For those of you who don’t know, or who are such assholes as to know but not care, I was sick last week. Like, so sick I missed work and everything, which is not something I do regularly. So sick, in fact, that I forked out the 40 bucks to go to the doc-in-the-box, which is the closest I’d gotten to a doctor’s appointment in over two years. I know, I know, it was a drastic step, but when “The Amazing” is the title that precedes your given name, certain expectations are placed on you by your public. Dying of the demonic crossbreed spawn of smallpox and typhoid simply would not do, I owed all of you better than that.
Now there are reasons I avoid doctors. First, it’s the title, it’s so pretentious. ‘Oh, look at me, I’m all smart and stuff because I went to school for a billion years! I must know so much more than all of you, because I have a piece of paper that says so!’ As if their title from an accredited university is better than mine, which I granted to myself. Also, my father works in medicine, and routinely calls most doctors morons, and I don’t know if it’s genetics or environment, but that’s clearly a factor. But fine. They’re the experts. And I was in miserable pain, from the throat cancer/mad cow/bird flu thing. So I went to see them, and I even tried to be polite.
Too bad they were such dicks about it.
The trouble really began after they asked for a urine sample. Now, understand that they’d kept me waiting for several hours, without food or water, as they dicked around being the smug assholes that they are. I, too, was somewhat troubled by the brownish liquid when I saw it, but hey, maybe that’s a side effect of all the meds I’d been taking to save myself from the mustard gas sickness or something? Who knows? I’m not a doctor, for christ’s sake! But the actual doctor was, to say the least, somewhat started by the color. She asked me how long this coloration had been coming out of my body, I shrugged. Keeping track of my bodily fluids isn’t really that big a deal, after all.
Then we waited for the actual results. And I guess that’s where the real problems began. “Mister Palm,” the doctor, whose name I probably should have bothered to learn in the preceding three hours, began, “I’m not sure how to tell you this. Or how this is even possible. But your urine content was 40% pure scotch whiskey.”
“Really? I’m losing that much of a buzz just because of pee?” I asked her, taking a small sip from the flask I had been drinking out of since walking into the parking lot. I skipped breakfast, after all, and you have to get nutrition somehow.
“Losing? Mister Palm, I don’t even know how it’s possible to have so much alcohol in your system that I can register what type of whiskey it is!” Her shock had confused her. It’s easy to recognize different varieties of whiskey based primarily on smell, though, I suppose the other 60% was still pee. She probably could have noticed the flavor if not for all the urine.
Then it hit me. I stared into the flask intently, wondering about the possibilities. This starring went on for several minutes. Good old Flasky. He never let me down… until he was empty. “You think there’s a way I can separate that?”
“What?” Her look was one of bafflement, astonished at the brilliance coming from one so ill. Despite my lingering to life, I manage to come up with brilliant ideas at every turn.
“You know, to save it!” I am such a genius, you guys. “I mean, that’s single malt, old enough to vote. I only buy the good stuff, you see.”
“…. You want to distil- No. Just no. And besides, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.” There were more good ideas to come? Fantastic! I really was feeling shitty, and less thinking up genius might help. “How are you even still alive?”
“I’ve been asking myself the same thing, Doc.” Seriously, reading audience, bubonic plague/measles/ring worm is just the worst, I’m telling you. I was in real pain. “I had to swallow half a bottle of Mucinex just to have the strength to walk in here.”
“Yes, that’s skipping ahead a little on my list of questions, but apparently you’re constant ingesting of Guaifenesin has induced uric acid nephrolithiasis. It’s among the many, many side effects of your history of medication misuse.”
“Uric acid whatsit now?” I asked, pulling my gaze slightly away from Flasky.
“Kidney stones, Mister Palm. You have kidney stones.”
See, this is what I’m talking about. Condescending doctors and their condescending bullshit. Kidneys can’t just turn to stones, you guys. They’re biological organs. Stones are rocks. What the hell did she think she was talking about?
“What the hell do you think you’re talking about?” I politely asked her. “Kidneys can’t magically turn to rocks. That’s stupid.”
“That’s… ugh. I also found trace amounts of illicit narcotics.” Oh shit. It was a fair cop, but I could explain. I think?
“It’s a fair cop, but I can explain. Really.” I could tell my sincerity was successfully sincere enough.
“Of course you can.” There must have been something exciting on the ceiling for a second there, because I clearly witnessed her eyes roll. Maybe a fly or something? Or she thought she saw a spider? “Should we start with the acid?”
