The Bottom Line
Occasionally, I receive an e-mail with jokes or quotes funny enough to forward to friends. When I forward, I type as the subject line, “Too good not to share.”
For instance, I recently forwarded some Valentine’s quotes which appeared in the Lighthouse Point Magazine, a South Florida neighborhood glossy.
Groucho Marx: “I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.”
Lily Tomlin: “If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?”
Cher: “The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing—and then they marry him.”
This morning’s local newspaper had an announcement in the “too good not to share” category.
“Think you know a catchy bowel ballad or midsection melody? South Florida gastroenterologists want to hear from you.
To bring awareness to National Colorectal Awareness Month in March, a group of gastroenterologists from Broward and Palm Beach counties is launching the “Bottom Line Song Title Contest.” Voters are asked to go to digestivecareonline.com to view a list of Top 40 song titles that are contenders for an apropos digestive ditty.”
I bit. I went to digestivecareonline.com, but I didn’t find the list of song titles. Perhaps, that will be posted later. But the possibilities are endless. For those with diarrhea—Night and Day, I’m still not done. My apologies to Cole Porter. Or, All of me, why not scope all of me?
Actually, this is the second contest sponsored by the Broward and Palm Beach group. Last year’s contest was a poetry contest with a $500 cash prize (or the option of a free colonoscopy). I couldn’t find the winning poems on the site, but I was connected to a You Tube snippet of Dr. Matthew Soff, a slender, somber white coated gentleman singing:
It’s nine o’clock in the morning. The patients are rolling in.
There’s an old man lying next to me, waiting his scope to begin.
He says Mr. G.I. man, the prep last night was fine.
Now I’ll turn a cheek and you take a peek, and see what’s going on behind.
The song goes on for several more stanzas and is a testament to our unending interest in lower torso anatomy and humor. If the gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons start a ribbon campaign, similar to the pink ribbon of breast cancer or the red ribbon of AIDS awareness, unquestionably theirs will be brown. Need I explain why?
Furthermore, if the colonoscopy campaign is successful, how long will it take before urologists initiate a campaign of their own? Erectile Dysfunction Awareness Month, EDAM. Their crusade would have a logo featuring an erect phallus and a hunk of cheese. It would be designed for universal appeal. Whatever your reaction to the phallus, the Dutch cheese would be popular. Obviously, their campaign ribbon would be yellow. The possibilities of awareness campaigns for all the medical specialties are intriguing.
But my hats off to the Broward/Palm Beach gang who initiated this project. Most readers who qualify as gay, or gray, or both, have a family member, friend or associate who has struggled with, or succumbed to, colorectal cancer. It’s the second-leading cause of U.S. cancer related deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s not a joking matter. If humor, however, can be used to make us aware of the importance of colonoscopies, then let’s use song, dance, poetry, ribbons, marches and any other vehicle. It may help save a life.
When was your last colonoscopy? Mine was two years ago. I’ll spare you the graphic details. The fun part, however, was three months after the colonoscopy. I attended a Saturday night party at the home of a gay couple. Lo and behold, drink in hand, there was my colonoscopist. Previously, I’d only met him briefly in his office and then again at the scene of the crime. I reintroduced myself. “If I’d known you were gay,” I told him, “I would have enjoyed the procedure so much more.”
“I might have too,” he said smiling. “But look at it this way—gay or straight, the findings would have been the same. The charge would have been the same. And the procedure was never meant to be enjoyable. It’s to detect cancer. I’m glad you were negative.”
With a brief hug, I said “That makes two of us.”
John Siegfried, a former Rehoboth resident who now lives in Ft. Lauderdale, maintains strong ties to our community and can be reached at email@example.com.