Colonoscopy Humor

Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald.

This is from newshound Dave Barry’s colonoscopy journal:


I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to

make an appointment for a colonoscopy.  A few days later, in his office,

Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that

appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through

Minneapolis .  Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a

thorough, reassuring and patient manner.  I nodded thoughtfully, but I

didn’t really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking,



I left Andy’s office with some written instructions, and

a prescription for a product called ‘MoviPrep,’ which com es in a box

large enough to hold a microwave oven.  I will discuss MoviPrep in

detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to

fall into the hands of America ‘s enemies.


I spent the next several days productively sitting

around being nervous.  Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began

my preparation.  In accordance with my instructions, I didn’t eat any

solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically

water, only with less flavor.  Then, in the evening, I took the

MoviPrep.  You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic

jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water.  (For those unfamiliar with

the metric system, a liter is abou t 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink

the whole jug.  This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes – and

here I am being kind – like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser,

with just a hint of lemon.


The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by

somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, ‘a

loose, watery bowel movement may result.’  This is kind of like saying

that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the



MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don’t want to be too

graphic, here, but:  Have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch?  This is

pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are

times when you wish the commode had a seat belt.  You spend several

hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently.  You

eliminate everything.  And then, when you figure you must be totally

empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as

far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start

eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.


After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.

The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic.  I was very nervous.

Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing

occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage.  I was thinking, ‘What if

I spurt on Andy?’  How do you apologize to a friend for something like

that?  Flowers would not be enough.


At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging

that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms

said.  Then they led me to a room full o f other colonoscopy people,

where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and

put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the

kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when

you are actually naked.


Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein

in my left hand.  Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very

good, and I was already lying down.  Eddie also told me that some people

put vodka in their MoviPrep.  At first I was ticked off that I hadn’t

thought of this is, but then I pondered what would happen if you got

yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering

around in full Fire Hose Mode.  You would have no choice but to burn

your house.


When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the

procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an

anesthesiologist.  I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy

had it hidden around there somewhere.  I was seriously nervous at this

point.  Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist

began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.  There was music

playing in the room, and I realized that the song was ‘Dancing Queen’ by

ABBA.  I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing

during this particular procedure, ‘Dancing Queen’ had to be the least



‘You want me to turn it up?’ said Andy, from somewhere

behind me . ‘Ha ha,’ I said.  And then it was time, the moment I had

been dreading for more than a decade.  If you are squeamish, prepare

yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly

what it was like.


I have no idea.  Really.  I slept through it.  One

moment, ABBA was yelling ‘Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the

tambourine,’ and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking

up in a very mellow mood.  Andy was looking down at me and asking me how

I felt.  I felt excellent.  I felt even more excellent when Andy told me

that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors

I have never been prouder of an internal organ.