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Author Topic: Piss and the Malcontent  (Read 2642 times)

lewlew

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Piss and the Malcontent
« on: June 22, 2005, 09:40:26 pm »

I hope you enjoy this piece of micro fiction

 ______________________________________________________

I am handed a pee cup.  On the cup is a sticker.  On the sticker is listed my whole life: name, age, address and phone number.  ID number, height, weight, eye color, hair color, marital status, the grade I received in “Feminist Literature and the Paternal Icon”.  It’s all there.  How many pregnancies I've had, that I am allergic to dog hair and ego, my favorite color: green.  

The nurse, chatting away, leads me down the sterile corridor to the lab bathroom.  “Just place the cup, when you are done, in the box directly above the toilet.  The lab worker will remove it from the other side.”  I protest, “This sticker has my whole life printed on it. You want me to abandon it on a shelf?”

The nurse pauses and faces me for a moment.  “Honey, it won’t be there long.”  She turns back around, mindlessly chatting as she leads me through the bland labyrinth of the clinic’s inner bowel.

We arrive at our destination. The nurse leaves me to do my business, with a parting reminder about the box.  “Leave the sample in the box, to be removed by the lab worker on the other side.” I close the door and secure the lock.  

I inspect the box.  The box is aluminum, pitted and scratched on the front.  Its door isn’t closed all the way.  Inside is a yellow tinged paper towel.  The back of the box is another entry.  It must lead to the lab.  Who’s on the other side?  Does Lab Worker Lucy wait expectantly to hear the splatter of tinkle hitting plastic?  Does Lu spring to attention, poised to open the portal, revealing the citrine liquid and its donor’s life story?  I cannot see any light seep through the edges of the rear portal; that door fits tightly into its jam.

Illustrations featuring proper urine sample etiquette adorn a poster.  Cartoon labia are diligently swiped, front to back, by an obstetrical wipe. A limp penis head is swished clean. Instruction on how to keep from contaminating the sample follow the anatomically correct artwork.  A compromised sample makes Lucy unhappy.

Obediently, I follow the animated example provided. I swipe front to back. I void a dribble or two before the downpour begins to cascade.  The cup is strategically placed to entrap the toxic lemonade. My mind wanders back to Lucy—is she listening to me pee?  Does her heart quicken to the sizzle of urine spray?

Piss droplets run down the side of the cup as I bring it out from between my legs. The fluorescent light glints off of the amber fluid.  My fingers that encircle the cup are damp.  The sticker is drenched and the ink begins to smear.

Smeared is the extra five pounds I gained last month having chicken nachos and margaritas with Jack and Lola.  Smeared is the little white lie.  I am not a true blonde. Are there any black pubic hairs in the sample, which would tip Lucy off?  

Smeared are my three pregnancies.  Piss erases them, but I remember holding three babies in my arms.  Smeared and smudged is my home, the house we had hoped would make us happy.  The D for divorced resembles a U.

My ID number fades.  Will I no longer be eligible for retirement benefits? “Sorry Ma’am, your records were wiped out by a torrential urine output.  Completely washed away.  We cannot verify you ever worked, let alone for how long, or how hard.  As some say, ‘Too bad, so sad, go piss in a pot.’ ”  I urinated in a cup, isn’t that close enough?  

Dejected by the sad state of my urine soaked history, I notice the curl.  The minuscule ruffle along the sticker’s edge.  I flick it with my index finger.  I scrape my thumbnail along the width of the sticker, causing it to crumble and flake away.  A few minutes of diligent work, and the whole mess is gone.  

I fish a pen out of my purse.  I write block letters on the cup’s lid, “TO:  LAB WORKER LUCY FROM: BONNIE SMYTHE  RE: MY PEE.”  I draw an arrow, pointing to the lid’s lip.  On the side of the cup I scribble, “This is my urine, sample it at will.  My life history deserves better than to be  ruined piss mess adhered to the side of a sample cup.  You will have to do without my miniature file.  Have a nice day—Bonnie.”

I lightly place my sample on the sallow paper towel.  I try to close the door, but its warped features will not allow it to hug the jam.  I wait. The rear portal begins to creak.  I position myself so I can glimpse Lu’s eyeball through the box’s deformity.  I catch her gaze; she averts her stare to glance at my note.  I notice that her 1/8th of an eyebrow angles downward after reading my note, then the rear portal slams shut.

Triumphantly, I exit the bathroom to traverse back to exam room 2.

 
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Joel

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Piss and the Malcontent
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2005, 09:52:09 pm »

:D I like it!

