Not that I'm exactly enthusiastic about the process or anything, but I'm still counting the days. And one month from today, I'll be parked on a gurney while a plumber's snake is run up, as the children used to say, "where the sun don't shine". Of course, the sun hasn't been shining anywhere around Dustbury lately, but that's another story.

An informal survey of friends and cousins and contemporaries and the odd total stranger suggests that this is not only not unusual for someone of my age, but downright routine. Somehow, this doesn't make me feel any better. "Oh, yeah, I've had that," the way a college sophomore would tell you he'd met the prerequisite on some 200-level course. Has this become a, you should pardon the expression, rite of passage?

Actually, "passage", or more precisely, the comparative lack of same, was the problem I reported to the doctor a couple months ago. I swear, he was beaming, as if he were thinking, "Hah! I told you so!" What he did tell me, though, was that yes, he'd had this little procedure too, and it's nowhere nearly as bad as the reports make it out to be.

Then, of course, I discovered that the procedure was anticlimactic; what really makes this experience, uh, memorable is the preparatory regimen, which seems to involve chugging the contents of a lava lamp — assuming you can find a lava lamp that holds four liters — and then waiting while it scours the inside of your system like so much of Grandma's lye soap.

Theoretically, I could still back out of this, I suppose, but I'd rather get it over with. Maybe by the next time they'll have figured out a way to clean out one's system with Jack Daniel's.

The Vent

26 June 2000

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