I've got acne on my ass. Big, crazy, sometimes painful pimples on my tush. What causes them and how do I get rid of them? Help! --Adult Diaper Rash
You're in luck: The day your letter arrived, I was on my way to my dermatologist's office to have a mole the size of Portland hacked off my leg. I gave my derma doc--Dr. Frank Behring--your letter, and while he was carving me up, here's what he said: "Pimples, 'big, crazy, sometimes painful pimples on the tush,' can be a manifestation of acne." But if you've got acne on your ass, you should have it in other locations, like "the more commonly anticipated areas, such as the face, neck, back, or chest, and it would be accompanied by such 'companion' lesions as whiteheads and blackheads. It would be unusual for acne to be limited to the butt, or to be present uniformly as big, painful pimples without other sizes and shapes represented as well." Acne, it seems, values diversity. So unless you're breaking out all over, them ain't zits on your butt. What are they? "Deep folliculitis--boils, furuncles, skin abscesses, pustules--which are generally caused by bacterial infections that begin in a hair follicle. It is not clear why the buttocks are so vulnerable, but it often seems to be so. The likely causes are sweating, irritation, scratching, friction, poor hygiene, or poor health, but the problem can occur in the absence of any of these factors."
What to do? "For starters, shower daily with an antibacterial soap. Pat dry with a clean towel. Avoid tight pants and tight synthetic undergarments. Avoid rubbing, and temporarily avoid activities that might induce sweating and frictional injury. In addition, I would consider a nightly application of an over-the-counter product containing benzoyl peroxide, like Oxy 10. One needs to wear an overgarment that will not be ruined by such products' tendency to bleach out color. If this regimen fails to work after several weeks, a course of antibiotics may be indicated." Good luck, pizza butt.
Recently you devoted eight inches of column space to a question about Kleenex tissue cleanup after ejaculation. What a waste, when I have implored you in several letters to help me with some kind of answer as to whether anything can be done about an oversized penis. Guys are always looking to increase the size of their cocks through various methods. I envy them all, since I have the reverse problem. This damn thing won't fit anywhere. Women are hypnotized at first, but afterward say I'm just one big pain. Again, my question: Is there anything I can have done medically to achieve peace while achieving piece? Why devote eight inches of column space when I have a 20-inch problem that is the bane of my life? Please, please HELP. If my case is hopeless, tell me, so I can resign myself to two-handed happiness, which is all I have to look forward to now.
PS: By the way, all your calculations about tissues go out the window when it comes to me. I have testicles like two large oranges, and when I come, it takes about three to five minutes to milk it all out. I always come on average a quarter of a cup of semen, unless I have not come for a long time--then I can shoot out over one third of a cup!
Stop writing me. You've been writing for more than two years, and I've never answered your question, and I don't intend on ever answering your question. Why not? Because I don't believe you. The awkward mix of boasting and complaining, coupled with the Penthouse- Hustler rhetoric about the size of your balls, gives your letters the unmistakable stink of bullshit. (In looking through my file of your letters, I noticed that your balls were grapefruits the last time you wrote, now they're oranges--what gives?)
There are willies out there that are too big for any practical purpose short of knocking out drywall. I know for a fact that dicks can be "too big": I dated a guy with a cock so enormous I couldn't get it in my mouth--and I have a pretty big mouth. Now, if someday a guy with a megacock sends me a letter asking what can be done, I may instruct Kevin, my sniveling research assistant, to get off his glue-sniffin' ass and find out. But I have no intention of rousing Kevin on behalf of a pest and liar. OK, wait: I'll make you a deal. I'll answer your question if you can prove to me that your problem is real, that your dick is actually that friggin' big. I'm talking pictures here. Send me photos. Not some doctored dick pulled off an Internet newsgroup, no: I want at least two Polaroids, with something in the picture for scale--a silver dollar, a Ken doll, a third-grader. Once the photo is on my desk, and its authenticity is verified by Savage Lab's photo technicians, then--and only then--will I put Kevin on it. Your question, that is, not your cock.
So, uh, like how many trees is that?
Will this never end? A couple of weeks back, we estimated that American men use 131,775,000 boxes of Kleenex per year to wipe up the 15,150,000 quarts of semen they ejaculate during masturbation (that's one out of every six boxes of Kleenex sold). Another 15 million quarts are wiped up with non-Kleenex-brand tissues, and another 30 million quarts are wiped up with towels, socks, girlfriends' hair, etc.
Now you would like to know how many trees go into those 131,775,000 boxes of Kleenex? Well, according to Dr. David Brink, professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley Forest Products Lab, we simply can't know "how many trees are in 131,775,000 boxes of Kleenex." There are just too many variables for Dr. Brink, who has been studying forests since 1936, to slap a number on this. For instance, are we talking about just the tissues, or the tissues and the box? We'd need to know the weight of all those boxes, figure out how much of the tissue and the box are made from recycled paper, and subtract this percentage (because if it's recycled, it's not a tree, and it's already been counted).
We'd have to figure out which "fiber" Kimberly-Clark uses to make their tissues. Brink said, "It's probably soft woods, because hardwood is more dense and not as absorbent" and wouldn't make good tissue. And finally we'd need to know if the pulp was lightened by a bleaching method. If so, only 50 to 70 percent of the wood that went into the bleaching process is used. Unfortunately, Kimberly-Clark wouldn't return our phone calls, and we were unable to get answers to any of these questions.
"You see, there is no simple way of figuring this out," said Dr. Brink. "And I assume the person is asking this for some sort of environmental reason. I don't want to lend any weight to the specious argument that we shouldn't manage our forests and use wood product," he said before he hurried off the phone and back to the lab.
Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.