The One About Raquel Welch And My Colon

I’m a child of the sixties and seventies – our legacy is dancing naked in the mud at Woodstock and protesting a war which made little sense and Hunter S. Thompson driving through the desert stoned out of his mind. Generations before and after have their collective touchstones as well – I offer mine merely for perspective. Because, looking back, there was never an inkling that someone would take a tour of my colon. Such a thing was completely unthinkable given the technology of the day. And, of course, the fact that we considered ourselves invincible. But times change.

My coffee this morning is black, per the instructions of those who will be along for this little sashay through my bowels. The laxatives and witches’ brew of polyethylene glycol, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride and potassium chloride, meant to speed the evacuation process, are on tap in an hour or so.

We’re looking for, or rather hoping not to find, the big C – cancer. A pernicious bastard, that one. If you’re not grappling with it personally, you surely know someone who is. My brother is currently going 15 rounds with multiple myeloma. My sister just finished treatment for a lump on a lymph node. My best friend had his prostate removed a few years ago when cancer was detected there. And on and on.

So having someone poke around in my nether regions is simply the price for living this long, and to get a jump on the son of a bitch should cancer be coming for me. Even so, there’s always a nagging concern with any type of invasive procedure, regardless of how “routine” I’m told it is. Hell, I remember Katie Couric getting a colonoscopy live on the Today Show at least twenty years ago. But, as irrational as it may be, I have an inherent unease about any foreign object gaining access to my plumbing.

With one or two exceptions. I might have preferred something more along the lines of Fantastic Voyage, the sixties sci-fi gem wherein they shrink a group of scientists (including Raquel Welch in some of her best work) and a submarine to incredibly tiny proportions, then inject the whole kit and kaboodle into yet another scientist (who’s in a coma) so they can travel through his veins and other ductwork on their way to his brain in order to destroy an otherwise inoperable blood clot with their tiny laser guns.

By comparison, simply having a camera run up my exit ramp seems quite pedestrian. But while Raquel and her laser gun would come in handy should there be any rogue polyps lurking in my hepatic flexure, I have to imagine bowel detail for the micro-crew would be decidedly less glamorous than navigating the chambers of the heart and battling killer white blood cells. I mean, who gets the job of hosing off that submarine?

It’s that fight we all face, as our parts wear out or corrosion sets in and we realize there’s no warranty. And while Neil Young believes it’s better to burn out than it is to rust, that whole ‘Live fast, die young and leave a pretty corpse’ thing never really resonated with me. In fact, I think most of us are trying our best to prolong the experience.

I, for one, enjoy and appreciate the physical world, sublimely so. Regardless of what comes next, I will miss this place dearly. But I am not waiting on a heavenly afterlife, a home in the clouds that promises better things once I shed this mortal coil. No, I’m fairly certain this is the only go-round for me, and I’d like to make the most of it. Which means some preventative maintenance is to be expected.

Unfortunately, Raquel Welch is no longer available for microscopic exploratory medical work. And the Beatles’ yellow submarine has been dry-docked for decades. So bring on that gallon jug of witches’ brew. When this is over, I plan to go dancing naked in the mud somewhere.

Share this Post:

3 thoughts on “The One About Raquel Welch And My Colon”

Comments are closed.