“I thought that brownie tasted weird! Okay, see, last night I was at this party-“
“You said you’d been sick for a week.” She gave me a look. I’m not sure how to categorize it, other than ‘insincere’.
“I have!” I totally had!
“Then why did you go to a party last night, instead of staying at home in bed?”
Now, I was really, really trying to be patient with this doctor, okay? But this is what I’m talking about! They always talk crazy nonsense and judgmental crap. Why the hell would I stay at home in bed? I use my bed to do exactly two things, one is sleeping and one is why I was at the damn party in the first place. And it was totally legit! It wasn’t a party full of high schoolers or hookers this time! It was just a bunch of metal-heads (is that the right phrase?) and the musicians they love (I, obviously, was with the band). What’s the big deal?
Politely, I didn’t say any of that out loud. I am nothing if not pleasant, though I did take another sip of scotch. “I’m afraid I don’t understand the question. Moving on, this dude was handing out brownies, and so I took one.”
I’m really quite certain that the doctor and I weren’t communicating very well by this point. “So, you’re excuse is that a stranger handed you an unidentified food substance, and then you knowingly ingested it?”
“Well, I didn’t want to be rude.”
“I just….Ugh!” Some people just go out of their way to be unpleasant, huh? “ So what’s the excuse for the cocaine?”
“Cocaine? No, that can’t be- oh, wait!” Damnit, Fidel, I knew that wasn’t just sugar you told me to snort! “Okay, that was an honest mistake. Castro tricked me, scouts honor.”
“Castro?” I’m such a name dropper, you guys. “The Cuban dictator?”
“Yeah, Fidel and I go way back. We were on this hunting trip last week, we do it every year.” There was an audible face-palm sound as I continued. “He tricked me into doing it. You know what it’s like, how guys like to foul their friends when they pal around?” Fidel’s such a kidder.
“I’m not even going to ask what you were hunting-“
“The most dangerous game of all.”
“…. You expect me to believe you accidentally snorted cocaine while hunting down human beings with Fidel Castro?”
I starred at her. What was she talking about? “Humans? What? No, no, no, I was hunting pa-“ I noticed the panda bear sticker that was on her name tag, though the name itself still escapes me. I already just knew she’d get all animal rights on me. “Uh, yes. Humans. That’s it.”
Her audible sighs were getting louder. “I’d call the police if I really believed any of this idiocy. But Mister Palm, the real reason I’m so confused by this report is that apparently you have a chemical substance called “Yridium bicantizine” in your urine, and frankly I’m baffled. There’s no record of this substance in any textbook-”
It came to me in a flash. “It’s the Ketracel-White! Oh yeah, well that makes sense.” I smiled knowingly.
“So, I was in this wrestling match with Uwe Bowel a few days ago, it’s this whole thing he does. And he’s a big guy, you know? I kind of wanted an edge, so yeah, I gave myself a dose of Ketracel-White, figured it couldn’t hurt.” Sound and well-reasoned. Why it was so difficult for her to understand, I just don’t get. Why wasn’t she treating me with more sympathy? Didn’t she remember that I was sick?
“What? That doesn’t explain anything!”
“The Yridium bicantizine. It’s a chemical compound in Ketracel White.” Jesus. Why did I know that and she didn’t? She’s the friggin’ doctor!
“What is Ketracel-White?!?!”
Oh. Ok. Now I understood her confusion. “Oh man, you didn’t watch ‘Deep Space Nine’? That explains everything! The White’s a drug that the bad guys give their foot soldiers, the Jem’Hadar. It keeps them all violent and rage-y but still in control. You really should watch Deep Space, it’s the best of the Star Treks.”
“You can! Not! Have a fictional substance in your urine! That's insane!”
Man she was getting angry for some reason. “Doc, my life is insane.” I tried to reassure her. “I go parasailing with astronauts! I punch Greek gods in the dick! I time travel sometimes! Hell, I have Vietnam Flashbacks and I was born in 1986! Nothing about my life makes any sense; you just have to accept it.”
“No, you are just a deluded idiot who’s only ‘sickness’ is caused by side effects of all the drugs in your system! You don’t need a doctor, you need a therapist!” Man, what is it with her and my sister and my ex-girlfriend? “You need to stop putting this crap in your body, because all of this is made up in your head!”
“Doc, you’re the one who found a fictional substance in my urine,” I politely pointed out.
She threw her notes to the ground and stormed out of the office.