THE IDEA BEHIND THE PAP SMEAR, USING IT AS HOME ENTERTAIMENT WAS NOT THAT OF KATHY GRIFFIN´S, IT WAS TAKEN FROM A SCREENPLAY.
In November 2007 I had registered a Screenplay called WHAT MEN WANT AND WHAT WOMEN ARE PREPARED TO GIVE. It was only my second attempt at a Screenplay, but I wanted tell the story about sex in a marriage and the onset of menopause. The Screenplay was submitted from 2009 onwards to a number of Screenplay competitions. However, I was always asked to rewrite the story this way and rewrite it that way, after which I decided to covert it to a book and changed the name to BAGS & BITCHES.
I believed that I was crap at screenplay writing, but seems like some parts of the story were of obvious value to others.
This is the extract from Chapter Seven Menopause and…
I look around the changing room while I remove my T-shirt which is wet with perspiration in the armpit area. I use the toilet again to get rid of the last drop of urine before my examination.
I leave the changing room and make my way down the passage trying to find my way to the examination room. I can make out a dimly lit room and the end of the passage. I feel a little hesitant as I enter, I see something moving in the corner, I´m relieved to see it´s only the assistant setting up the equipment. I look around the semi dark room taking in the decore; one hard bed with a green sheet, two stirrups, a TV monitor mountered on the wall above the bed.
I hesitantly climb on the bed, the assistant indicates for me to rest my legs in the stirrups at the end of the bed. I try to push the gown discreetly between my legs as I feel a little exposed baring my bare essentials with my legs stretched open to the limit, and dangling freely from my knees down. The doctor pulls her chair closer, holding a long white thing resembling a cigar, she proceeds to prod me in all directions, the TV monitor clicks on, I watch the black and white image above my head.
“This must be an old model if it’s black and white.” I continue my private conversation in my head.
The doctor looks up at the screen. “Those are your ovaries.” More prodding by the doctor. “Probably won’t have another menstrual period. You’re already in menopause.”
I rest my right arm on my forehead, as I don´t want to know about this imminent menopause and because I´m not particularly interested in seeing my ovaries on TV. I continue with my private conversation in my head wondering. “Is she talking to me or to my private parts? “
After the examination I change back into my jeans and T-shirt. I flop back in the chair in front of the doctor’s desk as she explains the next part of the procedure.
“Everything seems in order, however I will give you a letter for a mammogram for that lump you can feel in your left breast and the one you didn’t feel under your left armpit.” She tears off the paper and hands it to me. “I´ve called the centre and they have agreed to do it tomorrow, as soon as you have the results come back to my consulting rooms. You don´t have to make another appointment just give the results to the receptionist and I will have the final conclusion for you while you wait.”
* * * *
Later the morning. Anne is waiting for me, anxious to hear what the doctor had to say. She pats my hand and gives it a little squeeze. “So was it all that bad, hey! ” Anne asks.
I give a big sigh. “I still can´t get used to a visit to the gynecologist. It’s the first time I’ve had a woman gyne. This one got straight to the point, prod-ding me with that cigar looking thing and studying the TV monitor just above my head, saying ´those are your ovaries.´ I really don’t want to see my ovaries even if they were filmed in 3-D and in color.”
Anne slaps her hand on the table. “Yeah! Next thing you know these doctors will have a whole film crew in there charging you extra for your own DVD and selling it as a new form of home entertainment.”
“Well the gynecologist seems to think my lower part is in good working order, tomorrow I must have the top section put under the spotlight.”
In and around about August 2011, I was surprised to see on the internet that Kahty Griffin had a pap smear as a television show. I have been haunted by the notion that the idea had come from my screenplay. It´s time Kahty Griffin and her team own up where they got the idea from.
Kathy Griffin got herself a television show from the story and a load of publicity. I got nothing for my creative idea. Instead I still have the lump in my breast and some days it is very painful. I know have resorted to selling products from Amazon on a free Website.
If you would like to make a donation or buy something from Amazon, please do.
No Sex just Coffee.
My delicately crafted foot appears from under the covers. As the left foot disappears my right foot curls itself over the white cotton sheet. I haven´t had much sleep, I´ve been getting these slight waves of heat moving up my back during the night and it is disturbing my sleeping pattern, so when the sun peeps it´s smiley little face through the shutters in the morning, I´m in denial about the purpose of light, while I still need sleep. My restless body seems to have stirred the beast. His hairy arm appears from under the covers and is placed gently over my restless figure, I´m still trying to catch a couple of minutes sleep and in no mood for any kind of morning marital interaction. “Leave me alone I’m trying to sleep!” I give a little snap, not too harsh but firm.
