“You have very nice tonsils,” I thought the doctor said, and I was ready to thank him for the odd compliment because I have received many such odd compliments during my stay in South Korea, having been buttered up for my nose bridge, my double-eyelids, and the way I resemble several Hollywood celebrities, each of whom would no doubt utter a series of blood-curdling shrieks if they ever heard of any such resemblance.
It turned out an instant later that he had actually said “You have enlarged tonsils”, and luckily I realized this before I thanked him for telling me so. However the doctor had in fact said that I was handsome when I walked into his office, so strange remarks by doctors do nonetheless abound.
Based on the fact that my body is totally fucked up in every possible way, he recommended that I get an endoscopy the following day. For the uninitiated, this procedure entails violating my virginity by jamming a camera all the way down into my stomach.
On the following day I told a concerned colleague that I might not survive the procedure because they were going to put me under, and I had never experienced that before. I then walked away with a great deal of gallantry, as if I was ready to storm a fortress, even though crossing the street or taking a taxi here is probably far more dangerous than losing consciousness for a few minutes in a hospital.
Speaking of taking taxis, there is now a new portrait adorning our refrigerator, of a Korean man of average appearance, which is to say a Korean Man Of Korean Appearance—normal height and build and age, shaved, with short black hair. He is able to blend in to the surrounding mass of Asians perfectly. He is a taxi driver, accused of attacking women and children in his taxi. When I told my wife he should be called an Attackxi driver, she did not say anything. But perhaps that was enough to get a smirk out of you. If you were not offended by the joke.
Anyway, we went to the hospital, my wife ran into about fifty of her friends and conversed with each of them for fifty minutes, and then before I knew it I was lying on my side on a hospital bed, being yelled at to take off my shoes, with some kind of plastic thing shoved inside my jaw. A blast of cool air went down my throat, and I thought this is what would knock me out, but actually the medicine was administered through an IV; for several minutes I was looking at my wife and telling her that I swore to god I would find myself a job in California when she told me that it was over, they had shoved the camera down my throat, found a volcanic underworld of orange and white liquid leaping, frothing, bubbling, within my red stomach lining, but apparently no ulcers and no tumors. We’ll see.
I meanwhile, according to my wife, first began wriggling my fingers, and a moment later went at it with the nurses as they administered the maximum dosage of knockout-drug, wrestling me, decking me, yelling for anyone in the room to help them out. My wife held me down and pleaded with me to relax. I tried to pull the thing out of my jaw, and also the thing pinching my pointer fingertip to monitor my heart rate; she later told me I was moving like godzilla, screaming while shooting a radioactive death ray out of my throat.
The doctor somehow finished his job, and the nurses picked me up and pushed me onto another bed—not before one of them, having heard of my sexy tonsils, decided to pull down my pants and get a look at my hairy white man ass, since now would probably be her only chance in life to do so. I woke several minutes later and started planning for our life in California; I have just eaten my first meal after almost twenty-four hours (however my stomach is so fucked up that I was barely hungry at all); my hands smell like someone else’s gloves.