‘How did you get a hernia?’ hundreds have asked, providing me with plenty opportunity to flex my comic (if not abdominal) muscles.
‘I don’t know’ has been my stock, ultra-witty response.
Now, after six months of colon pains and painful conversations I’ve finally got a date for surgery – Friday 13th. Obviously.
With a date like that, my recovery is not something I will be taking lightly. I plan to take to my bed for several weeks, summoning courtiers like a sickly medieval prince. They will bring news from the outside world and hummus from Waitrose.
Given that my hernia’s end is now in sight, I thought I might try to provide some tips for those hoping to survive a similar experience …
1) Don’t use it to flirt
Contrary to popular believe, hernias are not an aphrodisiac. You may think the wire mesh that will eventually hold your insides in place is an interesting topic but it is not a sexy one. If the subject happens to arise and a potential partner takes an unusual interest in touching it, don’t get involved. I spent a long evening arguing with a new girlfriend at a motorway services before I finally crying out “Is it me you’re in love with? Or is it my intestines?!” We had some fun but I left in tears.
2) Use it to flirt
‘I’m so sorry, I’ve got a hernia. Would you mind carrying my suitcase up those stairs?’ is a great opener. It weeds out weaker and more selfish potential mates whilst providing an interesting talking point. Try following up with: ‘Is it hot in here or am I being strangled by my insides?’ before asking them to call an ambulance.
3) Treat it like a pet
When you’re first diagnosed with a hernia it can seem like a real chore. You’re not allowed to run or swim and are just one challenging sexual position away from hospitalisation. That’s why it’s so important that you learn to love it. Draw a face on your hernia and you’ll never been short of company. Give it a personality, a favourite TV show and of course a name. Mine is called David Cameron, for tax purposes.
Follow this guide and you’ll be on the road to recovery in no time. If you don’t have a hernia and this post has made you feel left out, fear not. I will be auctioning mine after the operation. All proceeds will go to Waitrose.
James Evans is a comedian and public speaking coach. For more of this nonsensical rambling you can follow him on Twitter.