But I spent the whole story wondering, "How'd they get all that information on one sticker on the side of a pee cup?"
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cowardly lion

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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2005, 07:21:08 am »

i think it's great as well, lewlew.

john, it's all right there in the Universal Person Characteristic scannable barcode . . . .

cl
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lewlew

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Piss and the Malcontent
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2005, 09:16:00 am »

Thanks guys for reading my story.  This is actually based on a true experience; it's frickin' amazing how much dirt the med admins can dish on someone in such a small space!  Along with the UPC, they use really small type and fit a bunch of stupid stuff on a urine sample cup!  
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byron

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Piss and the Malcontent
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2005, 09:54:12 am »

lewlew

You sure have a rag towards the nurse, lab tech, and med admins. Seems like you volunteered to the procedure. Seems like the staff are following dictated protocol. The rules are  made by the insurance companies / employers in cahoots with government.  If you want for medical people to treat you different, move to another country or go into business for yourself and pay for services out of your pocket. You have a bone to pick and are directing your malcontent at the wrong people.

I've taken 4 piss tests in the last month for 4 different interviewing companies. They were all conducted in the same manner and same environment. I got the same speech from every nurse and lab person....and I doubt any of them had an IQ making them capable of writing protocol. To have anger towards them would be like blaming the cat for stinking up the litter box.
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lewlew

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Piss and the Malcontent
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2005, 11:47:17 am »

I'm not angry with the folks you point out, but with the system itself.  But, you don't get a chance to interact with "protocol."  You do get to interact with employees that get in a flutter when you scratch out information with a pen, though  :D .

I've been on the lookout for cash only med services, but they're difficult to come by.  When I find a reliable one, I'm there.
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debeez

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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2005, 02:28:02 pm »

I sure didn't read this as a rag towards nurses or medical care in general.  Not at all.  Are you having a bad day Byron?

I liked it a lot.  I started to reply earlier today, and compare it in a fashion to some short stories I had to read for college a few years back.  Mainly the tone and rhythm struck me, and I thought you captured the moment very well.  It was amusing and slightly weird to read about a pee test...but it was the story behind it that pulled me in.  

I guess too, that I could see it all so clearly in my mind's eye as I was reading it, really visualize, and that is the mark of a good piece of writing, when you put the reader there in the room with you and they see it all unfold in words you have written.
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lewlew

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Piss and the Malcontent
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2005, 04:52:21 pm »

debeez-- thanks for your feed back and sharing what worked for you in the story.  It helps to hear what's working and what's not.  
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Roy J. Tellason

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Piss and the Malcontent
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2005, 11:06:12 pm »

Quote
debeez-- thanks for your feed back and sharing what worked for you in the story.  It helps to hear what's working and what's not.
I normally tend to just enjoy the stories here rather than commenting on them or criticizing them in any way,  but since you seem to be looking for comments I'll just say I agree with what she said -- this worked for me.

Short stuff is supposed to be harder to do,  from what I hear,  too.  :-)
 
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Claire

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Piss and the Malcontent
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2005, 10:17:12 am »

Well done. lewlew. A well-written story that made me cringe a bit, while I also identified with the protagonist's defiant little protest of humanity.

Now, of course, if they've got the urine, they've got the DNA and all the rest of the info anyway. But ... sigh ... it's the thought that counts.
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byron

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Piss and the Malcontent
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2005, 11:09:25 am »

Quote
I sure didn't read this as a rag towards nurses or medical care in general.  Not at all.  Are you having a bad day Byron?
:D Just hunky dory! And you?
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lewlew

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Piss and the Malcontent
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2005, 04:53:20 pm »

Thanks for the feedback Roy and Claire.  I enjoy constructive criticism, because it helps me write better.

Quote
Now, of course, if they've got the urine, they've got the DNA and all the rest of the info anyway

Touche'.  That's why I don't get why we've got documentation about ourselves on EVERYTHING. You can't get much weirder than a pee test; they got the goods on you without the endless papertrail, if they really want it. Why bother with the overloaded identity sticker to boot?  :blink:  
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Roy J. Tellason

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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2005, 09:56:38 pm »

Quote
Thanks for the feedback Roy and Claire.  I enjoy constructive criticism, because it helps me write better.

Quote
Now, of course, if they've got the urine, they've got the DNA and all the rest of the info anyway

Touche'.  That's why I don't get why we've got documentation about ourselves on EVERYTHING. You can't get much weirder than a pee test; they got the goods on you without the endless papertrail, if they really want it. Why bother with the overloaded identity sticker to boot?  :blink:
Because it's the nature of bureaucracy,  they just love the stuff for some reason.

The whole "paperless office" thing is a big joke!
 
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Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James M Dakin
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