Yeah, yeah, we lost the bet. This is a shot of the Loyal Order of the Moose, lodge number 384 doing the walk of shame all over Panama City Beach. Hear me out first though, and then judge if you want to. I wonder if you’d have fared any better.
It was all Tony’s fault to begin with. That would be our Tony Paretti, who’s been a member for years now. Tony’s a great guy but he’s got more machismo coursing through his 5’4” frame than the whole of Latin America. Well, he did have, anyways, before the bet.
It’s always the little guys that have the big mouths, isn’t it?
So we were out at a local pub, having a great time and Tony’s trying to hit on a couple of blond chicks at the bar, which admittedly he shouldn’t have been doing since he’s married but we all knew he wasn’t prepared to carry any of it through, so it was no big deal. Call it a mid-life crisis if you want—he just likes to see if he’s still got ‘it’. No one was paying much attention really, until the discussion started to get loud. Next thing I know, Tony is preening like a cock rooster and swearing up hill and down to these women that anything they can do, he can do better. Which is pretty goofy, right? Because it’s not like they asked him to arm wrestle or something crazy like that.
“Oh really?” Blond number one answers. “I had a baby and never asked for pain medication. Could you do that?”
“Phhhfffffffffff,” Tony answers. “What are you kiddin’ me here? No problem.” Tony has that thick New York, Italian accent, you know.
I should mention here that we’d all been in the bar for some time and our judgment was probably impaired. Plus, this is a challenge that bears little threat for us since there’s no way it can be brought to fruition. Or that’s what we thought, anyway, when we went ahead and bet the farm on it. Long story short, we made our wagers and agreed to meet these two at a location downtown two days later wherein they promised that Tony Paretti, was in fact, going to be having a baby.
It was to be Tony’s fourth, as he’d had three children vicariously through his wife Maria, who is apparently a real trouper when it comes to child birthing because he said it was no big deal. We had no worries going in as we tried to imagine how this would all be pulled off. Would they make him wear one of those phony pregnancy suits and walk around in spike heels for a bit? Show him a gory video perhaps? We laughed all the way downtown! Tony’s a tough one. Korean vet who worked in construction for thirty years. Surely these two dumb blonds couldn’t dish out anything that he wouldn’t be able to take. We were like a bunch of high school guys again walking up the sidewalk together, punching and poking one another as we teased Tony about his swollen ankles and his weird food cravings. I’ve never been more sure of a bet in my life!
But that was before we saw the nameplate on the office door:
Elizabeth W. Hurley, Licensed Hypnotherapist
Damn the Suffragists and the whole feminist movement! Never mind the right to vote—we never should have given them access to books!
Tony looked nervous for all of ten seconds and then the machismo kicked in.
“Listen, yous guys,” he said. “This hypnosis stuff—it ain’t real. What a buncha garbage, eh? These broads got a big surprise comin’ to ‘em if they think they could pull this stuff on me!”
Fifteen minutes later at the hands of Ms. Hurley (henceforth known to us as the Marchioness De Sade) and a bewildered Tony Paretti was lying half-naked on a couch, covered by a sheet and one hundred percent convinced that he had a vagina.
Not only did he have a vagina, but he had a cervix that was dilated till five, his mountainous breasts were aching and he’d never been as hungry for a pepperoni pizza in his entire life!
The pains were mild at this stage and he was handling it nicely, though a thin sheen of sweat had broken out on his face and chest. I began to worry when he asked if he might have some ‘lovely ice chips’ to suck on. Apparently he was having no trouble getting in touch with his feminine side because right after that his ‘water broke’. He just lay there all proud and smiling at us like he’d laid a golden egg or something.
Blond number two, Barbara Dixon, or Nurse Ratchet as we’ve come to know her, assisted the Marchioness by displaying a tantalizing array of hypodermic needles on a tray, presumably filled with liquid pain relief—and an order of perfect happiness on the side.
“Any time you’re ready, Mr. Paretti,” she offered, her voice all friendly-like as she waved her hand in front of the tray like Vanna Friggin’ White. I wasn’t sure if I should be embarrassed or relieved when Tony said, “No thanks,” and explained to her that he wouldn’t take the chance that he’d hurt his baby that way.
“No problem,” Nurse Ratchet said and began to demonstrate Lamaze breathing techniques.
And then the Marchioness suggested that the pains were growing harder. In fact, she explained, “it feels as though a twelve inch butcher knife is being driven into your abdomen.”
Tony’s expression went from one of happy anticipation to complete and utter pain-wracked horror within seconds.
“driven straight in and twisted around,” the Marchioness added.
“Gakkkkk…” Tony cried gripping the edge of the nearby coffee table with white knuckles. “Ah ma mi, that friggin huuurrts!”
