Sometimes the hardest part of being me is keeping my mouth shut ... no, really, it’s true! I’m continually thinking of really funny things that amuse the heck out of me but, all too often, are inappropriate to say out loud or to write in a newspaper column.
This is probably one of those times, but what the heck, it’s still a funny story.
This morning I was scheduled to get some lab work done at a local clinic. Don’t be concerned, I’m not sick; I’m a 56 year old man who still thinks, eats and lives like that indestructible kid I was about 30 years ago. Now doctors feel the need to order periodic blood tests to prove that I should give up chili-cheeseburgers and beer in favor of cottage cheese and fresh fruit. Like that’s going to happen!
I arrived at the clinic bright and early for my fasting blood test. My plan was to knock out the blood test quickly and still have time to stop for a Grand Slam with some biscuits and gravy on the side (of course) before work. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I figure it’s the perfect time to load up on some quality comfort food!
I signed in to the lab and sat down to read a very dated Sports Illustrated in the waiting room (did you know that Pete Rose was suspended from baseball?) Before I settled in, a nice young lady called me back for my lab work.
As I came into the room, she asked if I had been fasting, thinking of the banana split I polished off just before bed, I assured her that I had indeed been fasting as far as she knew.
I extended my right arm and after tapping my arm a few times, she said, and I swear I’m not making this up, “Wow, you’ve got a big one there!” I turned my head and coughed to avoid busting out in laughter, because the first thing that came to my mind was Dudley Moore’s line from the original Arthur movie, “If only someone who knew me felt that way.”
I forced a yawn to help camouflage my amusement, mostly so I wouldn’t embarrass this nice girl by explaining what I thought was so funny. Seeing my yawn, she smiled as she applied the alcohol swab and said, “They tell you nothing to eat or drink after midnight but it’s OK if you have black coffee. They don’t tell you that because coffee can be a diuretic and make it difficult to find a vein, but with this huge thing of yours, you could get away with anything!”
I’m not sure my fake coughing attack covered my laughter, but I’d like to think it did. She didn’t seem embarrassed, but I admit that I was thinking, “I wish you’d tell my wife that … no wait”, which started me giggling all over again.
She must have thought I was nervous because I was squirming in the chair and couldn’t make eye contact with her. In an effort to calm me, she smiled sweetly and said, “As big as that is, we’ll be done in no time.”
About the time I managed to take a few deep breaths to steady myself and keep a straight face she said, “Brace yourself, big poke coming!” You can’t make this stuff up. This time I bit my lip to contain myself but when she followed with, “Oh yeah, that’s perfect!” I chuckled uncontrollably until she completed the draw.
She looked confused as she applied the bandage to my arm so I knew I had to say something to explain my strange behavior, other than the twisted mind of a dirty old man.
I smiled and explained that after being treated for cancer, I wasn’t intimidated by giving blood. Then, unable to quit while I was ahead, I added without thinking, ‘You’re so good at this I almost enjoyed it this time.” We both laughed this time but for different reasons, I’m sure.
I almost made it to the door without embarrassing myself again when she said, “See, if you do it right, this doesn’t always have to be a painful and unpleasant experience!” I bet she was thinking I was a nut as I left the building laughing hysterically.
It may not be appropriate but it’s true; sometimes, I crack myself up.
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist.