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I just got a call from the office of one of my doctors. Unfortunately, it wasn't from one of my favorite doctors. I mean, I do like the guy; he's a very nice guy and a very good doctor. The problem is he's a gastroenterologist, and his office was calling to convince me to come in for my five-year colonoscopy.

Yeah, yeah, I don't have to make any jokes because I can already hear the ones you're thinking of. It was hard to say no because they were calling with a “special deal” for the month of August, which is typically a very slow month. The offer was the stuff you have to drink beforehand to clean out your system—they were offering it to me for free. I kid you not.

The receptionist on the line also told me that they have new, improved stuff, so you don't have to drink a Shell tanker truck-full to clean yourself out. With the new stuff, I only have to drink 16 ounces and that's it. Then I got the small print. After you drink the magic stuff, you then have to drink 32 ounces of water. Then you need to get up early the next morning and do it all over again. Is it me, or does that still sound like a hell of a lot of drinking? I asked if I could add vodka to the concoction. She hesitated and then told me they don't recommend that.

I made the appointment. After all, saving a $50 co-pay is worth it, right?

Then, being the comic I am, I told her that I couldn't wait for the little blueberry muffin they give you after the procedure. She said, “Oh no, Mr. Hagberg, we can't give away muffins anymore.” It seems the Board of Health came in and told them to stop giving out blueberry muffins because the crumbs were unsanitary. So what do they give out now? Saltine crackers. As everyone knows, saltines don't make any crumbs when you eat them, right? WRONG!

Don't worry, I'm the government and I'm here to help. I like to write and I make stuff up all the time, but I can't make up stuff as good as this. Every word I’ve written above is absolutely true. Sometimes I really don't have to make stuff up, because the actual world is even funnier than I am.

If you've never had a colonoscopy I'm not going to describe the procedure for you, mostly because I have to do it next Tuesday and I don't want to think about it. The whole day before, you’re allowed nothing but clear liquids. Vodka's clear, but bourbon isn't. Am I restricted to only drinking vodka or gin? Maybe with some tonic? Tonic's clear. Lime juice is tinged green, but only slightly. Can I have a lime with my drink? So many rules. It makes me wonder what would happen if I had a cup of hot chocolate right before I went in. Would I freak the doctor out completely? Would he ban me as a patient? If there's one thing I know, the main guy you don't want to upset is the guy who's going to stick a 47-foot snake up your butt while you're unconscious.

I've had lots and lots of medical procedures. I would rather have another lung biopsy than a colonoscopy. It's not because the colonoscopy hurts or is uncomfortable—it's not, and besides, I'm unconscious anyway. It's just the whole idea of what's involved. Let me put it this way: If I were gay, I'd still be a virgin.


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