[My editors at the Tri-Valley Dispatch newspaper have given me permission to reprint an article I wrote in January. It's on mind because of a recent update to the article.]
By TEMPLE A. STARK
(AFD) — Scientists in Barrow, Alaska have discovered a previously unknown quality to Viagra — it works better frozen.
At least, some people see it that way.
A new study in next month’s Northwest Science Journal of Medicine reports that while the cold can have unfortunate side effects to the genitals of both sexes, it can lead to help for the body’s most flexible organ — the tongue.
During the six-months of winter’s darkness in Barrow, which sits above the Arctic Circle, temperatures stay down below -50°F. Not much usually moves at those temperatures. But Dr. Felix Omigodeys found one exception.
He told colleagues that he discovered something unique when he put his supply of Viagra in the freezer locker to warm up (really).
A research assistant, L. Ickinschlit said what happened next went beyond anything he’s seen in the normally staid scientific community.
“Dr. Omigodeys ran up to me and at first I thought he was making, well, silly faces,” Ickinschlit said. As he came closer and closer I saw that he had his tongue stuck out at me.… He was excitedly moving his hands out and moving his head down, over and over.”
Not understanding his boss’ actions, they went back inside and Omigodeys started fingering the Apple keyboard.
“I can still see the words flashing there, it said: Think Tongue Erection. Don’t laugh. I didn’t.”
Omigodeys described what he had done — swallowed the blue pills while they were frozen.
“He explained how that might have changed the chemical make-up, but I couldn’t believe it,” Ickinschlit said. “But hours later his tongue was still very much out.”
Though it was clearly flexible, it was hard as well. And it stayed that way for hours.
Another man who witnessed Omigodeys thought he was playing some kind of weird practical joke. “Except he wasn’t a prankster, he stayed in his room a lot,” the man said. “He complained about hand pain, but otherwise he usually let everyone take care of their own business.”
Omigodeys was worried, colleagues say, until it started to die down.
“It was a breakthrough, though unintended,” Ickinschlit said. “We felt like we were in virgin territory, though, of course, it had been done before by men in different positions many many times.
“He had the softest touch on those keys, it was almost a caress, very gentle.”
It could not be discovered why Dr. Omigodeys had a Viagra supply in an area populated only by polar bears and oil derrick workers.
Others interviewed for this article did not want their names revealed. Said one, “There’s such a thing as being too popular. I’d be mobbed in my own home. I value my privacy — and my sleep.”
Reportedly, Omigodeys has quickly moved to patent what he told others amounts to a new formula.
Researchers on their way back to Oregon State University were found down at the Ketchikan YMCA where they had stopped to eat. They said they were asked down to help the performance of the college’s women’s rowing team. One said, “It might sound fun but it’s going to be grueling. I think we’ll be overworked and underpaid. I’m not sure we’ll get anything in return.”
Dr. Omigodeys could not be reached for comment. He has apparently left Alaska for a lucrative career in Groningen, Holland.
“Ever since this was discovered, and boy news spread quickly, we’ve all been pretty closemouthed,” Ickinschlit said.
Said another: “It hurts to talk.”
Update, March 30, 2005 – Since this report first ran we’ve heard from a Dr. Gertrude Ayers, who said this was not a new discovery. She said in 2001 she had attempted to publish an interim report on what she called, Frozen Tongue Syndrome.
“They refused to enter me there and they pulled out my funding,” Ayers said. “I had friends try back-door channels but it proved impossible to convince any of my colleagues.”
Ayers said since that time she had firm job offers from fellows at H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College, Pusan Women’s University, Immaculate University and Midway College, but ultimately decided on Hood College.
“At first I heard a lot of women say, ‘I have an open mind, but not wide open.’ That changed so fast it made my head spin,” she said. “Deep down, it gives me great satisfaction. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.
“It’s not just work, it’s a job.”
Though she would like to meet Dr. Omigodeys, the good news, she said, is that since 2001 she has been given more leeway to pursue her research. It has been more widely accepted, despite some lingering fears.
“In a very real way Frozen Tongue Syndrome has melted a lot of hearts. I think some of our male co-workers have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction,” Ayers said. “They see the favor being returned.”
√ The reporter can be reached at 520-280-8139 or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.