He moves closer. “Would you like me to rub your back?”
I don´t respond because I know he is going to continue rubbing my back and a ´yes´ or a ´no´ won´t make any difference. The other reason I lay quiet is that I don´t want to encourage the lurking monster under the covers. He proceeds to rub my back. I´m enjoying the attention and the soothing motion of his strong hand running over my back. There is more movement under the covers as his body is now pressed up against mine. The blood rushes to another part of his anatomy which seems to be operating on auto pilot as his hand moves lower with every sweep across my back, the strong hand starts to slide over the top of my fifty year old cheeks and down under my night time knickers. Unlike the day time knickers when I wear a thong to give my behind that smooth look in my designer jeans. My body tenses as he hand moves further down, I turn ever so slightly to discourage the path his hand is taking.
“I’m tired!” I complain as I move away ever so slightly. The most effective way to discourage a horny man in the morning is to do it gently.
“But you’ve just woken up Sofia!” he replies.
“I’m tired…. I’m trying to sleep and you are disturbing me!” Now I´m getting a little agitated as I realize he´s in overdrive and on a one way ticket to ride. I flip back my L’Oreal casting crème gloss auburn hair and turn in the opposite direction tucking the pillow under my torso and at the same time hoping to dislodge the hairy arm off my butt.
My husband Tom, he´s fifty or so just like me, although I stopped counting at fifty keeping my age a well keep secret inside my head and forbid anybody to do the calculation when they figure out which year I was born. I don´t even put my secret year on these goddamn websites as some of them calculate one´s age and proudly put it next to one´s profile. Now just imagine a woman not wanting to think about getting old, and that must be ninety nine percent of all women the rest are bluffing or they´re suffering from dementia. The internet site then calculates your age and put´s it next to your profile and proudly pronounces, `this information is only visible to you and nobody else.´ What on earth were they thinking, that any women older than fifty would like and automatic age calculator flashing at you every time you click on your profile.
Oh, back to my husband. Well at fifty something he is still sexy and good looking. I guess he started out that way and apart from the grey at the temples as he believes in the graceful ageing of men. Unlike women who believe that Grace never went grey because she used hair color, in times ago (that is what my Spanish friend calls the past and I just love that saying) when henna was the color of the day.
“Just give me a hug!” he asks in a self pitying kind of way.
I turn around at he´s request. The hug is lasting longer than I anticipated as the blood rushes down and activates the auto pilot again. Now I know on most mornings this is my cue to get out of bed and get the hell out of the bedroom. “We had better get going otherwise the kids will be late for school.” I mumble pulling my T-shirt down as I make my way to the bathroom.
Now you have to understand that the early morning thing is an ongoing thing in our relationship. It just doesn´t work for me first thing in the morning, well sometimes I do just give in for the sake of peace, but my brain is saying you should have the inner strength to turn off the auto pilot. Now I´m not sure which side of the brain is the compass of logic, but I´m a women and don´t now my right from my left. In extreme circumstances I have wished I could turn off the auto pilot via mental telepathy or grabbing it by the neck and starving the flow of blood.
It´s one of these mornings that my husband is not taking my “no” as the final answer on the subject; surely it´s my legitimate right as a liberated women. It´s not like we´re living in a cave and he´s dragging me by my henna colored split at every end hair.
“Why don’t you like to do anything in the morning?” he asks me accusingly.
I reply, with a little more confidence, as I´m on my way to the bathroom. “Because I’m tired, besides I need time to wake up!”
There is no point staying in that bed in a horizontal position, it just encourages the auto pilot who´s acting like a control freak this morning by pushing my husband to the brink of despair.
He throws back the covers. “What’s the matter with you? Don’t you feel like doing anything anymore?” It was like the words were coming from his groin.
I keep my mind focused, not even for the sake of peace am I consenting. Besides nothing down below from my side has given any indication of complicity to this morning´s madness. “We’d better get going or else the kids will be late for school.” I reply with a hint of guilt in my voice. How did not wanting sex in the morning become not wanting sex at all? I try to make is sound more plausible, like we are responsible parents and our first priority is to get the kids to school. But he has played a clever trick with his words, making me feel like less of a woman. But my mind thinks two paces ahead as I make my way towards the door. “Of course I do! We have a lot to do in the morning, let’s just get going.”
“Of course! Every time I want to do something, you don’t feel like it.” he uses the words men use best to protect their ego´s, manipulation.
“We have to get ready or we’ll be late, now stop hassling me. We don’t have time.”
