If your life revolves around eating, cooking,
growing, touching or looking at cauliflower, STOP HERE! DO NOT READ FURTHER.
you choose to continue reading, do so at your own risk. I will not be held
Wait at least two hours after eating to read
story. Be prepared to not eat, drink, smoke or have sex with anything for up to
six hours AFTER reading this story. Longer if you have a vivid memory and are
unable to block-out unpleasant mental pictures from your mind.
Really, really Serious
This story is absolutely, positively, NOT for
children to read. That is, if you ever want them to eat certain vegetables,
sleep without nightmares, not be a bedwetting freshman in college, or have a
life-long phobia about what comes near, or in contact with their bottom.
Consider yourself warned!
There are certain surgical procedures that nobody
likes to do. There are even procedures that people are afraid to be involved
with. These are the surgeries where you could be exposed to diseases and
unmentionably gross and disgusting things.
Personally speaking, I think rectal warts rank
the top of the list of things I’d rather not be involved with. Especially the
extreme cases I’ve seen.
Let me give you a visual. Go to your supermarket
buy a medium sized head of cauliflower. Bend over and stick it between your
butt cheeks. Please don’t do this in the supermarket. I shouldn’t have to say
that, but then again… Now, keep it there for three or four months until it turns
soft and gray and grows some hair.
I warned you!
I was new to surgery when I saw my first case
rectal warts. I was in the operating room, in my sterile gown and gloves
waiting for the patient to be brought in when a nurse walked up to me and said,
“You’re going to need this.”
She began smearing menthol ointment on my mask.
smell was over-powering. I asked her, “How come?”
Her eyes squinted and crows-feet appeared so
she was smiling under her mask. In a musical tone she said, “You’ll see.”
She opened up a sterile package and tossed a
plastic tube onto my instrument table. The tube was large enough to accommodate
your thumb. I glanced at the package the nurse had thrown in the garbage. The
label read, Smoke Evacuator. In the same musical tone the nurse had
used, I heard myself say, “Uh oh.”
The doors to the operating room opened and an
already anesthetized male patient was rolled into the room on a gurney. He was
placed face down on the operating table with a sheet covering his back.
When the nurse pulled the sheet off, I involuntarily
blurted, “God dam, what the fuck is that?”
The guy had a huge head of gray gooey cauliflower
sticking out of his ass.
was the grossest thing I’d ever seen in my life. I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
I continued my uncontrollable blurting with,
“Oh…My…God,” periodically changing the emphasis on each word.
The surgeon backed into the room holding his
hands up in front of him. I offered him a sterile towel and began saying, “Good
cut me off with a stern, “We’re gonna make this quick.”
I gowned and gloved the surgeon and his entourage
residents and medical students. None of them looked exceptionally happy to be
The patient was covered with sterile drapes and
suction tubing and electro-cautery machine was connected.
The surgeon looked at the anesthesiologist and
asked, “Ok to cut?”
he nodded his head, the surgeon immediately held up his hand and ordered,
“Bovie!” I put it in his hand and he began cutting into and around the huge
Let me stop here and explain what a ‘Bovie’
an electrosurgical device that applies high-frequency electric current to
tissue. This enables the surgeon to cut, coagulate, desiccate and fulgurate
tissue. If you don’t have
a medical dictionary handy,
that’s OK, it just means you can cut tissue without a lot of blood loss.
Minimizing blood loss in surgery, as you can imagine, is very important.
surgeon holds in his hand looks like a plastic pencil and has a flat piece of
metal at its tip that resembles a miniature butter knife. This pencil is
attached by a wire to a box that generates the electrical current. Also
attached to this machine is a grounding pad that’s stuck to the patient.
heard horror stories of patients being burned and drapes catching on fire
during operations? A poorly grounded electrosurgical unit is usually to blame.
That, or the Anesthesiologist is sneaking a cigarette.
“bovie” is an informal name referring to its inventor, Dr. William T. Bovie. A
Harvard man, circa 1926.
So there you have
it. It’s an amazing,
indispensable piece of technology in modern-day surgery. Blah, blah, blah.
That’s the upside. The downside is that anytime you put electrical current to
tissue with the intent of frying said tissue. It creates smoke.
Human tissue tends to put off quite a bit of
smoke when you burn it. Rectal warts, on the other hand, put off incredible
amounts of smoke.
far as burning flesh goes, I
consider rectal wart smoke to be one of the most toxic. Who knows what’s
floating around in that viral plume of smoke? All I know is that I don’t want
to breathe it!
Enter, The Smoke Evacuator. “Ooooo.” Under normal surgical conditions; let’s say
when you’re cutting into someone’s belly or just frying a bleeding vein, the
normal suction apparatus will take care of things just fine.
But when you’re talking Toxic Butt Smoke,
to bring in the heavy artillery. You need an industrial grade; monster sucking,
micron-filtering tube and you need as many as you can get your hands on. In the
Navy this would be, “All hands on deck. Man your battle stations. This is not a
On this particular cauliflower burning extraction
bonfire, everyone with a free hand had a smoke evacuator suction tube and was
frantically sucking up every molecular toxic trail of smoke the surgeon was
Every stray wisp of smoke was accompanied by
chorus of, “Get it, get it, get it!” by the surgical team. I won’t describe the
actual removal of said grossness because it is just too disgusting. Mere words
could never do justice to the ghastly image seared into my visual cortex. It’s
an olfactory image no amount of mentholated jelly smeared on my mask or post-op
alcoholic binge can erase.
The way I deal with things like this is simple.
block it out. I psychologically screw myself up so bad and bury it so deep, a
twelve hundred dollar an hour psychiatrist couldn’t find it with a blowtorch.
What I choose to remember is how funny everyone
looked dancing around, sucking and dodging mushroom clouds of smoke.
I have enormous respect for surgeons. They’re
dedicated lot. I watched as his head disappeared in a rising blue-gray smoky
I sucked until I could see his face and asked, “How do people get these?”
He almost laughed at me,
“You gotta be kidding, right?”
I thought about it for a second, “Um, no,
They didn’t spend a lot of time in school telling us about a huge head of
cauliflower hanging off a guy’s ass.”
The Surgeon kept cutting away at the monstrosity, “You get these by sticking the wrong things
up your ass!”
That made me ponder the question. Are there any
“right things” to stick up your ass? I
couldn’t think of any off hand.
masked head popped in the door of
our operating room, then instantly disappeared. I heard the pitter-patter of
running feet and someone yelling, “Butt smoke. Run, run for your life!”
was my introduction to large
rectal warts and how to remove them. I didn’t eat cauliflower for years after
© 2012 by Mike Cyra.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without prior permission of the author.