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My Visit to the Lab

By Armando Rodríguez

I was having a laugh with the incredibly ridiculous situations made up for the characters in the film American Pie 2, while also considering that it must have taken some genius team of humorist to engineer those situations. A few minutes later it hit me…no, all it takes is to find a few guys like me, with a talent for the ridicule and that don’t take themselves too seriously, so as to tell their stories.

The film reminded me of my last visit to the lab for my periodical check up. Not willing to lose all that time in the wait for the procedure, I brought my laptop computer with me. But this time, the wait was really short and my blood was expertly extracted in a snap. I was ready to leave when I was stopped by this cute nurse handing me a cup with a cap for a urine sample.

Dam! I had forgotten that part and had just gone before leaving home. I took the cup in one hand and walked into the restroom with my laptop and briefcase in the other. I accommodated all that stuff as I could on the toilet tank and stood in front. That day I was wearing a new white Polo-shirt. When I tried it on, I found it to be longer than my usual size, but since I kind of liked it, I wore it anyway inside my jeans. The extra length, successfully hidden behind the pants, was blocking that aperture in the underwear designed to ease the access to the male urine disposal device.  After pulling out some 9 inches … of cloth, I got to it, while keeping the cloth out of the way with the right hand. I now removed the cap and held it with a couple fingers, while the others were already busy holding ”the device” into the cup in my left hand. The right remained holding the extra cloth from the Polo-shirt away from the potential hydraulics. Now I had to really concentrate, because, as I said, there was almost no waiting, allowing very little time to accrue some urine for a sample. Almost one minute deep into my concentration, when I was about to get that hard earned first drop… the cellular in my pocket buzzed and rang as loud as I ever felt or heard. After some juggler tricks with the cup, cap, cloth and device, I managed to get to the phone. It was my wife asking how I was doing..

Conversation was short after informing her about my current situation. I hung-up and “juggled” back the phone, cup, cap, cloth and device to their positions before the call and tried to get some concentration again. This time, I was finding it harder to concentrate, but when I was almost feeling it was coming, someone knocked on the door…that did it…I knew that now it was hopeless. So … OK, I’ll wait outside and try it again in a few minutes. So here I go cap on cup, hose inside, get laptop and briefcase, open the door with some difficulty and finally push my way out through the line of people with cups in their hands that had built during my ordeal inside.

I noticed eyes scanning me up-down, before I could realized that I had missed a very important step, the cute nurse scolded me with…” Sir, please zip-up your fly”. When I looked down, all that extra white cloth was hanging out there in high contrast to the deep blue background of my jeans.  Embarrassment drove my system into red alert and my clumsiness to a peak, I dropped my briefcase, cup, cap, and, though I managed to save my laptop from a very near five foot crash, the noise together with the body contortions gave a second chance to the few that had missed the beginning of the show to catch the end of it.  So I had to zip up my fly to quite an audience.

The best thing to do was, obviously, to get the hell out of there, but that was not an option, the sample had to be delivered first. So I had to sit down, with all those eyes on me and wait for a second chance. I plunged into my work, trying to convince myself that this was not happening.  The work was beginning to alleviate my anxiety by absorbing my thoughts, but I couldn’t help eavesdropping on a couple of nurses…-Hey, why is the flasher still here?... he’s having trouble peeing, the prostate for sure- the other replied. Oh my God! I was going to be remembered as the prostatic flasher.  At that point, the line for the restroom had vanished and I felt it was time for a second attempt. I repeated the same maneuvers faster this second time, but still not quite, twenty seconds into the concentration stage…I got the knock again…

It took an hour with two other similar attempts to convince me of the hopelessness of that approach, so I tried a different one, picked my cup with cap, my laptop and briefcase and took off to my doctor’s office in the same hospital building, but still a mile away. There I left all but the cup with the secretary, took the key to their private restroom that, not only had way less demand, but also required asking for that key, which made knocking highly unlikely and finally…well, this couldn’t just go on forever, could it?