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COLUMNIST: Colonoscopy good to not remember

(A friend is having a colonoscopy. I thought I'd rerun this column about mine.)

The pretty dark haired nurse tried to hide the needle from me. No use. I've been here before. Not here, but all hospital rooms are pretty much the same. I was lying on a freshly sterilized hospital cot with both chrome railings up to prevent my premature escape. Escaping wouldn't look good.

She saw me eying both her and the needle headed my way with question marks in my eyes, and said: "It's kind of an amnesiac, so after we're done, even though you'll be able to talk to us and respond to questions, you won't remember a thing."

I said to her: "Does that..." And pop, I woke up in another hospital room. All done. Darn. You know, she was right. It was over. I didn't remember a thing. They ran a miniature submarine with a headlamp on it up my backside, and I cannot remember being able to say even one witty thing to them whilst they were steering and gawking at my nether parts, and probably talking about them all the while.

I felt kind of robbed. But the part about not remembering anything? That's a lie. I remember plenty. When it comes to amnesia, I've still got the best parts of this whole colonoscopy thing clinging to the insides of my brain like curdled milk clings to the inside of an empty intestine.

Oh, by the way, if you're eating breakfast, and you're not a proctologist, better find something else to read.

"Go Lytely," that was the name of the stuff I had to drink a gallon of. Now, there's a misnomer for you--Go Lightly. "Read the directions," the nurse said.

I read them. They said: "On the day before the procedure..." Procedure? Exactly when did everything doctors do to you in the interests of their practice become a "procedure?" There are better names, like, how about "On the day before we give it the good old college try?"

Or, "On the day before we go for the gold," which I admit is kind of misleading, in this particular instance.

They could fancy today up, and say: "On the day before we attempt to expand Einstein's and Hawkin's unified field theories about whether or not life can exist after it passes through a black hole." (Subtitled "Let's go have a looksee, Tonto.")

Back to the "go lightly" bag. Maybe in the next life I'll run into the comedian who came up with that name, in the hopes that he has to drink a glass of that stuff every ten minutes for eternity.

They should name it something else, like "Oops," or "Go get more toilet paper." That way the title would kind of flow along with its purpose. Even if they had just tweaked the name of it a little--they could have called it "go go go go lightly."

Go. And again. And again. Now, here, we're to the part where amnesia would come in handy. This is the part I'd kind of like to forget. I'd like to forget reading the list of contents of this package from hell, and seeing "polypropylene glycol" at the top of the list. That's antifreeze, folks. I've put hundreds of gallons of that in in-floor heating tubing that gets buried in concrete.

I've got news for the makers of "go to hell lightly," there's about as much chance of that stuff freezing up in your lower intestine as there is of me ever getting a chance to run that submarine inside the doctor, instead of the other way around.

I didn't need antifreeze in the go, going, gone; I needed coagulants and cooling arctic-temperature breezes to put out the fire. Antifreeze my a...

I drank the first glass. Looked at the rest of the gallon of it. Drank another. I felt kind of Captain Kirkish, taking my intestine where no bowel has gone before.

I threw down the third glass, burped, poured the fourth.


I looked at the gallon container. It appeared to be connected to the fishes and loaves that never ran out. It was as full as when I started. I poured and drank another glass. I began to worry.

What if I'm the one guy in the universe who can drink endless amounts of go-for- your-freaking-life and it doesn't affect me. I looked at the clock. I looked at the gallon container.

I drank two more glasses, and called a friend who had gone through this before.

What if I change my mind? I asked him.

"How much have you had to drink," he asked me.

Let's seeeeeee, now. Looks like seven or eight glasses, but nothing's happening.

He snickered. "Too late," he said.

I dropped the phone and ran for it as he said, "Hello?" "Hello?"