Free Willy.

As regular visitors here might be aware, my wife makes hats, scarves and headbands, which she sells on both Etsy and on her website at www.anniesoriginals.com. In fact, right now, she has a free shipping special going on that runs until Christmas, so consider this my annual plug. Tell her Johnny sent you. It won't get you any discounts, but there's an outside chance it might help me get lucky. It's worth a shot, anyway.

She can also take special orders right up until two weeks before Christmas, so if you want special colors or a certain kind of wool (I have an awesome hat made out of alpaca) just email her and let her know. Hats and scarves only, please. Why do I say that? Let me tell you why.

The other night, she walked in to my office holding her laptop, and she had an odd look on her face. She said, "You're not going to believe this, but I got an e-mail from a lady who wants me to actually crochet -- "

I interrupted her and said, "A penis warmer?" She looked at me like I was psychic or something. Crazy, but psychic.

"Yeah! How'd you know?" she asked. I honestly had no idea how I knew. I just immediately knew. Maybe I am psychic. Or maybe that just says something about how long we've been married.

In case you've never seen one, (a warmer, that is) they generally look like this:

"My dad used to have a red, white and blue one in his dresser drawer when I was a kid," I said. "It was very patriotic."

"Really? Your dad?" she asked in disbelief. She looked stunned and a little horrified, like she was picturing my father wearing it. Or trying to not picture him wearing it, and failing. Then I started picturing him wearing it, so I quickly explained things to clear that mental image for both of us.

"No, no -- he didn't seriously wear it. It was in one of those joke boxes that said something like - 'Just a little present to keep you warm this winter.' One of his friends gave it to him as a gag gift, I think. Or maybe it was my mother. That sounds like her."

She looked relieved.

"It's one of the few fun things I ever found in there when my mother used to punish me by sending me to their room instead of my own," I said. "It didn't look like it would fit anything human." (I had gotten in trouble for going through their drawers, but it had been worth it. It was right up there with the time I found the 'pin-the-boobs-on-the-girl' party game in my grandmother's attic.)

"This lady sounds like she really wants one, but I'm not sure I have time to make it," she said. "Plus I'd have to find a pattern."

"If you make it, I'll model the prototype for you, " I said. "But you may have to size the final product up a bit." She laughed and said, "What do you think I should I tell her?"

"Google it," I said. "I'm sure there's a link you can send her if you don't have time to make one. There are probably a million places selling those things."

Turns out I was right. If you Google "willy warmer" or "penis warmer," you will see hundreds of different types of warmers in all sizes and colors. You may even see some that are being modeled by their very proud owners if your google safe-search isn't turned on. (Trust me. Leave it on.)

So anyway, this got me thinking. I wasn't sure exactly why there were so many. I figured -- gag gifts, ok -- but there were people actually using these things. As in, they had knitted willy warmers as a regular part of their wardrobe. Right up there with socks and shoes, shirts and ties.

So I thought, Maybe it's just me, and this *isn't* really weird. And then I immediately thought, No, it is.

With that in mind, I'm going to conduct an informal poll of the men reading this blog post right now:

Question: Has your junk ever been cold? Ever?

Obviously if you are one of those polar bear freaks, you don't have to answer, because you are bat-shit crazy and therefore your survey response is rendered invalid. I realize I can't speak for everyone here, (and I concede that there may be a random person with some sort of Raynaud's disease of the penis reading this right now) but for the most part I'd have to say that it's like a furnace down there -- summer, winter, rain or shine -- it doesn't matter. In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest that if someone invented some kind of cooling device that you could strap on like one of these warmers, guys would be buying them in droves.

And here's another thing. Most of these are made of wool, or some sort of Acrylic/Wool blend. Wool is two things: Incredibly warm, and incredibly itchy. I've never owned a wool sweater that didn't need a shirt under it, and I can only wear a wool hat for so long before I'm scratching my head like I have a colony of lice setting up a terrorist camp behind my ears. So my second question is this: Why? Why would you want something that itchy placed directly on something that already itches more than its fair share in relation to other body parts? I've included this handy graph to help you understand the ratios here:

By all means, feel free to disagree with me, but I am willing to go on record as speaking for the majority of people who don't have some kind of extenuating circumstances on/in some other part of their body and say this:

You never, ever need to intentionally add any additional heat or irritation down there. Period.

That would be like going to the beach and saying, "You know what my ass crack is missing? Sand. Lots and lots of sand."

Now that I went off on that tangent, let me loop back around and point out that if you want a nice hat or scarf, or are looking for a unique, hand-made Christmas gift for someone special, my wife uses very nice yarn that won't make anything itch. Plus, free shipping for a limited time. You can't beat that.

Just don't ask her to knit you a willy warmer because she won't do it.*

*Unless you pay her a ton of money and let her make it out of alpaca or cashmere and promise to never, ever send her a photo of anyone actually wearing it.


  1. Anonymous8:44 PM

    I would love to buy my husband a hat that would not itch. He is bald and we live in a cold winter area for the first time in our lives. How do you size a hat? And look at my word verification estros...hahah I have hot flashes.

