Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hello Mudda. Hello Fadda.

OK. There are some of you out there who may not want to read this. It involves penises. Thought I'd warn y'all.

I have a point here, but it's going to take me more than a minute to get there. Strap yourself in for the ride.

In general, I don't do gooshie eye la-la Romanticism well. Weird, because I mostly read Romance novels. Yeah. I know. There's an attitude I really don't get, one which shows up a lot around pregnancy and babies and sex. I have trouble putting it into words, but I know the feeling of annoyance I get when I see it. It's the adoration of the magical. The mystical occurrence which brings us all closer together while we experience the wonder of it all.

Oh! Forgot.

Discussions of menstruation bring this on too. As in the utterly stupid one of "Now I feel closer to all the women who have experienced this before me. I look forward to my monthly cycle so that I can be part of the cycle of the earth and moon and water and appreciate the connection of all women together in their fertility cycle throughout time."

UGH! Stop it.

Stoppit. stoppit. stoppit.

It shows up around sex too. But since society don't *talk* about sex too much, it's harder to peg in a conversation. I first noticed that I had a screw loose when I was in High School and two of my friends started talking about boners. "It's like there's really a Bone in there! God, it's so beautiful."


Excuse me, but WHAT?!?!

First of all, I knew she was a full on idiot for bringing up the Bone/boner thing, but secondly... what? Yeah, I know. I've got a screw loose.

I stumbled onto this in a book I was trying to read recently. The heroine started fantasizing about the hero's dick. I totally don't get it. Really. I could spend hours fantasizing about the curve of a wrist, the angle of two curved fingers on a wineglass, or the back of some one's neck. (Cary Grant had a great back of the neck curving into the shoulder. Sean Connery's neck is great too. Just below his ear. Sigh.) But to go on and on about a penis?

So not me.

I stopped reading the book.

(By the way, after I put this one down, I started reading Laura Kinsale again. Jesus. Does ANYONE do that mute expression of overwhelming desire better than her? I had forgotten how many times in Flowers from the Storm Jervaulx leans his forehead into Maddy's neck when he is desperately needy. No kiss, no words, just pure want and need and reliance. Help me, I'm passing out over here. *fans self*)

So back to my loose screw. Here's the thing: I grew up around horses, dogs, birds, and anything else that wandered in. And that involved taking care of them in the most in-your-face manner. Especially the horses. Mucking stalls, picking feet, sweeping urine off the floor. Flushing a gaping wound in the shoulder when a filly caught her flesh on a nail. Tubing a horse with gallons of water and oil when she colicked. Assisting in the removal of a mummified fetus from an infected uterus. Really gross shit.

But the one that tops it all: Sheath cleaning.


Thank god we didn't have too many geldings around. Because the big boys generally take care of this themselves. (Stallions drop down a number of times a day, whereas geldings are a lot more shy and therefore dirty. Requiring cleaning. Up inside the sheath. Your hands and arm smell for DAYS, no matter if you wear shoulder-high examination glove or not.)

In case you don't quite know what sheath cleaning entails, here's a link a friend sent which contains this excellent song (a version of which I've heard before somewhere). (Sing it to "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda. Here I am at Camp Granada"):

How's it hangin'?
So much cleaner.
Aren't you glad I
washed your wiener?
I'll admit it's
kinda creepy
that I had to stick my arm up in your pee-pee.

It was sticky.
It was gunky.
It felt icky.
It smelled funky.
It was cruddy,
it was crusty--
when you stuck it out,
it creaked like it was rusty.

After half an
hour of toilin'
and of squirtin'
baby oil in,
you're as fresh there
as a daisy.
Either this means I love you or else I'm crazy!!!
OK. What I want to say here is that once you've required a ten year old to do this twice a year to her own horse, and once that ten year old has figured out that she can earn big bucks every summer by performing this service for all the geldings owned by her extra squeamish friends, this ten year old develops a certain attitude about the male of any species.

