This is something that actually happened to me. I’m not making any of this up, but I might be making it a tad funnier that it actually was at the time. It’s 100% true.
It’s a story in three parts – best told in person – but if I don’t write this down now I may forget all the details that make it so wonderfully entertaining. It should be read quickly as that’s how it’s supposed to be told. Imagine lots of funny faces and arm waiving.
This is also the longest post in the history of Blogger. You have been warned.
Part I – Preparation
I had been having stomach troubles for a while and my doctor decided it was time to go in. My options were this. 1) Camera tube down throat. 2) Camera tube up ass. 3) Enema & X-Rays with Barium milk shake & X-Rays. After much deliberation we decided the least invasive route would be option 3.
“So”, I said to my doctor, “I’ve heard the term before, but what exactly is involved with all this anyway?”. Now my doctor being not the best with bedside manner responded rather coldly, “Well, first you drink this barium – a lot of it – and then they rock you around, and take some x-rays. Then once that’s all settled, about a month later, you go in and they stick a 1/4″ surgical tube up your ass and pump you full of more barium, rock you around a bit, pump air into your lower intestine and take some more x-rays. Then you shit cement for a few days.”
At least he was honest.
Well, the barium milk shake was a piece of cake. That is, if you can muscle down the sickest drink ever imagined. It was like something out of Fear Factor, only my life might actually depend on this so you have to do it. It sucked big time, but it didn’t even suck a fraction of the amount that the rest did.
So after a month of waiting they finally tell me that the “Upper GI” turned up nothing and now it was time for IT. They sent me one of those little pamphlets labeled “Enemas” and it had lovely little pictures in it and very detailed medical text on what to expect and what it was all about and what they could find. Very educational and also a complete and total piece of shit lie.
Before you go in for this procedure you have to be um…. clean. Not clean in the porn star sort of way with the boys as slick as marbles, but clean as in a digestive track that’s void of anything – including liquid, and especially food. So I go to the pharmacy to get “the kit”. It’s a lovely 3-step program designed to cleanse your inner self. In retrospect, this was nothing at all like the Yoga I had originally hoped it would be.
Step 0: The Fasting
Yes, there’s a step zero. Any of you who’ve taken Thermodynamics would know that. Anyway, step zero is to eat nothing for a day, drink only clear chicken broth and water. The next morning it’s only water, lunch more water, then before bed on that day nothing until after the procedure. Seeing as I was 6′ 2″ and only 140 lbs at the time, I was actually worried about not eating for that long. More on the weight loss later.
Step 1: The Pills
These are little pills – white – that you swallow in the morning. They did essentially nothing. To this day I wonder if they just had them so that the kit could contain three steps instead of just two.
Step 2: The Drink
So I’m at work on the 2nd day and I’m hungry as hell. All I’ve had to eat for more than a day is water and chicken broth and those three stupid pills that did nothing. At lunch time I read the box for “the drink”. It says that I should drink it all down as quickly as I can and that I should “expect a strong reaction in 3 or 4 hours.” What the hell does that mean? I mean I know what it means, but they can’t pin it down any better than that?
So I drink this vile stuff. Granted, it was way better than drinking barium, but it still was really shitty. It was the most concentrated, carbonated, lemon juice I’ve ever had. About 2 hours later my friend happens by my cube and reads the box. He says to me, “If their margin of error is 1 hour, what if the reaction time happens in 2 to 3 hours instead of 3 to 4?”
Oh shit. I hate it when people other than me make so much sense. I packed up my stuff immediately and headed home, in what had to the the worst rain storm I’ve ever seen in my life. I start my 1986 Cutlass and it gives me a really hard time. It does not like rain very much at all. I wasn’t even out of the parking lot when it happened. The strong reaction was upon me, and it was pissed!
Wanting home field advantage, I put the pedal to the ground. It’s normally a 10 minute drive to home from work – I planned to do it in 4. I took the most direct route home and basically broke every motor law there is for the province of Ontario with the exception of not stopping for a school bus (thankfully it was mid-day and kids were still in school). Now I get to my street, or rather the one right before mine and I see a huge puddle in the road from the rain. Not wanting to get stuck in it I floored it. I’m doing 90 in a 40 now and am not even thinking about losing my license, killing someone, or killing myself. I just need to get home. Now.
I hit the puddle and my car almost comes to a screeching halt as a wall of water 20 feet high sprays on either side of me. I felt like Moses. Then, my car sputtered. Oh no. It coughed and slowed down. Oh no. The tachometer plummeted to zero rpm. Oh no!!!!! I instantly invented a new swear word (something like jesusfuckingchristholyshitfuckgoddamnasslickinghellbitch). I put the pedal to the floor, turned the ignition and punched my dashboard with my other hand and the damn thing started and took off like a rocket. I now believe in God.
I park in the handicap spot in front of my building. I didn’t have a permit, but if any situation warranted this violation I’m guessing it was this one. Plus, that was pretty much the only law I hadn’t broken in the last 6 minutes and I didn’t want to ruin a perfect streak. I run up the stairs three at a time and I get to my floor and I run. Like. Hell. I round the corner and there’s someone in the hallway standing right in front of my door. With a giant roll of carpet for the hallway.
You have got to be freaking kidding me! I start screaming bloody murder at this poor immigrant-looking fellow. “Fucking move asshole! Get out of the way! Away from my fucking door you carpet laying piece of shit! Move!!!”. I’ve never seen such a small man move such a big roll of carpet so fast in my life.
I open my door and leave it wide open (no time to close it) and get to the bathroom and have a seat. My pants hit the floor at the exact time my body decided to imitate a fucking space shuttle launch. And it was loud. And my doors were open. And there was a little Indian man out in my hallway with a big roll of carpet crushing him to death. I did not care. Not one bit.
It ended quickly.
I got up, washed up and weighed myself. I had just lost 5 pounds. I’m not joking in the least. Five pounds in 1/10th of a second. That has to be some sort of record. I go to close my door (to the hallway outside) and there’s the little Indian man. He’s looking at me like I just jumped off the coroners table and shook his hand. I apologized profusely but he just kept staring at me with these huge, brown, terrified eyes.
So, moving along with the story, I managed to get a few glasses of water into me to calm down and then I moved my car (no ticket!). My wife gets home around 6:00 and says to me, “Why did the carpet guy practically run away from me just now?”. Had I not been so dehydrated I would have certainly peed myself.
Which brings us to…
Step 3: The Pill
This is just one pill. It’s about the size of a small torpedo for a submarine. It’s wrapped in foil with big letters on it “DO NOT SWALLOW”. Fuck.
My wife reads out the instructions and, the trooper that she is, asks if I need any help. Seriously, I’m now in love with her more than I ever have been because I can guarantee you I would not have been offering to help her. Maybe I’m just funny like that.
The package said I had to “sit tight” for 15 minutes! As if I could sit down. I managed to do a dance around the apartment until the clock struck the appropriate hour. Then it began. I hadn’t eaten anything in over a day. Hadn’t drank in hours, and yet I’ve never needed a seat belt for my toilet more than I did right now. At least the worst part was over. Or so I thought…
OK, well that pretty much sums up PART I. Stay tuned for PART II (“The Procedure”) and PART III (“The Aftermath”).