The late President Lyndon Johnson used to relish doing in-person interviews with reporters while moving his bowels. Wesley Warren Jr., he of the 100-pound scrotum, loved being interviewed last week while sprawled bare-assed across his bed.
Yet Warren, unlike Johnson, swears he was "just being comfortable," that he wasn't deriving a twisted sense of power from watching a journalist try to act like nothing is strange as he is deliberately cast into an awkward situation.
"Write that I have clean butt cheeks," Warren said, laughing in a follow-up phone interview.
Uninspected butt cheeks aside, Warren laughed often as we talked in his small Las Vegas apartment, and he said his scrotum, partially encased in a towel, "grew another three inches."
In October and November I did pieces on Warren that told of a 400-pound, 47-year-old man on disability who was desperate to raise money for a costly surgery unavailable locally - a procedure that might allow him to have sex and urinate normally.
Those pieces have now been viewed on the Review-Journal website more than a million times. The number grew recently after the "Tosh.0" show on Comedy Central ran an R-J video of him - he wears a hoodie upside down to cover his scrotum - and viewers linked back to the R-J site.
A "Tosh.0" video also showed a skateboarder appearing to get knocked down when he ran into Warren's scrotum.
"It was fun going to Los Angeles in the big van they sent for me," Warren said, grinning.
The Wesley Warren of today does not act like the somber Wesley Warren I interviewed last fall.
Rather than on the edge of tears, he's seemingly enjoying his celebrity. He reminds you he'll soon appear on The Learning Channel and that Fire Cracker Films of Great Britain signed him to a contract for a documentary.
An indication that Warren's interest in celebrity could interfere with repairing his condition seemed to arise soon after my first story appeared. Producers from "The Dr. Oz Show" called to say Dr. Mehmet Oz had read the piece and would find the best surgeons possible to help Warren at no cost to him.
Yet Warren balked. While fearful he might die on the operating table during the highly complicated surgery, he also said he did not like the fact that Dr. Oz wanted to confine all interviews to his show.
"Howard Stern (the radio shock jock) wants me on his show," he said.
But Warren grows angry if anyone suggests he wants the spotlight more than the corrective knife.
"Who would want to live like this?" he said. "I just don't want to die during the operation."
Lately, he talks about having surgery in Greece, just as James Lane of Utah did. Lane told me he contacted Warren after my pieces ran on him. "Mine was a fraction of Wesley's size, but the surgeon there was great," Lane said. "But I know Wesley's worried he's too big to get in the airplane bathroom for the flight."
Warren also talks about having surgery by Dr. Joel Gelman at the University of California, Irvine. He told me he's "never lost a patient or a testicle" in patients with problems similar to Warren's.
Gelman is willing to waive his surgical fee if Nevada Medicaid pays for the facility. Chuck Duarte, who oversees that program, has staff talking with UC Irvine.
It could be, Gelman said, Warren needs a psychiatrist to help him overcome his fear of the corrective procedure.
"No way," Warren said. "I'd drive a psychiatrist insane. I'll make a decision when I'm ready."
Paul Harasim is the medical reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His column appears Mondays. Harasim can be reached at email@example.com or 702-387-2908.