OK. You turned 50. You know you’re supposed to get a colonoscopy. But you haven’t. Here are your reasons:
- You’ve been busy.
- You don’t have a history of cancer in your family.
- You haven’t noticed any problems.
- You don’t want a doctor to stick a tube 17,000 feet up your butt.
Let’s examine these reasons one at a time. No, wait, let’s not. Because you and I both know that the only real reason is No. 4. This is natural. The idea of having another human, even a medical human, becoming deeply involved in what is technically known as your ”behindular zone” gives you the creeping willies.
I know this because I am like you, except worse. I yield to nobody in the field of being a pathetic weenie medical coward. I become faint and nauseous during even very minor medical procedures, such as making an appointment by phone. It’s much worse when I come into physical contact with the medical profession. More than one doctor’s office has a dent in the floor caused by my forehead striking it seconds after I got a shot.
In 1997, when I turned 50, everybody told me I should get a colonoscopy. I agreed that I definitely should, but not right away. By following this policy, I reached age 55 without having had a colonoscopy. Then I did something so pathetic and embarrassing that I am frankly ashamed to tell you about it.
What happened was, a giant 40-foot replica of a human colon came to Miami Beach. Really. It’s an educational exhibit called the Colossal Colon, and it was on a nationwide tour to promote awareness of colo-rectal cancer. The idea is, you crawl through the Colossal Colon, and you encounter various educational items in there, such as polyps, cancer and hemorrhoids the size of regulation volleyballs, and you go, ”Whoa, I better find out if I contain any of these things,” and you get a colonoscopy.
If you are as a professional humor writer, and there is a giant colon within a 200-mile radius, you are legally obligated to go see it. So I went to Miami Beach and crawled through the Colossal Colon. I wrote a column about it, making tasteless colon jokes. But I also urged everyone to get a colonoscopy. I even, when I emerged from the Colossal Colon, signed a pledge stating that I would get one.
But I didn’t get one. I was a fraud, a hypocrite, a liar. I was practically a member of Congress.
Five more years passed. I turned 60, and I still hadn’t gotten a colonoscopy. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I got an e-mail from my brother Sam, who is 10 years younger than I am, but more mature. The email was addressed to me and my middle brother, Phil. It said:
I went in for a routine colonoscopy and got the dreaded diagnosis: cancer. We’re told it’s early and that there is a good prognosis that they can get it all out, so, fingers crossed, knock on wood, and all that. And of course they told me to tell my siblings to get screened. I imagine you both have.”
First I called Sam. He was hopeful, but scared. We talked for a while, and when we hung up, I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis. Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn’t really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, “HE’S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BUTT!”
I left Andy’s office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called ”MoviPrep,” which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America’s enemies.
I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn’t eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes — and here I am being kind — like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.
The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, ”a loose watery bowel movement may result.” This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.
MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don’t want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.
After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep. The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, ”What if I spurt on Andy?” How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.
At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the hell the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.
Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn’t thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.
When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was Dancing Queen by Abba. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, Dancing Queen has to be the least appropriate.
”You want me to turn it up?” said Andy, from somewhere behind me.
”Ha ha,” I said.
And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.
I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, Abba was shrieking “Dancing Queen! Feel the beat from the tambourine . . .”
. . . and
the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that it was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.
But my point is this: In addition to being a pathetic medical weenie, I was a complete moron. For more than a decade I avoided getting a procedure that was, essentially, nothing. There was no pain and, except for the MoviPrep, no discomfort. I was risking my life for nothing.
If my brother Sam had been as stupid as I was — if, when he turned 50, he had ignored all the medical advice and avoided getting screened — he still would have had cancer. He just wouldn’t have known. And by the time he did know — by the time he felt symptoms — his situation would have been much, much more serious. But because he was a grown-up, the doctors caught the cancer early, and they operated and took it out. Sam is now recovering and eating what he describes as ”really, really boring food.” His prognosis is good, and everybody is optimistic, fingers crossed, knock on wood, and all that.
Which brings us to you, Mr. or Mrs. or Miss or Ms. Over-50-And-Hasn’t-Had-a-Colonoscopy. Here’s the deal: You either have colo-rectal cancer, or you don’t. If you do, a colonoscopy will enable doctors to find it and do something about it. And if you don’t have cancer, believe me, it’s very reassuring to know you don’t. There is no sane reason for you not to have it done.
I am so eager for you to do this that I am going to induce you with an Exclusive Limited Time Offer. If you, after reading this, get a colonoscopy, let me know by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to Dave Barry Colonoscopy Inducement, The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132. I will send you back a certificate, signed by me and suitable for framing if you don’t mind framing a cheesy certificate, stating that you are a grown-up who got a colonoscopy. Accompanying this certificate will be a square of limited-edition custom-printed toilet paper with an image of Miss Paris Hilton on it. You may frame this also, or use it in whatever other way you deem fit.
But even if you don’t want this inducement, please get a colonoscopy. If I can do it, you can do it. Don’t put it off. Just do it.
Be sure to stress that you want the non-Abba version.
- How Do You Catch a Unique Rabbit? Unique Up On It.
- How Do You Catch a Tame Rabbit? Tame Way.
- How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest? They Take The Psycho Path
- How Do You Get Holy Water? You Boil The Hell Out Of It (I love that one!)
- What Do Fish Say When They Hit a Concrete Wall? Dam!
- What Do Eskimos Get From Sitting On The Ice too Long? Polaroid’s
- What Do You Call a Boomerang That Doesn’t work? A Stick
- What Do You Call Cheese That Isn’t Yours? Nacho Cheese.