“ Yeah…! That’s what you always say. There must be something wrong with you if you don’t feel like having sex in the morning. Why don’t you want to have sex with me?”
I mumble to myself. “Surely a woman has a right to say no.” My patience is wearing thin as it always does on these mornings. Then I lift my head high as I use my power protection word “no” in another form. “You’ve got it all wrong of course. Besides we have to get the kids to school!” One would have thought by this stage of this morning session with me already making my way out the bedroom door that my husband´s sense of responsibility would keep the beast in check for a more suitable occasion.
My husband Tom takes his dressing gown off the bathroom hook, wraps it around his naked body, the dressing gown belt is taking the punishment, being wrapped tightly around his waist. His reasonable mind is probably saying that his wife is making sense at this time of the morning while his auto pilot is saying; overruled, as he gives his last desperate appeal to please his ego.
His mouth turns into a bitter lemon twist. “Yeah! It’s always the same excuse, maybe there’s something wrong with you.”
“Oh! Just f*** off!” I snap back.
I storm out of the bedroom and down to the kitchen to make breakfast for the kids knowing all too well that these sort of arguments go nowhere, don´t get resolved and they happen on a regular basis, i.e. same old theme different day.
Our fifteen year old son William walks into the kitchen. He is the older of the two children, blond with blue eyes, skinny physique yet athletic, laid-back, nothing seems to bother him, except his sister. He rubs the sleep from his eyes as he opens the fridge. “What’s going on so early in the morning?” he asks without expecting a reply.
At that very moment Tom walks into the kitchen, he walks over to the kettle, overhearing William´s question he is quick to respond. “None of your business! Have you packed your bag for school? I’ve told you to pack it the night before, now get moving!” He shouts at poor William for being the first encounter of the real world.
William turns around slowly and looks over at his father and raises his hands in defense. “OK…, soorry!” he whispers in my direction. “What did I do?”
Now I´m really cheesed off because Tom is taking the bedroom business into the kitchen. Now, me and my husband start talking in code. So I reply as a matter of fact. “Oh! he’s always on about nothing!”
Tom turns round and snaps back. “Yeah! And you’re always too busy.”
I slam the toast on the table. “Now you’re starting to piss me off.”
Hearing the commotion as she approaches the kitchen, fourteen year old Samantha walks in. Long dark brown hair, green eyes, energetic, fun-loving, bossy, likes to take control of a situation, she opens the fridge looking for some milk. “Who started this? “
I rush around the kitchen trying to get breakfast done and the children on their way to school. I refer to my husband in a derogatory way as “him” as I pass him at the kitchen table. As I place his coffee on the table I lean in real close to his ear as the code fight continues in the kitchen “Him…! He never knows when to shut-up.”
He remains silent. I turn my attention to the cats. The three fur balls are waiting for me to fill their food bowls. Now if there is one thing I like to do in the morning is to have my little chat with the cats. Tom tolerates this ritual on most mornings, even more so after sex. To be fair, after sex in the morning Tom is the most understanding tolerant loving husband any woman could wish for.
But most other times he just shoots his mouth off to get the better of me. “You give those bloody cats more attention than me.” he says with his twist of lemon lips.
“They’re not as demanding as you.” I reply.
Samantha flops into her chair at the breakfast table, flicks back her long brown hair. “Just ignore him Mum.”
Tom mumbles something as he walks out of the kitchen. I would like to respond as by now I´m trigger happy with quick words and a barrage of insults for men. Samantha cautions me by raising her finger to her lips. As Tom exits the kitchen Samantha gives me her view of the morning soap opera.
“Why do you always reply to Dad, just keep quiet and he will stop.”
“Why should I. He´s the one who started the whole thing.”
“When?” she asks. “When did the whole shouting match start?”
Well as you know I can´t explain to her when the whole unpleasant event started. So I just reply. “Oh….never mind just get ready for school”
Later on that morning I make my way to the coffee shop, my sanctuary my daily cuppa of java, my escape from family duty and constant demands. My time, my space, my universe.
The avant-garde sign in rough metal reads, WALTER´S COFFEE BAR. As I stumble in, Walter lifts one eyebrow in acknowledgment at my presence as he continues to dry a tall glass behind the counter. I flop into a chair as a big sigh escapes my body and eases my pressurized state of mind.
A lady walks in, she removes her sunglasses, twirls them around in one hand while scanning the tables, she spots me and waves.
I smile and wave back. “Better late than never.” I say with familiarity.
My friend Anne is in her mid forties, dark hair inquisitive green eyes, and warm seductive smile, rather tall, she still sports a well-defined body for her age. She gives me the usual morning cheek to cheek. “Looking good honey.” she adds.
