Wednesday, September 23, 2009

k. and the colossal colon

On Friday evening, my friend K. will be arriving from the Netherlands for a long-anticipated visit. I haven't seen her since she flew to London to hook up with S. and me in the spring of 2008. I can hardly wait! Two more sleeps!

K. is a gastroenterologist and is coming to Canada for a conference in Toronto. She's making a special trip to Ottawa to hang out with my family and me for the week end.

The last time K. came to this part of Canada was in 2005, when she attended a conference in Montreal. I took the train to meet her, and we went out to dinner and had a sleepover. At that point, we hadn't seen each other in almost twenty years and I was worried that we wouldn't recognize each other. That turned out to not to be a problem, and I remember how my heart lifted when I saw her.

I also remember the Colossal Colon that was set up in the atrium of the conference centre. The thing was huge colossal. I was awestruck. And I seem to remember that no one else was giving it a second glance.

I was reminded of this reunion and the big colossal colon the other day, when someone on Facebook linked to an article by Miami Herald columnist and humourist Dave Barry:

"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."

Barry goes on to tell how some jarring news about his brother moved him to finally have the colonoscopy. And other than the prep, it was no big deal.

It's called, "
A Journey Into My Colon -- And Yours" and it made me laugh out loud in several places. Go read it.

And, if you're over 50, make an appointment for a colonoscopy.


Nat said...

I remember a conference call where we discussed where the Collosal Colon would be appearing next and what steps we had to take if we wanted the CC to appear in our facility...

Man, that was a weird job.

Karlien said...

You know that there is an organisation called "friends of the colossal colon"? They call it the CoCo. Nice eufemism...

nonlineargirl said...

Great, now I have the words "colossal colon" wedged in my brain.

Chris said...

You can go see it at the St Laurent Mall. Right now!