Sunday, July 11, 2004

When the medical terminology is worse than the cure

Fact: I’m super-squeamish about all things blod, guts, and medical. One thing I know, though, is that I couldn’t possibly have got through my childhood at all, had the well-intentioned Dr Michael Carr-Gregg been espousing his stuff back then.

So fluoro lighting is especially awful for boys? Dunno about the science behind this, but I’d personally always thought that schools introduced fluoro lighting so as to give even 20-something teachers that haggard look of “I’m so over this job already – it’s just as well I’ve got the exercise of unlimited capricious authority up my sleeve”.

Meanwhile, hard plastic seats for boys are also apparently part of the problem. Now, as one who rode the tail-end of the trad two-seater school desk wave, to land on plastic classroom chairs c.1977, I’ve gotta say that the plastic chair era was a vast improvement on that which went before it. Not only were/are plastic chairs hugely slouch-able, their wooden desk precursors were spookily Miss-Havisham-esque, so riddled with ancient engravings as to deeply trouble the mind of a delicate young angel such as myself.

Nothing could have so vexed or disturbed me as a twelve-year-old, however, than the news that boys of my age “don't have a lot of fat over their pelvic girdle”. What is a “pelvic girdle”? For chrissake, at 40, the sudden fact that I have a bit that I’ve never heard of – a bit with a name that sounds like it’s a disease affecting only elderly women – creeps me out. I don’t think that, at 12, I could have possibly coped. So thanks for you and your big mouth, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg. While I’m sure that the words “pelvic girdle” would have many twelve-year-old boys rolling on the floor in hysterics, some more-sensitive male pre-pubescents would be simply mortified at the biology lesson.

I’m just grateful that I had three-and-a-half good decades between finding out about Santa: The Truth and the Finding Out the Real Name For Your Bum. With this my last illusion shattered, I'm never going to sit/dance/fuck comfortably again, pelvic girdles ain't got no mojo.

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