Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blog-a-thon for Charity, Day 2!

I'm still in Florida, but have waited until the last minute to churn out my daily post for my 30-day post-a-day Blog-a-thon for Charity.*

Today's post might shed some light on the question, "Marguerite, why don't you blog more often?" My big outing on this fine Tuesday was taking my mom to get a colonoscopy (she's fine, just a routine thing). I'm obviously very glad to do it, but three hours in the office of a gastroenterology clinic, and you kind of wish you were the one having the procedure, instead of waiting. [Insert obvious "pain in the ass" joke.] At least the patients get some sort of anesthetic, and gets to avoid flipping through copies of Golf Digest and Golf Monthly and Golfing! and Golf Weekly, Golf World, and Golf Galaxy.

The most remarkable editorial achievement of these publications is that they manage to make watching golf seem like a high-speed car chase by comparison. The articles are not called, "Golf Trips to Take With Your Mistress (or Manstress) And Still Get A Tax Write-Off" or "12 Great Courses in Proximity to High-End Brothels," (you know, so your boss/wife/Secret Service colleagues won't know what's up...). But if you read between the lines, that's pretty much what they're saying.

I got the feeling that the staff was being overly friendly to compensate for the dearth of entertainment options in the waiting room  Maybe it's just a Florida thing, but everyone at this particular endoscopy clinic was outrageously perky. On the way in, a sign boasts that the facility is one of the "Best Places to Work" in Jacksonville. (Considering most of the work involves the G.I. track, I guess you could make some joke about "working with a bunch of assholes," but that would be tacky, so I won't.)

At the front desk, the receptionist gives each Designated Caregiver a  buzzer with blinking lights--the kind of thing you might get if you're on the waiting list at Hooters on a particularly busy night. I feel like she's about to tell me I can "just wait in the bar," when she says more or less that. "There's a lounge with free coffee and drinks and donuts!" she says, as if announcing that I've won the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes. "Please, help yourself!"

If a bartender made most of his money selling a hangover cure...
In the lounge, there are indeed about ten giant boxes of Dunkin' Donuts. Somehow, this seems a little bit ironic in a gastroenterology clinic. I wonder if they also give out free Tums as well? This has to be some sort of Client Development strategy. I'm amazed they don't offer a bucket of hot wings in Ghost Pepper sauce to all of us Potential Future Patients.

By the time my buzzer went off, I half expected someone to come over and ask if I wanted to "start off with some jalapeno poppers." A pretty blonde nurse met me with a smile that seemed disturbingly genuine. "How are you, hun?" she asked, as if we were old friends who ran into each other at the mall. She escorted me over to a superfluously handsome doctor in his 30s, who shook my hand. "So nice to meet you!" he said, as if he were meeting his favorite Reality TV star. For a minute, I knew what it must be like to be someone from The Jersey Shore, except that it was noon and I wasn't drunk.

For the first time I can recall, the medical staff was actually more attractive than in all those TV shows where all the doctors and nurses look like...well, members of the Screen Actors Guild. No wonder they're all so satisfied with their jobs.

"Don't worry, everything is excellent," said Dr. Handsome. "Just excellent." Maybe it's because we're just a few miles from the ocean, but I had a feeling he had a surfboard strapped to the top of his car.

When Pretty Blonde Nurse #2 escorted my mom to the curbside patient pick-up, I had the feeling that she stopped just short of saying, "Come back soon!"

"That was the best sleep I've had in years," Mom noted on the way home. "Maybe I'll go back next week, just so I can get another nap."

That's when I got the idea. If the clinic merged with Hooters (another one of Florida's fine contributions to humanity and the livelihoods of gastroenterologists), you'd have a one-stop family fun center, for all your digestive-tract needs.

And with that, I promise never again to discuss the digestive system in a blog post. Not even for charity.

*All proceeds from this blog go directly to charity! Unfortunately, the proceeds are -$15/yr. So, technically, some charity owes me $15.

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