There are some things you never forget, your first date, your first kiss, your first colonoscopy. Actually, my first colonoscopy throws the others into the shade.
Yet I had somehow managed to push it out of my mind until today, when a friend told me she was going in for a colonoscopy, and the memory came back to me as though it were yesterday.
I remembered the nurse telling me, “Try to relax.”
A rejoinder in me bubbled to the surface and came out at the very worst moment, which I regret to this day, as I said in a confident voice soon to be lost in the ether, “That’s an oxymoron. You can’t try to relax.”
Well, I was preaching to the wrong choir. She didn’t take it kindly, and said with no sugar in her voice to speak of, “You are not here to give me an English lecture.
You are here to have a colonoscopy.” And with those words, well, I cannot tell you how she took out her little affront on me, and I remember my first thought, “This is not your normal 7th inning stretch.”
Now, I am not a religious man, but in the next 60 seconds I found myself reaching out to Jesus, Joseph and Mary. I might have even reached out to the Holy Ghost -a first for me. And the English I was employing was anything but pluperfect.
After the fact, once I had regained a calm state of mind with a little help from a straight shot at Crosby’s, I reflected on the experience and muttered to myself, “What the heck, that wasn’t so bad, but I’ll be durned if I’ll do it again.”
Before I reported to the doctor for my results I threw some salt over my shoulder for luck and was fully prepared to learn that the Tabasco I had been living on for thirty years to make the death-defying food I had been eating tolerable, had corroded my clockworks, so to speak, to the point where I would need to call the Rooter Man to make things right again, if that was possible.
But as good fortune would have it, the doctor told me I was clean as a whistle. Then, once again, I was seized with a spasm of smartassedness, which I hate about myself but can never seem to bottle up, and I inquired, “So, how did my tonsils look?” He smiled, not a cheerful smile, but a smile that said, “You can go now.”
That was 20 years ago, and every great once-in-awhile I overhear that word, “colonoscopy,” and cover my ears.
Somewhere in the deep recesses of my shallow mind I knew you were supposed to have a colonoscopy every hu-ha years or so, but I kept pushing the notion out of my head, until today, when my friend said, “I get to go in for a colonoscopy tomorrow.”
My eyebrows raised and I asked, “You GET to go in for a colonoscopy?”
“Yes, it might just save my life.”
I had never thought about it quite like that before. I started to feel kind of guilty, and a little voice way deep down inside me said, “Hey, grow up, and make the appointment, you chicken----!”
I made the appointment thanks to my friend, and I made a promise to myself, “When you get in there and the nurse tells you to try to relax, just try to relax, and don’t agitate her with the unnecessary provocation of an oxymoron, you idiot.”
Learn more about McAvoy Layne at www.ghostoftwain.com.