Orange or cranberry?

God how I wish I were talking about muffins.

The pharmacy tech offers me a choice of two flavours. This is the stuff I need to drink before “the procedure” tomorrow. No amount of orange or cranberry or pixie dust or unicorn pubes can save me from this ghastly concoction. Or this…

Max calls this an ass invader.

So this is precisely what I imagine being jammed up my Jello jigglers tomorrow during my… wait for it… wait for it… colonoscopy. Oh, the heiny horror.

Actually I am going for a sigmoidoscopy, which is Hebrew for “partway up your poop chute.”

So if you run someone partway over with a piece of heavy machinery, does it hurt less? The consensus seems to be… NO. To quote a family member who shall remain unnamed: “Trust me, get the full-on colonoscopy; it’s better than the half-assed version.”

Okay, so Peggy my SIL didn’t say those exact words; she’s not that punny. But that is what I heard. My ears may have been impaired by panic, but my anus was hearing just fine, despite being clenched together like an old woman’s toothless gob.

Ever since I squeezed Max out of my magic muckle, I have been having some “issues” in certain nether regions. It also seems I’m struggling with discretion; any reluctance to share private information with the world (i.e. my humble following of 423 and those poor souls who happen to stumble upon this site by googling “saggy vagina”) has gone the way of Max’s placenta. Oh well, maybe my full disclosure will save a life.

Colorectal screenings are usually reserved for those 50 and over. But since my dad died of colorectal cancer just shy of two years ago, I want to make sure that my “issues” are not being mistakenly chocked up to childbirth.

Yes, every able-bodied and healthy adult should have a booty check at the age of 50. (Some, earlier, if you have suspicious activity near your whoopie cakes.) But I am astounded at how many 50+ adults have not been screened, who don’t think they need to be screened because they don’t have any “issues.”

Don’t make an arse of yourself. And, in particular, don’t make a corpse of yourself.

Think it’s all good because you got a cast-iron stomach, a pristine asshole and not a complaint in the world? That’s what my dad would have said too. And we all know how that turned out.

Newsflash: cancers like those of the colon and stomach often don’t show any symptoms until they have their own postal code.

Luckily, there’s a screening process: to detect problems in the early stages, before it’s too late. Problems that you couldn’t possibly know about without a tiny camera mounted to the wall of your fudge factory.

Here’s the hard truth and a sentence I always find difficult to compose without shaking: If my dad had had a colonoscopy at age 50 or thereabouts, he might be reading this blog right now. Well, not likely, because I wouldn’t be blogging about this in the first place. Let me rephrase. If dad had been screened at age 50 or thereabouts, he’d be working on his second – maybe third – novel right now. Or a silly poem for the grandson who’ll never truly remember him.

It doesn’t matter how perfectly cylindrical your turds are or how much salt meat you don’t eat. You could be dying of cancer right this second and not even know it. That is a fact.

And by the way, it is not your doctor’s responsibility to tell you to get screened once you turn 50. He or she is not going call you on your 50th birthday and send you a fiber-filled cupcake with “time for a colonoscopy” written in icing on the top. (Even though that would be a great and delicious idea.)

It’s your rear. It’s your responsibility. Turn a blind cheek if you want. It’s your life to lose.

But know this: Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, colorectal cancer is rampant. In fact, Eastern Health has assembled a task force of health care professionals and genetic experts to try and figure out why. It’s probably some combo of too much meat, not enough exercise, and inbreeding, but I digress.

We can’t change our fucked-up DNA. Our poor diets are not easily curbed. (Pea soup is just not the same without salt meat, am I right?) But we can take action – a very simple step – to catch the son-of-a-bitch early. We can get screened and intervene when it’s a blueberry and not a grapefruit being harvested from our lower bowels.

The disease is widespread here, and so is the ignorance.

In some places, places with way less bum cancer, they’re getting the message out. Check out this campaign developed pro bono by Ogilvy Montreal.

The “butt bus” shows a series of people “mooning”, with the all-important call to action: get your butt seen. It directs people to the website,, where you can find all the information, including the recommendation to get screened when you’re 50, regardless of complications with your keister, or lack thereof.

It’s a risqué campaign (by North American standards), but that’s what makes it so smart. It makes you stop and look and, hopefully, listen. Anything less risky risks getting ignored in the onslaught of messages in today’s busy marketplace.

Unfortunately, St. John’s was one of a handful of cities who refused to use the bus wraps because they felt it was too brazen.

What a bunch of pussies. Stupid pussies, too. I mean, it’s not like we’re the colorectal capital of the universe or anything. (There really should be a Sarcasm font.)

“Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest incidence of familial colorectal cancers in the world, and the highest incidence of all types of colorectal cancers in Canada.” (Source: Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada)

No need to make us look naughty as well as disease-ridden, right?

17 cities embraced the cheeky humour, but Vancouver, Saint John and St. John’s did not. And of all cities to reject the mass mooning bus boards – Montreal!? The bus boards could be seen off the island in Laval, but not in the uber conservative (as if!) metropolis of Montreal.

St. John’s chose to run billboards instead, featuring this cheeky creative:

Decent exposure.

Butt still, why not put the mass mooning on the buses, where people can see it for considerable periods of time, as opposed to whizzing by a billboard on hemorrhoid-inducing Kenmount Road. The choice of media is critical and probably accounts for the fact that I could scarcely get anyone here at the office to recall the campaign.

There was no muff to be seen on these bus boards, no scrotums to be spied, no ghetto booty all up in your grill. It was just underwear! Risqué my pasty white ass.

What’s risky is NOT doing anything at all. What’s risky is doing something so unrisky, it blends into the sidewalk and makes no impact whatsoever while moms and dads and nans and pops are dropping like flies because they didn’t know any better, because the message didn’t reach them in time. What’s risky is people sticking their heads up their asses, so to speak, and pretending all is honky-dory.

One of the comments on the linked article above sums it up well:

What is wrong with North America? We have no issue showing death, destruction, and sex on TV for entertainment. But, when it comes to catching attention for the betterment of health and society we need to keep it clean?

Totally dumb, says my bum.

And what about all the salt meat junkies beyond the overpass? There were no buses or billboards in Badger’s Quay last time I checked, unless you count the bulletin board down at the Foodland. Were there any keisters on the community channel? Was there a fanny on a brochure that came in the mail that got the girls gabbing at the grocery store? I doubt it. If I’m wrong, I’d be happy to hear about it.

I hope there will be another campaign soon. One that reaches out and grabs people all over the province. Because from my own personal research, there is much work to be done.

So. Because I have cancer gyrating through my double-helix, and because I know early detection is the key to survival, I will resist the urge to cancel my appointment tomorrow.

And by the way, if you’re apprehensive about the procedure like me – guess what? You can be sedated! The pamphlet said so. I am so getting royally fucked up. Hey, I deserve it! Last time I had any World War Two action down below, I was robbed. Robbed, I say!

“Fully dilated. No epidural for you.”

The voice of Nurse Bitch-Tits still haunts my dreams.

I spewed a human being out of my secret eyelid without so much as an Aspirin, and I am still suffering the after effects. (Hence tomorrow’s appointment.) NEVER AGAIN. Bring on the narcotics, Conrad Murray!

If there’s anything going in my pooper, I don’t want to know or remember it, spank you very much.

Ah, the joys of modern medicine: screening to detect cancer before it kills you, and the sweet mercy of anesthetics. I will avail of both, because I can.