Men Have Multiple Brains

Gint Aras makes a curious discovery while eating nuts.

I was shelling walnuts the other afternoon only minutes after changing my son’s diaper when something occurred to me. “You know what?” I thought. “These here walnuts look like little scrotums.” This association did not prevent me from eating a walnut, one of my favorite foods. Its brain-boosting chemicals did their magic and I found myself thinking: “Yes, you know? Walnuts. It’s widely known they look like little brains. Which means…oh, my Eureka! ”

Am I the first one to notice that (especially in cold weather) the human scrotum looks like a little brain? Perhaps yours doesn’t. If it did not offend the audience, I’d offer a visual aid to prove that my scrotum’s wrinkled hemispheres and floating marbles resemble a shrunken brain.

This similarity explains a lot. As we know from various philosophers and Christians, nature does not repeat forms at random. The walnut looks like a brain because it contains chemicals that aid the brain’s function, and the scrotum looks like a brain because it does a certain amount of thinking, smaller in scale than what goes on in the skull, but only mildly less important. It was Robin Williams who in a comic routine said there was enough blood in the male body for either the brain or the penis but not for both to function at the same time. The good grandfather of a long lost Welsh friend summed it up differently: “When the cock is hard, the mind is soft.” He and Robin were almost right about this relationship. They should also have noticed that the scrotum, not the penis, is the alternative brain.

Can I count the times I thought with my scrotum to meet a harsh fate? Only with a graphing calculator.

Some highlights:

I once drove through a snowstorm from Chicago to Toronto, overnight and having slept little, because I believed I had a chance to get laid. The girl had dropped so many hints in letters and postcards (this was pre-1999). Once I had finally tracked her down at a suburban party, she allowed me only gentle and fully-clothed petting in the back seat of a Ford Escort, an event that lasted less than a half-hour. Things went terribly bad from there. I ended up stuck in Toronto with virtually no money, my car on empty, and I could not make it back to Chicago in time for work. I didn’t lose the job, but the trip cost me at least three times what I had estimated. And the gentle petting had only made me hornier than I’d been in the first place. Having borrowed money to make it home, I drove over lonely hours while contemplating all sorts of embarrassments. For example, what kind of man relieves his tension in the public toilet of a London, Ontario Tim Horton’s? Is it better or worse to do it in a Stuckey’s outside Climax, Michigan?

Another time I had some sort of sex during a beach party. But I can’t tell you a single thing about it. I woke up hung over in the dunes, sand in my ears and hair, the empty wrapper of a condom in the pocket of my sweat pants (along with a wrinkled and sandy dollar). The following day was a confusing mess. With three hours of memory erased from my brain, conversations with the party’s women were quite awkward. There were over a hundred girls present and one of them was probably feeling ignored, but I had no way of knowing which one. I confided in a close friend, one a few years older. He said, “Blow it off. Knowing you, Gint, you probably saw a condom wrapper and picked it up because you wanted to keep the beach clean.” I could not dispute this, but the discovery of some curious crust suggested he was wrong.

The last example I’ll share requires me to protect identities, so I won’t mention what country or city I’m talking about. But I once spent half a summer in a country where I did not speak the language and had no chance to get a job. I went because an ex-lover who enjoyed various forms of casual experimentation had invited me to stay with her. I could afford a ticket there and back, and modest daily meals. Mind you, I had been offered several lucrative jobs that summer, including one outside Zurich, Switzerland. But Switzerland did not guarantee me any sex, certainly not the kind I’d get in my unmentioned destination. Of course, once at my unmentioned destination, I quickly realized the woman was facing some identity conflict. She was often gone for long periods of time, leaving me to wander an amazing city full of temptations I could not afford. The woman and I talked about sex a lot, the conversations loaded with grief and regret. Typical questions began with the phrase “Do you think it’s wrong to…” Later she’d say, “You know, I wish I could…” and describe desires no civilized publication should print. Then she’d sigh, “I’m awful. I’m really awful.” Eventually I was forced to leave. Before a teaching job started in September, I spent the summer’s remaining weeks in a place where I survived off bread rolls, canned fish and cabbage.

These are only three examples of what embarrassments the scrotum-brain has earned me. Some of you are asking, “Didn’t your scrotum-brain ever lead to some enjoyment, a pleasant memory?” In short, no.

Scientists will one day discover that the nervous system of the scrotum, like the one in the colon, is capable of actual thought. I have no doubt it will happen, and I would like some claim to the discovery. You’d think there would be an advantage to an extra brain but I am living proof that the scrotum-brain is mostly a handicap. I’d end this essay with an intelligent point about it, but I’m in a café, and a woman sitting near me is wearing bewitching perfume.

Photo by perpetualplum

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About Gint Aras

Gint Aras has two decades of experience teaching, over ten of them in a Chicago-area community college. He writes a weekly column, True Community, about young men and education. His writing has appeared in St. Petersburg Review (forthcoming, 2014), Antique Children, Criminal Class Review, Curbside Splendor, Dialogo, Šiaurės Atėnai and other publications. He's a photographer and the author of the cult novel, Finding the Moon in Sugar. Check out his website, Liquid Ink. Follow Gint on Twitter @Gint_Aras and "like" him on Facebook.

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