(Sidenote: Every heard Bill Cosby talk about baby poops? Same principle. When they're little babies, the parents say, "Aw. Would you look at that. She made a poo poo." And then God, who has a sense of humor, puts odor into the "poo poo", and it turns into "a mess." "Look what you did! You made a MESS in your diaper!")

Anyway. I certainly don't hate penises. They don't disgust me, but on the other hand I don't get all weak in the knees either. I don't quite know what to do about this. Well, not that I CAN do much about it at this point.

What I mean to say here is that every once in a while you start reading a book about really private things, things such as love, loss, trust, betrayal, honesty, sex and commitment. And then the author comes out with a sentiment that is so ingrained in her world view that there's not even a touch of explanation about it. And sometimes just the slightest thing is enough to slam the reader right out of the story. It's not usually a big thing, because big things are explained and built up to. This is a small detail, like squirting dishwashing soap in your tea, which comes up in the middle of a sentence and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, no matter how many times you go back a read it over.

I hate that.


Megan Frampton said...

I'm with you on all counts.

Doug said...

You know, this would have made a GREAT SBD post. I mean an awesome, one-of-a-kind, knock Beth over with a feather post. But even if you got it on the wrong day of the week, I still loved it.

So . . . do the horses love it, too?

Gotta get Karen to read this one.

Beth said...

OMG THANK YOU. I boggled at the friend who rhapsodized over the beauty of the penis back in high school, and I boggle at her (and those like her) even more now. I always wondered if it was just me, and maybe the world of women is truly wowed by the sight of thingies. Now I know I'm not alone.

As for romance novels that try to get me all hetted up over a wee-wee... well, I just skim those passages. Yawn.

Shaina said...

um, first, EWWWWW.
ok. second, i agree. not that i have much experience (ok, any), but i think i would be much more likely to rhapsodize (thats a cool word!) over a guys hands, neck, etc than his penis.
i'ma stop there. before i say something weird. k. :-D

Suisan said...

No, the male horses do not love it. They tolerate it, but they don't love it. Sheath cleaning is not particularly enjoyable, unless you have great quantities of warm running water, which most barn don't.

Check out this equusite link which I embedded in the post. Second part, item 6, wherein Mr. Hand makes contact with The Part. A detailed 'How To' on sheath cleaning

Stallions enjoy a good scrub and they will drop down readily. But then, you see, that's not sheath cleaning.

Because when The Part drops, the interior folds of the sheath invert and unfold, becoming the outer surface of the top of The Part. Stallions drop, so no need to go investigating the sheath.

The reason geldongs are so damn gross up in there is because they don't drop, generally.

Then there's the almight "Bean". Must remove the Bean. Did he have a Bean? How big was the Bean? Is the Bean any larger than last time? Did the Bean release easily?


Preteen discussions of the composition of dried smegma are damnably weird.

Which brings me back to this odd adoration of The Part. Huh?

But I'm glad you all enjoyed it.

I think.

protected static said...

Strap yourself in for the ride.

Knowing ahead of time what this post involved (in general terms, not sheathy specifics), I'm afraid that I parsed that as "Strap yourself on for the ride."

(And for the record, no - I've never been in Enumclaw.)

*ahem* Moving along...

My wife has alluded to the limited charms of sheath cleaning before. Thanks for filling in those gaps - I don't remember those particular details from Herriot's books. Colic & mummified fetuses, yes; sheaths, no.

As for the broader subject - being bi let me just say that I find this equally jarring in gay erotica, as well... I don't get the penis fetish at all. I mean, they're nice and all, but they aren't, like, magic or anything. Useful, but not magical.

Suisan said...

PS, that Enumclaw link was, eh, educational. Yeeps.

But "Strap yourself ON for the ride" really had me giggling. Oh dear, I do have a lowbrow sense of humor. Hee Hee.

Sam said...

