Maybe I pushed it.
“Does this story edge too close to ‘The Line.’”
By which I mean the “Good taste” line.
Which in these days of great “personal freedom”, we each decide for ourselves. Not without thundering consequences, but we can decide.
Fine. I shall take my chances.
Fingers on keyboard and off we go.
Wait. One historical underpinning and then, off we go.
As has been mentioned, I have been dealing with bronchitis. (I shall speed this up, because who wants to hear about that, especially me?)
My condition was “plateauing”, which is what doctors say when they can’t fix you. Further testing was prescribed, one, putting it delicately, involving a bathroom and a bottle.
I had not anticipated that eventuality. So – wouldn’t you know it? – I had availed myself of those facilities – minus the bottle – moments before I am called in.
Truth be told, when I was handed the small plastic jar and was directed towards the “Unisex” bathroom,
I had serious doubts I could “deliver.”
Short story shorter,
There was nuthin’.
I mean – twenty minutes of effort –
The arroyo was empty.
Which seriously upset me. And not necessarily how you’d think. (Nor because the “Unisex” bathroom door had no lock on it.)
You remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry’s dentist sprayed bad anti-Semitic jokes and Jerry was asked if he resented that as a Jew, and he replied, “No! As a comedian!”
That’s how I felt. I resented my failure not as a person, but as a performer! Me, a man who had passed his original Driving Test on national television, after failing terribly twice without the cameras.
I was a “Trouper!”
Today, I “hit my mark.”
But there was no “On with the show.”
I was now consigned to the humiliating “Take-Home.” (You do it at home, and you bring it back in.) They put the jar in a small paper bag, and off I went.
For my “Private Performance.”
Which, I “aced” immediately the next morning.
Okay, that’s not the embarrassing part.
The embarrassing part comes now.
Taking it back.
The next day I call Lyft. (I have stopped driving.) I need them to “Ride-Hail” me to back the doctor’s.
Me, and my “Sample.”
Which I have “double-safetily” secured, so that the jar in the small paper bag is now zipped in a “Baggie.”
The reality is clear. I am sitting in a stranger’s immaculate car, whose driver I have informed “I am making a quick stop at the doctor’s”,
holding a jar of pee in a bag in a “Baggie.”
You may know that at the end of each ride, passengers using Uber or Lyft get to evaluate their drivers. What you may not know is that, for forewarning purposes, drivers can also evaluate their passengers.
Arman (my Armenian Lyft driver) almost surely knows what I have in the bag.
How many “Stars” for “The guy brought pee into my car”?
Tightly-lidded, doubly-sheathed pee, but still pee nonetheless.
Imagine the “tableau.”
Lyft Driver Arman and I – clutching my hopefully sealed “Sample”, but who knows? – rolling down Santa Monica Boulevard, both of us knowing the score.
Neither of us mentioning the game.
You think about the difficult “down-sides” of giving up driving.
But you somehow never think about that.