Alf has always been able to overcome any hint of an urge to have “I love Mrs Grumble” – or anything else – tattooed on to bits of his body.
The prospect of suffering just a modicum of discomfort – let alone twinges of pain – is a powerful disincentive.
A concern about finishing up with hepatitis or something similarly nasty comes into the reckoning.
But more important, a fear of needles means Alf would not allow a tattooist go to work on any part of his anatomy.
Above all, he squirms at the very idea of having a tattooist inscribe anything on to the shaft of his todger, even if the inscription involved nothing more than a full point or a comma.
Mind you, it is unlikely Alf’s willy would accommodate the words “I love Mrs Grumble”, unless the tattooist knew how to write very small letters.
But there is not much point in having words so small inscribed, because Mrs Grumble would be hard-pressed to read Alf’s declaration of everlasting love without peering real close at the words through her magnifying glass.
Alf’s aversion to the idea of adorning his willy with words, pictures, or anything, has been strongly fortified today by an item of news from the Daily Mail.
It tells of a 21-year-old man who has been left with a permanent semi-erection after having his penis tattooed with a pithy phrase and a dedication to his girlfriend.
The unnamed Iranian patient was left with the constant erection after having ‘borow be salaamat’ (good luck with your journeys) inked on the shaft of his member.
He also had the letter ‘M’ – his girlfriend’s initial – tattooed there, resulting in a nonischemic priapism, doctors from the Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences reported.
After going weak at the knees at the very thought of an arteriovenous fistula in his penis, Alf sent Mrs Grumble to find out what the hell it involved.
The answer is that a fistula is a connection between two organs or vessels that are not normally linked.
In this case the connection was between an artery and a vein in the man’s member and the mischief was done – probably – by the tattoo needle being plunged too deep.
‘In our case, most probably, the handheld needle penetrated the penis too deep, creating an arteriovenous fistula,’ wrote the doctors in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
For eight days after the tattooing, the penis was painful. Hence there were no erections, the authors of the article say.
‘After that, the patient noticed longer-than-usual sleep-related erections. This progressed, within a week, to a constantly half-rigid penis, day and night.’
The Daily Mail has provided some medical stuff to explain that, when a man’s penis becomes erect normally, blood rushes in through the arteries and later leaves through the veins.
But in a nonischemic priapism, blood continues to fill the penis faster than it can leave.
This means the pressure remains constant and the penis permanently erect.
The Daily Mail has obviously relished further explaining that the condition is named after the Roman deity Priapus, a rustic fertility god and protector of livestock, gardens and male genitalia.
He is commonly depicted with an absurdly oversized, permanent erection.
Naturally, the editors felt obliged to illustrate this bit of their story.
But what happened to this Iranian bloke?
According to the Iranian researchers, the problem resolves itself naturally 62 per cent of the time.
When it doesn’t, men have the option of selective arterial embolism — a procedure that blocks the offending artery.
The Iranian patient had other ideas. He chose to have a shunt implanted to drain the excess blood.
‘Predictably, the procedure was unsuccessful,’ the authors wrote. But happily the man was left with no lasting damage.
‘Because of the painless nature of erections, moderately good preservation of erectile function during intercourses, and disappointment with former surgery, the patient has declined to undergo further therapies, and lives with his condition,’ they said.
The patient has no regrets, despite his permanent erection, the report noted. Nevertheless, the authors warned against others considering the same.
‘Based on our unique case, we discourage penile tattooing,’ they concluded.
Alf did not have to read about this to be discouraged.