- What Do You Call Santa’s Helpers? Subordinate Clauses.
- What Do You Call Four Bullfighters In Quicksand? Quattro Sinko.
- What Do You Get From a Pampered Cow? Spoiled Milk.
- What Do You Get When You Cross a Snowman With a Vampire? Frostbite.
- What Lie s At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches? A Nervous Wreck.
- What’s The Difference Between Roast Beef And Pea Soup? Anyone Can Roast Beef.
- Where Do You Find a Dog With No Legs? Right Where You Left Him.
- Why Do Gorillas Have Big Nostrils? Because They Have Big Fingers .
- Why Don’t Blind People Like To Sky Dive? Because It Scares The Dog.
- What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic? Sanka.
- What Is The Difference Between a Harley And a Hoover?! The Location Of The Dirt Bag.
- Why Did Pilgrims’ Pants Always Fall Down? Because They Wore Their Belt Buckle On Their Hat.
- What’s The Difference Between a Bad Golfer And a Bad Skydiver?A Bad Golfer Goes, Whack , Dang!A Bad Skydiver Goes Dang! Whack .
- How Are a Texas Tornado And a Tennessee Divorce The Same? Somebody’s Gonna Lose A Trailer
Are you a Democrat, Republican or Southerner? Here is a little test that will help you decide.
The answer can be found by posing the following question:
You’re walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you.
You are carrying a Glock cal 40, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?
Well, that’s not enough information to answer the question! Does the man look poor! Or oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack? Could we run away? What does my wife think? What about the kids? What does the law say about this situation? Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children? Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me? Should I call 9-1-1? Why is this street so deserted? We need to raise taxes, have paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Click….. (Sounds of reloading)
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Daughter: ‘Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?
Son: Can I shoot the next one!
Wife: You Ain’t Taking That To The Taxidermist
A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand.
He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript. So, the new monk goes to the head abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.
The head monk, says, ‘We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.’
He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked vault that hasn’t been opened for hundreds of years.
Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot . . �
So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing.
‘We missed the R! We missed the R! We missed the R!’
His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably. The young monk asks the old abbot, ‘What’s wrong, father?’
With a choking voice, the old abbot replies, ‘The word was… ‘CELEBRATE’!!!
A blonde walks into a bank in New York City and asks for the loan Officer. She says she’s going to Europe on business for two weeks and needs to borrow $5,000.
The bank officer says the bank will need some kind of security for The loan, so the blonde hands over the keys to a new Mercedes Benz SL 500. The car is parked on the street in front of the bank. She has the Title and everything checks out. The bank agrees to accept the car collateral for the loan.
The bank’s president and its officers all enjoy a good laugh at the blonde for using a $110,000 Benz as collateral against a $5,000 Loan. An employee of the bank then proceeds to drive the Benz into the bank’s underground garage and parks it there.
Two weeks later, the blonde returns. She repays the $5,000 and the interest, which comes to $15.41.
The loan officer says, ‘Miss, we are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out and found that you are a multi-millionaire. What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow $5,000?’
The blonde replies, ‘Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $15.41 and expect it to be there when I return?’
Finally, a smart blonde joke!
- Law of Mechanical Repair– After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.
- Law of Gravity – Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
- Law of Probability – The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
- Law of Random Numbers – If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.
- Law of the Alibi – If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.
- Variation Law – If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).
- Law of the Bath – When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
- Law of Close Encounters – The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.
- Law of the Result – When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.
- Law of Bio Mechanics – The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
- Law of the Theater – At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.
- The Starbucks Law – As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
- Murphy’s Law of Lockers – If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.
- Law of Physical Surfaces – The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly related to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.
- Law of Logical Argument – Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.
- Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance – If the shoe fits, it’s ugly.
- Oliver’s Law of Public Speaking – A closed mouth gathers no feet.
- Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy – As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.
- Doctors’ Law – If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better. Don’t make an appointment and you’ll stay sick.
While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be our President.
The old rancher said, “Well, ya know, Obama is a “post turtle.”
Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a “post turtle” was.
The old rancher said, “When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a “post turtle”.
The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain. “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumby put him up there.”
Remember it takes a college degree to fly a plane, but only a high school diploma to fix one; a reassurance for those of us who fly routinely in our jobs.
After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a ‘gripe sheet,’ which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.
Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS’ pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.
By the way, UPS is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.
P: Left inside main tire! almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.
P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.
P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.
P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.
P : Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.
P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.
P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.
P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That’s what friction locks are for.
P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.
P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you’re right.
P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.
P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.
P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.
P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.
And the best one for last…
P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.
This one makes the rounds every presidential election. Whoever starts it gets it right!
The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on ‘THIS’ side of the road before it goes after the problem on the ‘OTHER SIDE’ of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his ‘CURRENT’ problems before adding ‘NEW’ problems.
Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!
JOHN MC CAIN:
My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.
When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure — right from Day One! — that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me…….
GEORGE W. BUSH:
We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
ANDERSON COOPER – CNN:
We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken ‘s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.
That chicken crossed the road because he’s GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.
Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.
To die in the rain. Alone.
Because the chicken was gay! Can’t you people see the plain truth?’ That’s why they call it the ‘other side. ‘Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like ‘ the other side.’ That chicken should not be crossing the road. It’s as plain and as simple as that.
In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heartwarming story of how itexperienced a serious case of molting and went on to ccomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.
It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.
I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of the Chicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra…#@&&^(C% ………reboot.
Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.
I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
I invented the chicken!
Did I miss one?
Where’s my gun?