If you have your Big Book of June Events out, you'll know that Ned my ex (NedEx) and I turned 50 right around a year ago. (Didn't we come up with NedEx thinking we were brilliant, and then we never used it again? Do you like how when I screw up, I rope all the rest of you into it? "We.")
Anyway, we made a deal, Ned and I did, a year ago. "You know this is the year we have to have our coloscopies," said Ned, sounding like more of an old man than he already was, being 50 and all.
"Coloscopies?" I asked at the time, and from then on that's what we called them. We promised each other we'd take care of each other during our respective coloscopies. We even considered having them at the same time, like couple's massages, but that wasn't really logical.
When Ned's birthday came along last week, I called to wish him many happy returns, even though there have been several points this year when I wished him precisely zero returns. Zero point zero. But I was being the bigger person. Literally, because Chinese food.
"Did you ever have your coloscopy?" I asked him. I'll be 51 in a couple weeks, and I still haven't scheduled mine. This is due to a combination of fear and the part where any time I take a day off work I end up working during it anyway, and I worry I'll be under and some crisis du jour will happen and it'll be all my fault cause I'm unconscious somewhere with a hose up my ass.
Sounds like my college years! Ba-dump-bump.
Anyway, it turns out he hadn't had his either, but he'd scheduled it, and next thing you know we're promising each other to still take care of one another during our coloscopies.
Yeah, I know. I know it was probably a bad idea. I know we should leave well enough alone and continue our path of not talking but running into each other stupid places like Harris Teeter because we live four minutes apart. But whatever. We'd made a deal.
So yesterday I took the day off, put on something slimming (see above ref to Chinese food) (which I really haven't had because of Kaye's stupid budget, but let me be hilarious, would you?) and headed to Ned's house. Where I used to live. It always tweaks me to be there, which I haven't been since I think winter--no, spring. I was there when that bird was in that nest, remember?
Say, June, that narrows it down. You mean that one time? When a bird was in a nest?
Anyway, it's been awhile. And I didn't go in. I knocked and Pale Ned of the Alabasters answered the door. "Are you scared?" I asked him, and I knew the answer. He nodded.
We headed to the same facility where they looked down my throat last year and determined I was crazy. Remember that? They knocked me out and stuck a tube in my throat cause I can never swallow? I still can't. They still think I'm crazy. WITCH HE NOTT.
Remember that post when I dressed up Francis? Fran wrote a guest post, and he said that. "Big hair and white coat talk to fran like fran crazy WHICH HE NOttT."
Oh my god, anyway.
Once we got to the place and started waiting, I got nervous for Ned. And while he'd spent his whole Monday dropping Mrs. Brown off at the pool, I was now similarly spending my Tuesday rushing to the bathroom at the doctor, for no reason other than I have to make everything about me, even Ned's bowels.
They called him really quickly, and he gave an involuntary, "Oh, no." He asked if there was any point in taking his book with him and they said sure, he'd be waiting awhile, so he bravely went on into the scary Rooms Beyond the Door.
I watched that annoying Kelly Lee or whatever her name is on that morning show, and she had Anderson Cooper on as her guest host, which is good because you can't go wrong with Anderson Cooper. I got involved in a People Magazine as well, because Height of Sophistication.
Then the nurse opened the Door to the Rooms and headed for me. She had Ned's book and reading glasses.
That is when the shit really hit the fan. Oh my god, I was nervous. I got to know that bathroom pretty intimately. I might even be Mrs. Bathroom, of the Check Yo' Ass Healthcare Center Bathrooms, but I don't know yet. Haven't gotten the paperwork.
Nervous, is what I was. Nervous. Eventually, I got thirsty, because I'd been pooping Chinese food, and really what you don't want is me at your medical thing. I am useless, really.
"Excuse me," I said, because I always have to say excuse me like that, whether I'm asking a store clerk or a receptionist or the person serving me the restraining order or whomever. "Excuse me..."
The receptionist at this place was probably like, What IS it, Poop Ass? Wear out our bathrooms a little more, why don't you? We've named it the June Gardens Water Closet, at this point. Yeesch.
"Are there vending machines where I can buy water?" I asked, and when did we all start BUYING water? When did we all get so stupid?
"Yes, in our basement, but who are you here with? If he's in the procedure, you can't leave."
If he'd begun to die, which he didn't. I'd have lead with that. But if he'd begun to die, was I on hand to administer last rites? Did I look like June Gardens, CPR expert? June. For all your ass emergencies.
So I was parched by the time they said, "Ned Nickerson family?"
That was me. I was Ned's family. I picked my shattered heart off the floor and went to Room One, after a morning of Number Two.
There was Ned. Completely out and looking sort of awful. He was so...unconscious. I had a momentary panic, where he looked too sick and I didn't think I could handle it and I wanted to run screaming out of the Ass Plus Health Center or whatever.
Have I reminded you to not include me in your medical emergency plans?
After a time, Ned started fussing a bit. He turned this way and that, and reached up for his oxygen thingies. He moved his arms around like he was trying to get out of a straightjacket. You know, like someone had proposed marriage or something.
"Just relax," said the nurse, and you know what I'd be bad at? Nurse-er-ing. Or whatever it's called.
Ned opened his eyes. He saw me but didn't seem to focus on me. I wondered if they could give me any tranquilizers or anything.
"Hey," said Ned, finally.
"Hi, Ned," I said.
"How are you doing?" he asked me, which killed me.
"Well, I'm fine. How are YOU doing, is the question." Please don't be barfy. Please be sans barf emotions. No barf. No barf. Ixnay on the arfbay.
"I feel a little dizzy," he said. "Your blood pressure's pretty low right now," the nurse told him. Hey, did I ever tell you what I'd be bad at? Nurse-ology. "We'll give him a few more minutes," she said, and bustled off.
Ned stared at me. "You look beautiful," he said. I'd rolled out of bed and gotten him, then spent the whole morning doing my Liquid Bummer impresh, and you know what I wasn't?
"You're so beautiful," said Ned again, weakly. "Will you kiss me?"
"Hello, Mr. Nickerson! I'm Dr. Trouser," the doctor walked in. His name is not remotely Dr. Trouser, but I love myself just a little for making that up.
Turns out, he was the same guy who stuck a tube in my throat last year. "Oh my god! I remember you!" I said to the guy. "I thought you looked familiar," he said, and that is when I proceeded to open my mouth and show him the inside of my throat.
"Usss iss help?" I asked, pointing at my gullet.
June is available for all your medical needs. Call 1-800-June-Sux.
In case you were worried sick, Ned's colon is "unremarkable." ("That's just one man's opinion," I told Ned, then held my own hand fondly.)
Soon enough, we were ready to go home. "I'll draw the curtain and your wife can help you dress," said the nurse, and Ned and I exchanged uncomfortable glances before we giggled like idiots.
My pain. It's hilarious!
On the drive home, he asked if he'd been given any paperwork.
"Ned, yes. The doctor had me sign it and I put it in your book. Remember? I put them in the book you brought."
Turns out, he remembered NOTHING. Not the nurse, the doctor, the telling me I was beautiful. "I remember thinking I was glad to see you."
I took him inside. "Wow, that wasn't bad at all," he said contentedly.
He got to sleep and have a hose up in his nethers. I had to have nerves and get called his family and then HIS WIFE. Oh, happy day, this was a breeze.
"Aren't you glad I did it first, so you can see how not-bad it was?"
God help whatever cockamamie thing I'll say to Ned when I first wake up.