Michael Cundall Jr.
A Splinter in the Rear pt. II
The next morning I made my way to the nearest Urgent Care, which also happens to be my primary care office. Nice! The roads were pretty empty and as I pulled in, there were only two cars in the lot. Maybe they were closed. Thankfully, they were open. My quest to remove my freeloading piece of a tree-bone was nearing its end!
When I walked in the lady at the desk asked “What brings you in?” If you have never paid attention to the opening dialogue when you visit an urgent care, let me explain. First you’re asked why you’re visiting the office. Don’t worry, in case you’ve forgotten, you’ll be asked a minimum of three more times. I know this because I had to come up with three different ways to politely say “I had a splinter in my ass.” The first response: “I had a splinter in my backside.” God bless that lady, she didn’t even blink. She just took my info, brought me to the back room, and had me fill out paperwork. At no point was I asked to write out my reason for a visit. The nurse on duty came and asked me why I was there. I told her I had picked up a splinter in my bottom as I was stretching after a run. Nary a blink or smile— this nurse was a rock. She took my vitals. As we waited to see if I had a fever, we conversed about my splinter and had a few laughs. After a few moments, the physician’s assistant made his way into the room. He recognized me and remembered I was the guy that studied humor and worked with medical professionals. He asked why I was there. I reiterated the issue with my badonka-donk and he cracked a slight smile.
He asked to examine the area in question so I got up on the table, graciously dropped my shorts, hucked my leg up, and tried to give him a proper view. I was trying to balance my leg in the air, and he realized that he could extend the table eave out. Relief! I was thankful he didn’t put me up in stirrups. As a way to relieve the stress, I was noting the numerous oddities involved with me trying to solve the very practical problem of “What is the best way to hold my leg and ass so that this guy could get the best and most helpful view?” I was doing ok, keeping it together, until he said, after his initial examination, “There are indications of the presence of a foreign body in the affected are.” What a medically beautiful way to say “Looks like you got something stuck in your hind parts.” Hippocrates would be proud. He then told me he needed to get the extraction instruments—a needle and a pair of tweezers, but at least his came in a cool single use plastic container.
Thankfully for me, his needling was far less painful than my wife’s I owe it to his better eyesight, the better lighting, and he is a trained professional. I didn’t ask him how many foreign objects he’d removed from other people’s tuchuses before. He had suggested that he could do a local anesthetic, but explained that that required a needle and would cause the same amount of pain as the actual extraction without the pain reliever. I may have said I had been drinking, so it wouldn’t matter, but I just told him my butt was in his hands and to go as nicely as he could. The procedure took a few minutes and he did successfully extract a 4-6 mm splinter, so I wasn’t complaining. But yes, it was awkward.
As I left I told everyone that they were allowed to make a total of three jokes about the splinter-in-the-butt-guy. After that I had better get a nickel for each joke. But more than that, I am going to be interviewing the gentleman who fixed me up. It’s a perfect example of how you can use humor to deal with embarrassing situations. Butt rest assured everyone, my heiney is finey.