Have you heard of river-dick? It's a phrase I coined today [Brah-VO, sir! -Ed.] to describe what happens to a man--or boy--who encounters a candiru in the Amazon and loses the battle.
This little supposed penis-loving fish hardly plagues the men of the world, but I wager it must be on the minds of enough men to be worthy of mention.
Why? Because it is a tiny parasitic fish that supposedly swims up your urethra when you pee in the Amazon river and, due in part to the spikes on its scales, results in incredible pain.
Can you imagine how many parents in the Amazon are trained to be able to recognize the signs of river-dick in their children by now? How many homeopathic remedies there must be for this situation by now? How many children suffered as a result of the inevitable learning curve in discovering said remedies?
Granted, river-dick may be something that used to happen way more frequently (like Polio, which is finally making a comeback...), it may be no more than a legend, or it may be an everyday reality for a breed of people without much use for doctors or documentation.
Regardless, two things are certain:
1. The mere threat of its existence has stopped more than one man from dunking into the Amazon._
2. Its absence is one of the great things about living in America and, things being as they are these days (health care reform aside), it has finally crept onto the travel brochures.