The second piece I wrote for this proposed - and possibly still happening - web site about the very human experience of poo and wee. Not as funny as the first one, becasue it's not as personal, nor is it quite as gross, but never mind. By special request from Rob, here is 'Colonic Irrigation'.
Colonic Irrigation – what’s that? It sounds like something you’d learn about in First Year Geography, just after Crop Rotation and before Oxbow Lakes. Colonic Irrigation is when you have great quantities of liquid pumped up your bum to flush out all the unpleasantnesses that have clagged your insides over the years.
I have never seen Colonic Irrigation in action but gather that it involves a number of rubber-gloved nurses, lengths of rubber tubes, a big funnel, and a huge jug of soapy water. The patient is presumably face down and securely strapped to prevent wriggling while the intimate procedure is taking place. If rubber, straps and warm fluid sounds vaguely erotic, that’s because it is – to some, anyway. Certain fetishists crave this sort of thing, and doubtless specialist prostitutes charge top dollar to oblige them. Legitimate health clinics can hardly be expected to charge as much, however, so I imagine this leaves them open to unfair usage by bum and rubber enthusiasts. Perhaps one of the nurses is on hand simply to keep an eye out for any unwarranted genital stirrings; the slightest twitch of arousal and – bam! - they double the price.
But I digress. The proper purpose behind this bizarre, embarrassing and uncomfortable practice is to cleanse you. To remove encrustations of ancient poo from your bowels that have been steadily poisoning your system like a neglected landfill site. Such detritus can hang around for decades apparently. One chap who underwent the procedure over a two week period – while fasting – wrote that shiny nuggets of mercury were recovered from his depths, and these were diagnosed as the dodgy and indigestible ingredient of a medicine taken in childhood. Scary enough, but a colleague at work (always a reliable source – ahem!) told me she had heard that even baby milk has been found on occasions, but this sounds positively supernatural to me, fodder for the Fortean Times [oh, the irnony!].
Colonic Irrigation, then, could answer the fundament-al question: what is it exactly that makes one's farts smell so bad? If they smell like the worst effulgent of some foetid Florida swamp, then here's the answer – the depths of your bowels are no less stagnant and foul.
One question remains, however. After you have been filled up with soapy suds, how exactly do they flush it all out again? Do you have to sit patiently over a bucket for half an hour hoping for the best? Or does some burly nurse clutch you in a crushing embrace and squeeze it out of you? Either way, it must feel like the worst ever case of diarrhoea – even the fact it smells of Dettol would hardly be a comfort. And then there’s the shame of all those people watching ... trained professionals though they may be (and who goes in for a job like that, anyway?)
After you toddle back to your five-star ward, your freshly spring-cleaned innards writhing like boa constrictors, only the thought of a cup of orange juice and a small wholemeal rusk to give you solace, there must come then the distressing thought that doctors are now sifting through your slop, examining in the minutest detail the dinners of past decades and the gastronomic indiscretions of your very early youth (swallowing chewing gum, bits of fluff, the occasional worm etc). The sweetcorn sieve removed from the bucket, they joyfully plunge in their rubber- sheathed arms and fish about with unfeeling fingers.
‘Ah! An especially firm turd here, Dr Carruthers. Yes! A remnant of a barium meal X-ray test taken in adolescence.’
‘I have here the powdered-potato sediment of countless crisps.’
‘Gristle from a Pukka pie...’
‘And what is this – a pubic hair?’