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5:51 a.m. - 2005-01-19


Today's my birthday!


It's also my wife's birthday!


She's in Atlanta all week, whoring it up!


Happy Birthday To Us!


So I go to this place yesterday where people get dialysis treatments to pick up ... what else?? Blood.

The lobby is always full of elderly people in wheelchairs sitting and watching "The Price Is Right" in silence when I get there.

So I'm standing there, waiting on someone to run to the back, grab a couple o' bags o' blood for me when one of the employees comes out to wheel one of the old ladies to the back.

"How you doin' today, Miss Betty?" the employee asks as she starts to wheel her to the back.

"Not too good today, honey child," the old lady says. "A white man BEAT me last night!"

My head whipped around to look at this woman.

She waited a beat before saying "I'm just playin'".


It was quite possibly the funniest thing I've heard in months.

I couldn't quit laughing ... here was this fragile woman in a wheelchair who thought people would get a kick out of her saying that a white man beat her up the previous night. And then before anybody could even begin to take her seriously, she blurts out "I'm just playin'."

It still cracks me up to think about it.

I'm thinking that maybe ... MAYBE ... you had to be there.

Passed a few milestones yesterday.

For the first time in this new career, I had to carry not one ... but TWO stool samples around town.

I went to the one old folks home that reeks of shit to pick up a specimen.

I go in, hold my breath and proceed to get to the refrigerator while breathing through my mouth.

I pick up a bag with a specimen in it.

And I haul ass back to the car.

Normally, I don't look at what's in the bags. It's usually either test tubes full of blood or little clear plastic containers of urine.

This was a plastic container, so I figured it was urine.

I don't remember why I looked ... maybe I was putting it in the cooler in the car, but I caught a glance of it and it was all green, yellow and brown.

I thought "Man. That urine is OLD!"

Then I looked closer and realized it was someone's poo-poo.

I wanted to burn my hands off.

As I've stated before, I don't mind accidentally touching my son's poop. I don't play with it like Play-Doh. But if I happen to brush a pinky on it, I just wash my hands thoroughly and go on with the day.

Old lady poop?

Even though it's inside a plastic container inside a plastic bag??


There was something wrong with it, but honestly, I didn't study it to determine what that was.

Later on in the afternoon, I had to go to another old folks home.

This one has installed air fresheners throughout the building so that the shit smell is faint at best.

Either that or they've trained their residents to use the toilet.

Probably use a branding iron on their asses every time they shit themselves.

That's my guess anyway.

So I go to pick up the specimen, grab the clear plastic bag from the refrigerator and haul ass back out of the building.

Once outside the building, I kinda fold the bag over without looking at it and realize something's wrong.

They have left the paperwork out of the bag. Each specimen has paperwork with it so that the doctors know why they're handling the blood, piss or shit.

I look what's in my hand.

And ... it's as if ... I dunno. Somebody had shit on their finger and scraped it off in this plastic container.

I'm holding a shit-smeared container in my hand.

And my first reaction is to just cry.

I buck the tears, straighten my shoulders and march back in the Home of Impending Death.

The residents are all in the hallway in their wheelchairs lined up for dinner because it's 3:30.

That's an odd site. Dozens of old people, most asleep, in wheelchairs occupying an entire hallway.

It looks like the beginning of a geriatric NASCAR race.

I walk up to a nurse's station and say "I need paperwork to go with this" as I hold the cup of shit in front of the nurse's face.

"Hmmmm," she says. "There's no paperwork in there?"

I move the bag closer to her face to show her that there's NO PAPERWORK in the bag ... only shit.

"Nope," I confirm. "And I need some paperwork."

(Is "paperwork" a word, or should I be typing two words? I'm tired this morning.)

So she looks around the hallway, trying to see someone under the age of 90 who can help me.

"See that woman in the blue nurse's outfit?" she says. "Go ask her."


Now I have to walk EVEN FURTHER with shit in my hands.

Long story even longer ... the nurse finds the paperwork after searching the entire office for it and hands it to me.

I check the paperwork to make sure it matches the name on the side of the shit cup.

It does.

This is a 91 year-old woman's shit that I'm holding.

No wonder it looks fossilized.

I leave the building and get out to the parking lot where I can go "Eww! Ewww! Ewwwww!" as much as I need to.

The blood doesn't bother me.

The urine? That does, but I'm getting used to it.

But shit?

Old lady shit??

I'm thinking I have to draw the line somewhere and that may be it.

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