I’ve been having a problem with very dry, itchy skin on my bum for a while now. When my self-thought-up treatment plan – scratching and hoping – didn’t seem to be yielding any results, I knew it was time to see a doctor.
While I’m a fan of men looking at my bottom in general, in this case, I thought a lady doctor would be infinitely better so I emailed a couple of Frauenärztin. Boom – I managed to get an appointment only a week and a half later. That’s practically five minutes in German time. I filled the nine days by scratching and sitting on one butt cheek – time well spent.
On the morning in question, I walked into the surgery where the jolly receptionist handed me a form to fill in. I took a seat in the waiting room beside a couple of terrified-looking dads-to-be and examined the form. Name, address, date of birth, how often and how long my period is – no problems there.
Height in metres:
Um. No idea. I wasn’t sure that “the same height as Kylie Minogue” would be exact enough for a German doctor so I took a stab at it.
Weight in kilograms:
Even less idea. 85? Sounds reasonable. Yeah, let’s put that down.
Why you’re here today:
“Problem mit…” Was “Arsch” an appropriate word to use on a German form? Deciding it probably wasn’t, I hit up Google for some options – “Hintern” seemed to tick the boxes. In it went. I handed the form back to the receptionist and waited to be called. A diminutive woman in her late fifties or early sixties announced “Frau Ogg-rah-dee” and in I went.
She took one look at me and started chuckling. Could she see my Arschproblem just from the way I was walking?
Doc: Bah haha! I expected you to be a little bigger! Why did you write 85 kilos? You’d be like this… (imitates a fat person waddling around the room)
Me: ‘Cos I’m Irish and have no idea about the metric system?
Doc: Hee hee hee. What part of Ireland?
Doc: My daughter went to university there – I love Ireland.
Doc: So, I see you have a problem with your Popo.
Me: Popo…! (keels over laughing)
So, it seemed that Popo was the term favoured by German doctors. Fine by me.
She directed me towards an examination chair in the corner and I took off my jeans and knickers. Feeling a bit like a half-plucked chicken, I hopped up onto the chair, spread my legs and put my feet on the pads. The height of elegance. The doctor proceeded to poke around in my bumly quarters.
Doc: Oh, ganz schlimm, ganz schlimm… (Very bad, very bad…)
Me: Ganz schlimm?
Doc: Oh ja. Ganz schlimm.
Me: I wish you’d stop saying that.
Doc: Aber es ist wirklich ganz schlimm.
Me: Am I going to lose my Popo?
Doc: Ha haha! NEIN! Aber es ist wirklich ganz schlimm.
Me: Please stop saying that.
Doc: Have you had any other medical problems lately?
Me: Well, I had very dry skin on my hands during the winter…
Doc: Could be related. (Does this woman think I sit around tickling my bum in my free time?) Do you eat a lot of oranges?
Me: No. Oh, but I am having a love affair with blood orange juice.
Doc: Could also be related.
Me: Huh, I thought that would be healthy? You know, Vitamin C and all?
After examining whatever she had scraped from my Popo under a microscope and pronouncing it to be “ganz schlimm” and some sort of bacterial infection, she gave me a prescription for two creams – one to be used twice a day and the other whenever I felt like it.
Me: But is there a particular number of times a day I should use it?
Doc: NEIN. Schmieren, schmieren, schmieren (smear, smear, smear), whenever and wherever you like.
Me: So, maybe in the U-Bahn?
Doc: Ha ha ha! Well, maybe not in the U-Bahn.
Me: “Don’t mind me, fellow passengers. I’m just schmieren my Popo. Schmieren, schmieren, schmieren. Doctor’s orders.”
Doc: Ha haha!
I was probably the most fun the woman had that day.
Anyway, you’ll be glad to hear that I’ve been schmieren away like a demon and my poor Popo is finally on the mend. And if I could give you a word of advice, remember that when it comes to your bum, schmieren is carin’.