“How was the weekend?” I ask while scratching in my oversized designer handbag, the black one with the gold trimmings.
“OK!” she replies looking directly at me. “You look a little agitated this morning. What’s the matter, not enough latte in your coffee?” She says as she noisily moves her chair closer to mine and at the same time dumps her designer bag on the other chair.
I give a weary smile. I stir my coffee and watch the milk swirl around as if an animated version of my morning’s episode is playing out in my coffee cup. “¨Oh, you know the usual. I never feel like, uhmm… having sex in the morning.” I reply without looking up. With Anne sitting next to me I´m guaranteed to receive all the sympathy I could ask for over a cuppa coffee.
Anne rests her arms on the table and pats my hand. “Oh dear! Was it that again?”
“Yeah, I wake-up in the morning and that part of me is still asleep. And you?”
She strengthens her back and answers while giving a sexy shake with her shoulders and a slight wiggle with her behind. “I do what I have to do, the sooner I can get off my back the sooner I can go shopping and the whole family is happy.” She reveals her most intimate secret to me, while checking her mobile phone for missed calls
We start to giggle as I give her a little pinch in her side. “Don’t you want anything out of it?” I ask.
Anne replies confidently as she checks her hair in her make-up mirror. “Well…in the morning, wel…l, it’s also a hassle. But that’s what John wants and that what he gets, he thinks I’m happy.” Stirring her coffee and licking the spoon. “I…..pre…tend!” She hisses like a snake.
“I’m far too selfish. I like to get my bit as well, I don’t want to give it away for nothing…well… it seems to take away my power. Some…times I do what Tom wants and I always say, you owe me one! As always, he makes sure he gets his slice.” She starts to giggle. “Can you imagine a man just giving a woman what she wants then stops in mid stream?”
Anne giggles. “That man would be called ‘ ‘Saint Pleasure.’” She puts her hands just above her head, as if listening to something, and adds. “He would be like a ghost, you would hear about him, but never see him.”
A group of men walk past, as if they were part of Anne´s inspired vision about `Saint Pleasure. ` They look over at us as we sit giggling like two teenagers. The tallest of the three nods in our direction. “Good morning ladies! Enjoying your coffee?”
Anne lifts a timid hand. “Hi… she responds.” She whispers in my direction. “Gorillas in suits, there´s nothing saintly about that lot.”
I choke on my coffee at Anne´s comment and spit a mouthful of coffee back in the cup. She lifts up her cup to me. “Good! That means you’re feeling better.”
My phone rings, I scratch in my oversize bag and retrieve my phone; I check the number and it´s `you know who´ on the line interrupting my time. I press the green button and answer abruptly. “What?”
“What time will you be back?” he asks cautiously.
Surely he doesn´t think I´m just going to capitulate and start talking to him in a savvy way. Good God, not after what I went through just some hours ago. “Not sure, why?” I ask him in a matter of fact way.
“Call me when you’re finished.” he says, sounding all cool, calm and in check.
“Maybe1” I flip the cover back on my phone and dump it back in my bag.
Anne looks over at me, her head at a sympathetic tilt. “He always does call.”
“Yeah! I know, maybe he feels guilty.” I check the time. “I´m off to do some senseless shopping.” I say as I lift my butt of the chair.
“Make sure you have yourself some sex before tomorrow, so you’re in a better mood.” Anne says while shaking my arm as I try to place the money for the bill in a little plate, the money spills all over the table as Walter arrives. Sucking the air through his teeth he scraps the money off the table.
As I get up to leave, I stick my tongue out at my friend, I lean over to kiss Anne goodbye. “Yeah thanks! Maybe you should get yourself an orgasm before tomorrow.” I say as I get that stabbing pain in my left breast again. “Thanks’ for looking after my well-being; I’ll make sure I don’t rust.” I reply as I rub my breast to alleviate the pain.
“What’s that all about?” Anne asks, looking all concerned.
“I’ve been getting this, well…., like a stabbing pain in my left breast.” I explain while I continue to rub the spot.
“Christ! Now you tell me, what are you doing about it?”
“Oh! It’s nothing, it comes and goes. See you Friday.” I wave as I leave the coffee shop leaving Anne to work out a tip with Walter hovering over her, with the change still in her hand she looks at me as she tries to ask me more about the pain and work out old Wally´s tip, but I´m already at the door.
Walter just shakes his head. “Keep it for your parking.” he says to Anne.
She gives him a cheeky smile. “Oh…thanks Wally.
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