WE'VE ALL been seeing a lot e-mail and newsgroup spam from places like Russia with titles like: "How to Enlarge Your Penis." However, no one to my knowledge has ever admitted to actually buying this product.
Let me be the first.
I called up the long-distance number they provide, and spoke to a woman with a heavy Russian accent and a smoker's cough. She took my credit card information, and in a day or two my Visa was debited for 2,490,000,000 rubles. This is equal to US$4.83, the ruble being rather inflated these days. For a month I heard nothing, and rather suspected I had been the victim of a clever scam. Then a van bearing the Novoship logo pulled up outside my door, and unloaded 43 packing crates on pallets, stenciled with the name of the Borisoglebskaia Sloboda Penis Enlarger Manufacturing Works in Novaya Zemlya. "Sign here," the driver said.
Poking through the crates, I found a 50 page assembly manual, and a 200 page owners manual, both in Russian.
Assembly took over two months.
It wouldn't fit in the bedroom, library, or even the aviary. I thought about putting it in the orangerie, but I was worried that the humidity would rust the orbital gears or rot the tack. The laboratory has a ceiling high enough, but there have been problems with dampness, and the constant screaming of the monkeys would be distracting. I finally drained the indoor swimming pool, installed the generators, the heat exchangers, and the mass spectrometer in the bottom of the pool, with the rest of the apparatus on steel scaffolding above. Once the phone company had run in a T1 line, the electricians had provided a couple of new 220V circuits, and I had the Freon, liquid nitrogen and fuel oil tanks filled, I was ready to fire it up.
1. Noise is an issue. My nearest neighbor is several miles away, which is lucky, because when the penis enlarger is going full tilt, it makes quite a racket. There are frequent loud releases of steam, electrical crackling as sparks are released from the bus bars, and I can't seem to get the engine housing tight enough to prevent a loud constant clanging from the crankshaft and pistons. There's a built-in MP3 player which is pre-loaded with Russian folksongs that are supposed to be soothing, but frankly I can't hear them over the din.
2. The delicate interlaced engraving on the brass fittings and housing—resembling those from the Book of Kells, and certain 14th century rood screens from the Ukraine—are quite beautiful, but a chore to clean, and I have to listen to the downstairs maid grumbling about when she does them every Tuesday. Likewise the cast bronze figures of gods and goddesses that adorn the instrument panel, the tiller, and the spiral staircase are an impressive example of the bronze-caster's art, but they are posed in such, ah, how shall I say: indelicate positions and carrying on such astonishing activities that the staff refuses to clean them at all, and I am forced to do so myself, which is laborious.
3. The engineering is sub-par. I have gone through three sets of O-rings already, the propeller bearings have had to be reground, and the leather harness on the ejection seat has begun to crack. A friend tells me that that is most likely due to the manufacturer having used yak leather, which is too delicate for such a purpose. Heaven knows, Soviet engineering was never very strong, but since the collapse of Communism, it has clearly gone to hell in a handbasket.
4. I have yet to figure out what the squirrel cage does, and the bother of keeping a colony of squirrels to run it is just annoying.
5. The firmware has gone through five patches, each with its own bugs. And they keep moving the ftp site around Russia. It's very embarrassing to have to go on the IRC sex channels and ask if anyone knows where the patch server is this week.
By now you probably want to know how the thing works. I haven't actually tried it on myself, but three friends volunteered, and you can see their group portrait here. The little guy spent the longest time on it, and if you ask me, he overdid things a little.
I'm still a little leery of using it. The concept is elegant, but the execution is flawed.
I may just try to unload it on eBay.