This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor

by Adam Kay

Rating: ★★★★

Combines your bog-standard vaginal tearing stories with a few more outstanding instances of genital mutilation.

Bronze medal goes to the woman who, ferociously high on cocaine, misjudged herself leaping over a fence to elude the fuzz and ended up with a metal spike protruding up through her vagina and out of her abdomen. The cops quite unfairly didn't let her keep the spike she'd snatched (because of all the crimes), but while we must acknowledge the chemical assistance it's clearly worthy of placement, not to mention a daunting standard for any future penetrative partner.

The silver goes to the young man, who, supported by less clearly defined levels and forms of chemical inspiration, managed to make himself the hero of the best (and, I hope, only) penis degloving story I have ever heard. The tragic form of his rise (to the top of a bus-stop) and fall (down an unexpectedly abrasive lamppost) calls the reader to reflect that indeed there are some sorts of friction to which it is undesirable to expose oneself, and the all-pervading desire to 'rub one off' may be glutted by scraping it to rags against the superior glowing phallus of a West London municipal authority.

To get the gold needs more pathos, though, and the young girl who features, seemingly without even a bracing drink in support, wins this not only for the more wince-filled nature of her intentional self-mutilation (taking the shears to her subjectively imperfect Lawrence of Arabia, and getting most of the way through before becoming alarmed at her body's insistence that this was not as sex-positive a move as she may have thought), but for the motivation she professes: to be 'normal', 'like in porn'.

Anyway, beyond his hilarious and horrifying stories from the coalface, not all of which are about the parting of privates, Kay's broader points hit home excellently. Junior doctors are being run ragged in a manner that not only is quite mean-spirited, given they're only trying to save people's lives, but also quite clearly dangerous: nobody wants the person delivering their critical medical care to be coming off the tail-end of twelve consecutive hours doing surgeries without pause, or three days into a sleep-deprivation cycle that their managers give zero fucks about. It's as insane as the astounding neglect with which NHS IT systems are rolled out, despite bugs in these platforms quite literally killing people.