Check out the butt on that guy

True story: Many years ago, during my first-ever journalism job in the small Southwestern Ontario town of Ingersoll, Ont., I wrote a police blotter story about vandals spray-painting the sign at the town’s entrance so that it read “Fingerhole” (ahh, good old small-town journalism).

My editor prudently (or perhaps prudishly) axed that little 100-word story, yet “Fingerhole” has been a personal source of merriment ever since. Much to my wife’s annoyance, I never fail to announce that we’re passing by Fingerhole whenever we’re driving westbound on Highway 401 to my hometown of Windsor. It’s the little things, right?

Now, where was I? Oh yeah: To mark Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Rethink and Prostate Cancer Foundation B.C. are putting what they’re calling a “playful twist” on men’s underwear with something called Checkup Briefs.

While they resemble standard tighty whities in every way, the Checkup Briefs feature an additional hole in the back that provides a doctor with easier digital (in the analogue sense of the word) access to the wearer’s bum when conducting a prostate exam. Some, and particularly those with a less-refined sense of decorum and good taste, might call it a fingerhole.

(And just as an aside here, I am constantly bemused by the things I write about covering this industry. Based on my search history for the campaign stories I’ve written over the years, Google must think I have a very warped mind.)

The Checkup Briefs, though, provide a playful solution to a very serious issue. While prostate cancer has a survival rate close to 100% if detected early enough, it claims the lives of up to 4,600 men each year because they get the heebie-jeebies about undergoing a rectal examination.

Prostate Cancer Foundation BC and Prostate Cancer Support Canada are making the Checkup Briefs available to men who book a prostate exam appointment and leave a comment on Prostate Cancer BC’s launch post announcing the campaign. Posters will be randomly selected to receive a pair of Checkup Briefs.

“Prostate cancer is still the #1 most diagnosed cancer among Canadian men. Our goal with Checkup Briefs is to amplify awareness around the importance of having prostate exams through a more humorous approach,” said Prostate Cancer Foundation BC’s executive director Leah Lariviere in a release. “We hope that this more tongue-in-cheek direction can allow men to feel more comfortable about learning and talking about prostate exams.”

And who knows, this new “fingerhole” could turn out to be a life-saver.

Chris Powell