perfect figure whilst secretly snapping celebrities in various states of undress with bingo wings flapping and unsightly body hair photo-shopped on. It boggles my mind how folk actually buy into this mean-spirited tripe, but then, there’s no accounting for taste. I sneered at the selection and, instead, became locked in fierce optical combat with little Billy across the way.
His neglectful mother was totally absorbed in Good Housekeeping and had no idea that her ‘little angel’ had a fully outstretched digit lodged deep inside his brain, by way of nasal entry. After rummaging around like a bum at a yard sale for a full minute he produced a muculent string of sludge and furiously began rolling it up in his hand, ready to launch in my direction. I gave him the look, the “I’m going to rip your neck open and take a dump on your tonsils” kind of deal, and this just made him all the more persistent. Sensing that I could not halt his impish march, I picked a retaliatory bogey and hurled it across the room. Bullseye, it landed in his eye like airborne conjunctivitis and sealed it shut. “Mommy” he wailed “The nasty man blinded me mommy”. She looked across disapprovingly but I was busy minding my own business, perusing a magazine on skin care, albeit upside down.
“Dr. Cortex will see you now dear”. Saved by the bell, I darted from the crime scene leaving little Billy writhing around in discomfort like an eel in jodhpurs, while his mother forcibly fed him eye drops. That had been a close shave but admittedly had left me feeling rather invigorated. As I walked down the corridor towards the examination room I remembered why I was here and my smile returned to a grimace once more. I was tempted to about-turn and make a hasty exit but eventually I plucked up the courage to knock. After a moment I heard a voice from the other side. “Come in please dear fellow. Make yourself at home”. Something about his tone concerned me and I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was no ordinary doctor. I bit the bullet and slid inside, taking a seat on the couch adjacent to his desk while I awaited his prognosis.
He span his revolving leather chair around to face me and my first thought was that his forehead was unlike any I had ever seen. In truth, it was more of an eighthead, towering above his brow like the skyscraper from Die Hard. At one point I swear I spotted Hans Gruber plummeting to his death from the top floor but tried everything in my power not to stare. Instead I glanced around at the customary wall-mounted certificate of merit. It read: Dr. Neo Cortex – Evil Mastermind which I found less than encouraging but I decided that I was here now, had endured my twenty-minute wait and overcome little Billy in the Battle of the Boogers so it was only right for me to take whatever spoonful of medicine was thrust my way. At the very least I would leave with a lollipop.
“What seems to be the problem?” he asked, stroking his chin pensively. “I have been noticing some unforeseen changes to my dietary preferences and have suddenly developed a taste for apples.” His eyes lit up instantly. “Apples you say?” I nodded yes. “Okay, drop your trousers and bend over.” Call me a cynic, but I swear this is something he wouldn’t have been encouraged to suggest on his internship. If I had informed him of a sharp shooting pain in my prostate then maybe but how the hell was this going to teach us anything about my cravings? “Bend a little lower son. Touch your toes in fact. Then spread your cheeks and whistle for me.” I reluctantly did as he requested, expecting to feel the long arm of science rushing my rectal cavity. Nothing, apart from a slight breeze about my testicles, which had shrunk to the size of a golf ball by this point. “Good. Now get dressed but take your time and make it sexy.”
“Well?” I asked, visibly disgruntled by having my dignity stolen in such an iniquitous manner. “I’m afraid it’s not good” he continued. So why was he rubbing his hands together gleefully? “You my boy are what we refer to in these parts as a Bandicoot. You originate from the marsupial family and can traditionally be found in the Wumpa Isles. I’ve never seen a case here. This is most extraordinary”. Much as I was struggling to comprehend his bolt from the blue, I was more concerned that he was now licking his lips and shuffling his seat closer. “When did these symptoms start?” was his next question. I played ball, despite suddenly feeling as though in great peril. “This morning” I replied. “Then there’s still time. I recommend we keep you in for observation.”
Just then he produced a knife and fork from his medical bag and placed a napkin on his lap. I could take no more, this bastard was sizing me up and I was about to become his next meal. I leapt to my feet and bolted, as fast as my legs could carry me, to the exit and fled back to the lobby. “Guards!” he hollered and behind me there was movement from my rear that suggested I was about to be pursued. I took one last smug look over at Billy who was sobbing uncontrollably now and this gave me all the momentum required to make a hasty retreat. As I opened the door, a completely alien environment awaited. Gone were the dingy streets of my home town and, in their place, was a vibrant forest path littered with obstacles. TNT and Nitro crates flashed, rolling stone emblems crossed my path and numerous pitfalls gaped before my very eyes, each signposting inevitable death.
He may have been twisted but he was also bang on the money with his estimations. I was a Bandicoot, just like he said, my hunched posture and bushy eyebrows attested to this and I could feel my denims chafing against my calves more with every passing moment. My only hope was a tribal mask which sat atop a cluster of crates. I grabbed it fast and instantaneously felt like a million dollars. “Ooga Booga bitches!” I hurdled two gaping chasms with one stride and landed on the back of a stray warthog which carried me away from the advancing goons, grabbing every piece of Wumpa Fruit I could get my furry hands on en route. Eventually my ride dismounted me at a glowing portal and I stepped in, just moments before my pursuers got their grubby paws on me.
It has been three weeks now since my ill-fated check-up and there have been both good days and bad. On the plus side, my new spin move is delightful and, for the first time in my life, I can keep a hula hoop above my waist for a full minute. A distinct downside would have to be the fact that I am doomed to spend the remainder of eternity looking over my shoulder, attempting to escape the grasp of the treacherous Dr. Cortex. I knew there was a reason why men are so reluctant to go for regular medical checks. Never mind, I hear they have the finest witch doctors in the jungle.