A Chin and a Pair of Floppy Boobs

Today is the 83rd of March and if I see the word “unpr4c4d4nt4d” one more time I might scream.

I’ve seen so many reactions to being quarantined and I’ve had my own. This isn’t meant to be a political post, I don’t know what’s right. For now, my family is still sheltering at home although our state is starting to open up. There’s a tension in this. Naturally, I want to be right, but I also want this to be over. My gut (and most of science) tells me it’s too early, but I definitely don’t want more people to get sick or die. So in the end, I suppose I hope I’m overreacting and our fortunes have changed.

What has the virus taken from you? Peace, joy, patience, contentment, rest? I see so many dwelling on the things that this situation has forcibly removed, and few are entertaining silver linings.

If you’ve lost a loved one, this does not pertain to you. I am horribly sorry. Please stop reading now and I hope you don’t take offense.

If you’ve lost a business or are wondering how you’ll make ends meet, again – I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I’m looking at something different than economy and realize not all of our circumstances are the same.

Maybe it is my perspective as a father who has lost a child, but since this quarantine began, I have looked for silver linings. Our children are nearly ready to leave the nest and I’ve gotten to spend two uninterrupted months with them. Yes, at times it has been too much. But certainly more than I expected. Silver lining.

Kylie would have loved quarantine. She loved nothing more than being at home with her sisters. She would be a senior in high school this year and would have missed prom and graduation like the rest. But somehow I don’t think that would have fazed her. They are passing events that quickly fade to memory. In years to come, this class of 2020 will wear it as a badge of honor as they go on with their lives – an opportunity my senior will never have.

My other senior is graduating college. She received her cap and gown in the mail the other day. There will be no ceremony, no pomp and circumstance. She will have a degree with honors and enter the worst job market in decades. The loss of opportunity, now that’s something to be disappointed about. Still, I find her to be bored but content.

And me? I’ve decided to give instead of let anything be taken.

I have given entertainment that I typically don’t have time for. I have read 17 novels since we sheltered in place – some good, some bad. But I’ve enjoyed the time. I’ve binge-watched Westworld with my oldest two and Downtown Abbey with my wife.

I have given education – influencing young minds by starring in Shakespeare with Dad (see below) and Pirates with Pop, where we brought the writings of Shakespeare and Stevenson to life for my eldest daughter’s 7thgrade literature class. She said we were going to publish them online for the world to see, but I think she’s lying because I’m not famous yet.

The other thing I’ve given to coronavirus is a chin and a pair floppy manboobs. I definitely gained a few winter pounds. My 19-year-old and I always run on Sundays. But on the second day of quarantine, we decided to run 3 miles every day.IMG_1897

During the initial run, I noticed excessive jiggling. It was a little embarrassing and I tried to flex to keep it down. I nearly tripped because it’s hard to flex your chest while ambling forward. Also, the days when I could intentionally bounce my pecs are gone. They only bounce  of their own accord now. Or did. After a few weeks and pounds, they stopped bouncing. After two months and fifteen pounds, one of the double chins I’ve been growing was gone too. Pretty soon I might toss in a love handle or two!

I’m not making light of the situation. I realize that it truly is devastating for some. But many of the rest of us are focused on the wrong things – out looking for things being taken and not focused on what we can shed.

What can you throw at the Coronavirus that will make you better than you started?


An Idiot’s Guide to Colonoscopy Prep

After coming up clean in my first colonoscopy, I’d like to take a minute to inform the masses regarding the truth about colonoscopy prep. First, if you’re over 45, get a colonoscopy! Colo-rectal cancer is called the silent killer. Just to start off the conversation in terms my fellow idiots will understand, I will refer to it as Silent But Deadly. (** I used to think the age was 50, but several have commented that you should get your first colonoscopy at 45, or even 40.)

Second, a colonoscopy is nothing to be afraid of. The prep, however, is something worth dreading. But it is massively important. You don’t want to waste a day of fasting and flatulation only to be rejected because you aren’t empty. Loosen up and do it right.

I want to be straightforward about this topic because online information is as twisted as my intestines evidently are. Of course, when you Google “colonoscopy prep,” a fine bowtie-clad doctor from the Mayo Clinic will tell you how important it is while somehow keeping a straight face. But this will be of absolutely no help when you’re in the middle of your fight and frantically type, “HOW LONG WILL THE SQUIRTS LAST?” into your browser. Google gave me a quote from the little sea turtle in Finding Nemo… which was oddly appropriate for that dark hour.