Um - - is this just an American thing? Because I don't recall any sheath cleaning in Europe or Africa when I was there. I worked as a groom too in the US, for a polo team, and that was just never on the agenda.

CindyS said...




Yeah, okay, I think I get why you have to clean the horse's sheath - because they are fixed? - Took me a bit to figure that out because I wondered what they did before people decided to clean up there. And a bean? Why oh why would there be a bean!?

As to genitalia - not pretty and yeah, I always think it's weird when the heroine waxes poetic - while we are here I will say I don't think women's genitalia is anything to write home about either but I still remember when me and my friend at the age of 12 found pictures of a woman's vajayjay. May have scarred me for life.


Suisan said...


It's not so much an American thing, I think, as a bored instructor in charge of young children thing. No wait, hang on for a sec. I mean that.

In Europe you learn about stable management, choosing the right hay, etc., when you're a kid. In America, most instructors don't wuite know what to DO with all these kids hanging around. So there's lots of lessons on how to braid manes, and other mildly interesting but fairly time-wasting stuff.

Then there's the "noise" that geldings make when trotting. That sort of dull honking sound? LOTS of misinformed people insist that this is due to having a dirty sheath. Not so. Stallions do it too, and it's mostly when they're tense.

But then you get to call the vet out, ask them to clean the sheath, and they say there's no need, but if you insist then fine. Here's a bill for fifty bucks. Fifty bucks! And the noise STILL isn't gone. I'll do it myself next time!

And if once a year is appropriate, well then, twice a year will be better!

I was very much in this mind set until I started hanging out at a breeding farm. You don't want to encourage the use of nasty cruddy equipment, but on the other hand, the mosre you scrub, the higher likelihood that the soap residue is going to diminish fertility. And noises are noises and have nothing to do with the cleanliness of Boy Thingies.

Then I gave up cleaning sheaths.

Most Polo teams are more concerned with competition and real business than most girlie barns where the brushes are pink and the ponies sport glitter on their toes.

Suisan said...

Cindy--I'll have to show you a schematic of the end of a horse's penis if you really want to understand the formation of a bean.

But really, why would you want o study such a thing? Hmmm?

(Sheath cleaning aside, it is appropriate to occasionally check for a bean. They're not comfortable. Or at least most geldings/stallions look a hell of a lot happier after a large one is removed.)

Sam said...

Thanks for explaining it. I'll slot that one up there with 'washing the dog'. The more you wash a dog, the worse it smells. All the natural oils and protection are stripped away, and the skin glands go into overdrive to compensate.
I will also always be in awe of you for actually cleaning the sheaths and keeping your sense of humor about it.
Oh, I was at a stud farm during stud season, and the stallions got rinsed off - but it was perfunctory and more like an antiseptic rinse than anything else, and I can't believe I'm writing this, lol.

CindyS said...

Oh, I imagine that having the bean removed is of great relief to the horse but I have that kind of brain that wonders why it would even be there - I imagine the diagram would show a divet where stuff can get caught. Poor guys and uh, 50 bucks would be so worth it to have the vet do it ;) I pay more to have my pup groomed!


Ambar said...

I believe I amused a great many people when, at the age of 12 or so, I opined that a certain gelding's penis was cancerous. "There's STUFF hanging off of it!!!" No, just dirty.

Suisan said...

Ah yes, Ambar. Stuff.

I remember being fairly appalled the first time my aunt, carrying a bucket, strode into an older stallion's stall, slapped him on the flank and then reached down and grabbed his Thing with absolutely no warning. As she's efficiently washing him off, she looked at me over her shoulder and said, "You want to hold the mare? I've got to breed these two tonight."

I must have been 14?

Breed? Tonight? As in RIGHT NOW! Wait, hold the mare? You know, be involved in the process. Uhhh.

I think I said yes because I wasn't quite sure what she might do to me if I said no. She was fairly intimidating at that moment with that penis in her hand.