Garret Mathews

Several Jobs I Absolutely Don’t Want

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GarretMathews4-aThere are several jobs I absolutely don’t want.

Hemorrhoid doctor. Dentist. Roto-Rooter man. Undertaker. Elephant shoveler.

After listening to ESPN Radio on a long car trip. I added a new one to the list.

The sports person who has to ask star athletes about their groin injuries.

It goes something like this:

Reporter: “Gee, Barry, I couldn’t help but notice that you were really wincing during that last at-bat. Was it just a bad sandwich or were you in acute pain?”

Barry: “More like agony. It felt like certain parts of my body were having a tug of war and the wrong side won. The only reason I didn’t carry a cane to the plate was because the game was on television.”

BaseballAndGrassReporter: “Is it a groin injury?”

Barry: “You’d better believe it. The way it looks right now, I’ll be walking on tiptoes for the rest of my career.”

Reporter: “Can you tell us how you got hurt?”

Barry: “A $1,000 bill was on the field. As I stretched to get it, something snapped.”

Reporter: “So we shouldn’t expect you back in the lineup any time soon, is that right?”

Barry: “Correct. The trainer won’t give me clearance to play unless I can stretch for a $10,000 silver certificate without re-aggravating the injury.”

I don’t know about you, but I believe there are some things that should be off-limits to public purview.

Nose hairs. Spit. Anything rectal. And the well-being of somebody’s groin.

I have interviewed thousands of people.

Asked about their jail time. Why they learned to carve their initials into a matchstick with a chain saw. Why they use rattlesnakes to guard their toolboxes. Why they think the cantaloupe from their garden looks like Uncle Milton.

I’ve never once asked about a groin.

The words just wouldn’t come out.

Me, embarrassed: “Uh, er, how’s your gr-? I mean, you know, the thing that’s got you on tiptoes. Your, uh, uh…”

Sports star: “Are you referring to the juncture of my lower abdomen and inner thigh?”

Me: “Yes.”

Sports star: “You mean my groin.”

Me: “I’d appreciate it if you don’t use that word.”

Sports star: “So what do you want me to call that part of my body?”

Me, sheepishly: “The spot.”

Sports star: “Jeez, you’re weird. Let me get this straight. You want to know how my spot is for your newspaper article?”

Me: “Yes.”

Sports star: “Getting better every day. Thanks for asking.”

Me: “When will your spot be ready to resume normal activities?”

Sports star: “Maybe a week, maybe longer. The spot has a mind of its own.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I must stop the interview. I’m very uncomfortable.”

Sports star: “Why? Does your spot hurt?”

Me: “No. I just want to go to a place where groins are off-limits.”

Sports star: “A convent?”

Me: “I’m on my way.”
Editor’s Notes:  Garret Mathews tells us:   I’m retired from writing the metro column for the Evansville, Ind., Courier & Press. In a 39-year career, I penned more than 6,500 pieces on every subject from moonshiners to murderers. You can read some of my work by going to and clicking on the Favorites icon.  For information on other projects, click on Coming Together and FolksAreTalking on the Plugger site.” Also, go to, and, for even MORE great articles from Garret, click here!  Email Garret at He’d love to hear from you!

Garret Mathews is retired from writing the metro column for the Evansville, Ind., Courier & Press. He penned more than 6,500 pieces on every subject from moonshiners to murderers and Appalachian snake handlers to mail-order brides. His legacy website ( contains links to columns – his (“Favorites”) and those mostly written by others (“Columnists: While We’re Still Around”). At “Coming Together,” you can access interviews Mathews conducted with civil rights volunteers who went South in the ‘60s to register voters and desegregate schools and businesses. At “Folks Are Talking,” you can read several dozen feature stories and columns (early United Mine Workers organizers, early coal hand loaders and a female furrier who dissected muskrats while eating peanut butter sandwiches) that Mathews wrote during the ‘70s when he worked in Southern West Virginia. He and his wife MaryAnne moved to Carmel in 2013 to dote on their grandchildren, Gavin and Ben.

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