Finding Nemo 3D wallpaper

But I digress.


Here are some experiential thoughts regarding colonoscopy prep that I hope will help my fellow man.

  • Pre-prep is essential. You’re going to need to select a toilet and set up a bivouac sight nearby. I’ve compiled a list of things to have in close proximity to your camp. It is important that you collect these items prior to starting your prep – once you start, there’s no going back.
    1. Plenty of toilet paper. Do not scrimp here! I recommend the extra soft, cuddly, teddy bear, silky cotton variety with aloe. Man was not meant to wipe as much as you will over the next 24 hours.
    2. Diaper rash cream. See point 1.
    3. At least a pallet of disinfectant wipes. Things will happen that you don’t want to have to explain later. You might also want to keep a step ladder handy if you have high ceilings.
    4. 2-3 black garbage bags. There will be items to destroy or dispose of with impunity.
  • If you live on a septic tank, you might want to have it drained prior to your prep.
  • The fasting is very important. As you will experience, there are already things milling around inside of which you were unaware. I assure you – you don’t want to add the tiniest grain of rice to it.
  • Wear clothes that you don’t care about. It’s just not worth it.

I drank my first sulfate cocktail at 6 pm the night before. Results may vary, but it took about 50 minutes before I heard the first rumble. As I sauntered to the bathroom, I thought I felt my scapula drop toward my pelvis and picked up the pace. That was wise. In fact, you may want to be within a few steps of porcelain as soon as you imbibe. It all happens so fast.

I don’t want to be disgusting, but as a veteran, I’ve fired many automatic weapons, including a 50-caliber machine gun with a butterfly trigger, and nothing… NOTHING I’ve ever shot had the recoil I felt from the first salvo of the evening. Sticking with the munitions metaphor, this is full automatic, friends. And don’t get comfortable anywhere else because reload time is astoundingly brief.

There is no need to take a book or magazine in there because after a few sessions, you might not have a will to live, much less acquire knowledge.

As this goes on, I promise you will be searching the phase that netted me Squirt’s jump instructions. Here is my answer and I hope it will get to the front page of Google: This lasted a little over three hours for me – add 20 minutes until the tears stopped and another 10 for a meager attempt at clean-up and dignity retrieval.

As you tentatively retreat from the combat zone, leave the path clear because you may need to go back. Somehow, I was able to sleep that night. But it wasn’t a trusting slumber. I was very dubious of myself and the possibility of a recurrence. If you’re married, I would say this would be a good night to sleep alone. The stakes are high here, and unless your marriage is 100% bulletproof, you don’t want to risk it. Even the strongest relationship could falter should you soil your spouse.

This is my first (and maybe only) sound piece of advice: You might want to start your prep an hour earlier. As long as you can stick to the fast the next day, an earlier prep would make it easier to go to bed with some assurance. Rumor has it some preppers have been awake at 2 – 3 a.m. nervously trying to sing their rectum to sleep.

In the morning, I got up and drank my second cocktail. It wasn’t nearly as bad. Oh, there were more fireworks. But maybe my mind, body, and soul had just given up by then.

Warning: A warm shower might feel tempting, but it also may lull you into a state of relaxation from which you cannot recover unspoiled. Wet tile is hard to navigate quickly, and I can almost promise that you will have disposed of your bathmat in a black trash bag the night before, so it will offer no traction. You’ve been warned.

The colonoscopy itself went off without a hitch. Once you get over the fact that the other three people in the room are involved in inserting a large tube in your anus, it really just feels like a picnic with friends. There’s Propofol and then you wake up rested. Your friends are gone. The picnic is over.

It is odd to have a nice-looking young lady command you to fart before you can go home. I never went on a date like that as a young man, but it worked out.

You might be tempted to think that this will jumpstart a weight-loss regimen. After all, I lost five pounds during the process. But it’s not going to happen because your body hates you now. The body is designed to minimize loss and what you just did makes it feel like you are undermining its mission. So it will hold onto that cheeseburger and large fries you grabbed on the way home for months. In fact, your body is going to slow down it’s metabolic process like a bear in hibernation.

The problem is that you’ll keep eating simply because your prep is done and you can. If things go okay, you don’t have to do it again for five years. Of course, the memory, and possibly some of the destruction, will linger…