Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bodily Functions

“The Irish Curse”

Dear George,
I was skimming through the “Things to Do” section of the newspaper when I ran across a play being produced at our neighborhood theater called “The Irish Curse.”  It was an Off-Broadway hit about a support group for Irish men who saw themselves as suffering from a problem of under-sized private parts that was supposedly characteristic of their ethnic group.  Katja thought that sounded amusing.  I didn’t think so.  While the play might have been fine for Soho or Noho, it didn’t sound to me like an appropriate topic for Cincinnati.  I certainly didn’t know any masculine men who would want to go to it.  Disregarding my opinion, Katja arranged with friends Donna and Kathy for a theater night out.  They had dinner beforehand at a favorite restaurant where Katja ordered fig pizza, then walked down the block to the theater.  All agreed afterward that the play was very funny, touching, had a serious message, and was superbly performed. They said I really missed out, though the whole idea still made me uncomfortable.  Katja did bring home half of her fig pizza in a takeout box, and I ate it for a late night snack.  I’m sure the play was better than the pizza, because fig pizza is the worst idea anybody’s ever come up with.

Thinking about the Irish curse was mildly discomfiting, but it didn’t come close to the embarrassment from our toilet a few days later.  Toilets used to be a mostly neutral and innocuous part of life, but we’ve had nothing but woe ever since renovating our bathroom.  Our new toilet is ecologically sound and environmentally friendly, but it has the minor drawback of using minimal amounts of water and minimal pressure.  You might say it’s the household appliance analogue to small genitalia.  The toilet works fine as long as we’re talking about liquid waste, but anything more tangible is hazardous.  (I have to note here that this observation only applies to male usage, probably because of larger intestines.)  In any case, our upstairs toilet recently got jammed up for the umpteenth time.  I worked on it for the first day with our plunger, then resorted on the second day to the 3-foot snake that I’d purchased at the hardware store.  No luck.  The plumber arrived on Monday morning, and it was thoroughly embarrassing to show him the yucky problem in our bathroom.  He probably was accustomed to such matters, but it seemed to me to require an intimate, disgusting level of disclosure.  I quickly excused myself from the scene, and, happily, the plumber was successful in a matter of minutes.  He explained that this was a regular problem with modern toilets, and he recommended “courtesy flushing.” I’m sure I looked confused.  The plumber laughed and said he was familiar with the phrase from growing up in a household of girls.  “Courtesy flushing” means flushing an extra time when halfway through whatever it is one is doing.  I can’t believe that I’ve lived this long and never heard of “courtesy flushing” before, but it sounded like a good idea.

It was actually the perfect week to get some toiletry tips because I was due just days later for a gastric test that raises havoc with your innards.  I was actually happy about the test because of the amazing visual experience of traveling through the interior of one’s own stomach on a TV monitor.  It’s just like that old movie, “The Incredible Journey.”  Katja came along since you’re not allowed to drive yourself home.  When I met the doctor, I said I was looking forward to the procedure.  He gave me an odd look, probably because he’d never heard this from a patient before.  I told him that how I’d previously found it remarkable to go inside my stomach organs via TV.  However, he explained that the anesthesia they were using would put me into a deep sleep and I wouldn’t be aware of anything.  That was totally disappointing.  They turned the IV on, and that was the last thing I remembered.  When I woke up the procedure was all over; I appear to have passed.  The doctor said I should come back in four years.  He said that when patients reach my age doctors usually stop doing these kind of tests altogether.  “But,” he said, “they shouldn’t just throw people on the trash heap because of their age.”  I was glad he felt that way.  Ever since, though, I’ve been thinking about being in an age group where most doctors just throw you on the trash heap.  That’s not a reassuring thought.   

G-mail Comments
-Jennifer M (3-17):
Omg. It This terrible that the doctor said anything like that to you! 
-Donna D (3-17):  very very funny david...especially "minor drawback of using minimal amounts of water and minimal pressure.  You might say it’s the household appliance analogue to small genitalia."  clever, very...
-Phyllis S-S (3-15):  Dave,  Have a good trip to New Orleans.  Brave Blog - I wouldn't think that the topic of the play would ever, ever be possibly funny.  All over Europe they have the new toilets where you can choose the amount of flush power - like yours.  I always just chose powerful.  Glad you passed the colonoscopy…     Phyllis 

No comments:

Post a Comment