  2. I'm not sure what to do with this but shudder.

  3. Stop!! I am laughing too loud at work! Jeez, dude. On the other hand, maybe I should just send the link to this post to my boss - after all, I'm working for the athletic department of a well known university. Coach could maybe use something like this...

  4. "You may even see some that are being modeled by their proud owners if your google safe-search isn't turned on. (Trust me. Leave it on.)"

    Johnny, I shoulda listened..but I just HAD to check it out..

    Anybody spare some eye bleach??

  5. I don't know, JV, I really see a market in cold-weather streakers. I mean, that real "moment" only comes for a few seconds at a time during a good streak, so why not avoid the "cold-shrivel" with a willy warmer in between the stadium and Waffle House leg of your streak?

  6. I'm going to second your opinion that coldness is NOT an issue in that particular part of my body. And I've been to some cold places! Siberia in February! But yeah... things down there tend to regulate their own heat, even go into hiding at times! And an excellent point and graph on relative itchiness. I might have some minor scoring variations but the trend is accurate.

    And I feel I have to admit that this... THIS... post is what finally took me from long time lurker status (Thanks for recommending it to me JC!) to commenting. You are one funny guy.

  7. At Fort Drum I've been told Soldiers their wear socks on their junk for PT in the morning to keep the liner from freezing to their garbage..

  8. Anonymous10:24 AM

    When you are taking a leak outside at -80 C in Antarctica, your man bits definitely get chilly. However, a willy warmer wouldn't really help with that particular situation.

  9. Anonymous1:45 PM

    So you're attacking the whole "dad found my blog" issue head on I see. [Pun intended.] Good for you.

  10. kristina5:01 PM

    Your dad will be thrilled to know you found his willy-warmer...

  11. Are they made out of stretchable fabric?

  12. KMarie11:27 AM

    My husband is a runner and has said on more than one occasion that his willy got so cold he thought it had frostbite. Maybe there's a small market for willy warmers for runners in the cold winter states?

    Happy Thanksgiving, JV!!

  13. I am thankful to have found your blog and book,(even
    though reading it in public made me shoot tea out of my nose at the Valvoline).
    May you and the rest of your family have a great Thanksging.

  14. KMarie.. I believe that's where the "goes into hiding" feature is supposed to take over. I've run in weather as cold as 9 F and never felt that, or else everything else was so cold I just didn't notice.

  15. This blog is so educational. I would buy one for my husband, but he said he wouldn't wear it (we live somewhere warm, though). When we were in NZ, they had possum fur nipple warmers. So maybe some people just have abnormally cold bits-n-pieces?

    Also, kudos to Anne that she is even considering making that, instead of telling the lady to take her dirty business elsewhere.

  16. How does one know what size to order? I mean, you can't exactly go into a store, look at the male attendant, and say "he's about your size"!

    By the way, love your book. Although I have to be careful reading it after my husband falls asleep because loud laughter wakes him up.

  17. The only men that I can think of that would benefit from a willy warmer are those Kilt wearing fellas. My Ex always told me that if his hands became cold he could always put them between his legs and cup them up high and they'd be snuggly warm. Yes, the first thing I said to him when he came in during the cold months was "Wash your hands." Well, it's sweaty down there.

  18. To answer your question ... no, I have never had cold junk with the exception of brief outdoor moments while taking care of business during winter campouts.

  19. yes, my junk goat cold, when I was wearing too short a coat, by close to minus 40 (Celsius of Fahrenheit, it's the same) on a windy day (and yes my pant zipper was close)

  20. The word verification I had to type to leave this comment was "testors."

    Perhaps that is the name of the disease that causes your junk to get cold?

  21. Anonymous3:19 AM

    JV, I will concede your point that no normally clothed male needs added insulation for the crotchal area. I belive the target audience (outside of the novelty crowd) is rock bands that perform (mostly) nude, a la Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and nudists in moderately cool climates.

  22. It's taken me a couple of months, but I finally finished the archives. Oh Yeah- I *totally* read all of them. (I would like to note that you've kept me up way, Way, WAY past my bed time for many a night)
    I stumbled upon you thru pharmacy chick's blog and am SO happy to have done so. I'd also like to know how the hell I missed the viral JCP blog- I guess my friends aren't as cool as I thought they were. Bastards. I need better friends.
    I also thought it was cool that you are in NY cause that's where I am too. But ha ha, you live farther north so you get more of the sucky snow. (I have probably just jinxed the hell out if myself. shit.)
    My husband has been trying to drag me up to the ADK for about 10 yrs now and after seeing your pictures, I think I'd like to go. (tho some of your crap bucket stories have put a serious damper on that. wtf ppl?)
    And since this has gotten exceptionally long (hey I refrained from commenting for 5 years of posts!), I just want to say thanks for taking time out of your life to tell us your stories. I have laughed and cried and made my husband think I'm crazy.
    I can't wait till the next installment.

    and I'll totally be buying the book. and the second book too if you see fit to write it.