I think he might have been convinced to take the pain meds right then and there, baby be damned, if Ms. Hurley hadn’t interceded, but like the proverbial cat, she had her a mouse and she’d come to play.
“Very nice, Mr. Paretti,” she soothed. “You’re doing fine. This one’s over now.”
For the next half-hour or so, Dr. Hurley made a game of increasing the intensity of the pain until poor Tony was ready to crack and then backing it off for a bit. This she did with all the sensitivity and compassion of Dr. Mengele. Our manly man Tony was soon panting like a dog, legs spread wide open, with his package hanging out, the tears just streaming down his cheeks.
“Dilated till eight, Mr. Paretti,” Nurse Ratchet offered. “I can still get you that shot.”
But the pain was backing off again and though Tony looked hungrily at the needle, he once again declined the medicine.
I was starting to think we were going to make it through this but I hadn’t taken into account the devious nature of women. The pains started coming quicker now and Ms. Mengele added intense pressure to the pain as Tony’s imaginary baby began to squeeze its way down the birth canal.
“Oh my gosh!” She said excitedly. “Any time now, and it looks like it’s going to be a big one!”
“Yeah?” Tony said, through excited tears. “Soon?”
“Yeah, but the pains are getting worse now. They’re radiating through your back, every muscle in your body is tense and contracting and that knife? Twisting and pulling…tearing its way through your gut…”
“Oopsey,” Nurse Ratchet chimed in. “Let me just get that blood.” Tony was white as a sheet as she pretended to mop up blood with a white towel. “Sheesh,” she said, “there sure is a lot of it.”
“Pains are getting worse now,” Dr. Hurley added. “And closer together. So close, that there’s not really any time between them anymore. And the pressure! It feels like it’s going to tear you in half!”
Right about then Tony started praying. In between screams, he called out to Jesus and Mary and all the saints, begging for mercy and intercession. He begged St. Christopher and St. Theresa to take away the pain. He apologized for every sin he’d ever committed, and cursed every enemy he ever had. It wasn’t a pretty sight.
“Heavenly Father,” he begged, “Please come get me and take me the hell home!”
And then that sonofabitch begged for the needle like a junkie on his second day at a detox unit.
And there went the bet! That was bad enough but Dr. Mengele wasn’t finished with him yet. She looked at Nurse Ratchet and gave a firm head-shake, to which Nurse Ratchet responded by telling Tony that he was dilated till ten and it was too late for the shot.
“It’s crowning now,” the doctor said. “I can almost see the head! Oh Wow, that’s a big head! That head’s the size of Texas! Waaaaaaaaaayyyy too big to be coming out of that teeeeeennnnyyy tiny canal! This is going to be like pushing a watermelon through a keyhole. Oh boy, this is gonna hurt!”
Tough guy Tony was now crying like a little bitch!
“Make it stop,” he screamed, “I can’t take it anymore!”
“Uh oh,” Dr. Mengele added nervously, her eyes shifting from Tony’s ‘vagina’ to the amused gaze of Nurse Ratchet.
“What?” Tony whined. “Is something wrong with my baby?”
“This ain’t good.”
“Please,” Tony sobbed. “Please don’t let my baby die!”
“He’s going to need a little help, Nurse. Can I get those forceps?”
Tony’s eyes went dinner-plate large as Nurse Ratchet produced the instrument of torture along with a toothy, knowing grin.
“What the hell are you gonna do with that?” he cried, his face misshapen with terror.
What happened next had to be the cruelest thing I ever saw.
Dr. Mengele leaned in with a terrible leer on her face and said, “We’re going in!”
And then the bastard fainted.
Came to a minute or so later in a puddle of his own piss, and to a chorus of laughter. He was madder than hell when she brought him out of the hypnosis and he found out that after all he’d been through, he didn’t get a baby to bring home.
Still, like I said, a bet’s a bet. We showed up at the beach the following day dressed in top hats and the ridiculously skimpy suits just like we promised. Ten minutes—ten minutes and a quick walk on the pier was all we had to do. But as I was walking away from the pier, I saw a group of women gathered there watching. Something wasn’t quite right with them. They weren’t dressed for the beach, for one thing. They were just standing there dressed in suits and flats. I realized right away that they were all professional women—probably all worked in the same building as the docs—but it was the knowing look on their faces that annoyed me. Well, that, and the snickering behind their hands.
“What?” I sneered as we walked past them. “Never seen a man in a swimming suit before?”
“Love the purse,” Tony added, and then reddened in embarrassment.
“Au contraire,” a snooty-looking redhead added smartly, “Yours is the fifth group this season!”
“See ya on Youtube,” another one added.
As soon as I get back home and get outta this suit, I’m going to find Tony Paretti and kill him.