Life's all fun and games until you get an anal fissure.
I came to this conclusion after reading The New York Times today (and the Internet giggles it inspired). The paper of record spent 969 words addressing the horrors of having small wounds on your anus, and the number of Americans who are living in fear of their next bowel movement. "Every bowel movement was painful, and the agonizing after-spasms went on for hours," Nashville's Emma Rushton, the Rosa Parks of anal fissures, told the Gray Lady. "Even when I wasn’t in actual pain, it was all I could think about. My work suffered; my life was on hold."
The problem, as the Times points out, is that Americans are too afraid to talk about this incapacitating affliction. "Anal fissures are not exactly a topic for cocktail party conversation, and the reluctance to discuss them often leaves sufferers thinking they are the only ones affected," the Times explains.
That's some sound social advice, considering the piece includes lines like this one:
If you’ve ever noticed bright red blood on toilet tissue or in the bowl after a bowel movement, chances are it is a small tear in the rim of the anus. Such tears are commonly mistaken for hemorrhoids, which unlike fissures don’t cause pain with bowel movements.
But that assumption, that we don't want to talk about this also shortchanges all of us. Many of us already know that bright red anal bleeding and wounds aren't exactly the kind of thing people want to talk about while making small talk. But further, it assumes that we aren't already furiously Googling, WebMDing, or perusing Internet message boards about their anal problems.