The first time isn’t easy. You have to lean slightly to one side, shake a little bit, then look down and make sure you’re dry. And when you’ve finished, you must analyze the warm plastic cup and make sure you’ve filled it at least to the line. Next, you place the beaker-like container into a secret compartment where an unseen hand will reach in and extract the happy fluid…when you’re gone. You hope. And next time, you follow the same pattern, and maybe then you remain dry. The problem is…how do you practice peeing in a cup?
I was once a child…back in olden times. Thrown into an adult setting, white-coated people everywhere, I was given a speciman container and given confusing instructions about “catching the stream.” I walked into the restroom, took down my shorts, took one look at the huge-butted comode, another at the speciman “jar” and thought “you’ve got to be kidding. what am I supposed to do- again?” I pulled up my shorts and pants, went outside the door and tried to get a nurse’s attention. “What do I do again?” Do you know how silly it is to look up at Mattilda-the-Hun on steroids and ask “Do I pee into the poddie first or do I pee in the cup first?” I never quite understood her adult response, so I went back into the restroom feeling embarrassed and ready to pee in my shorts if I didn’t start playing fireman fast! Well, I tried to hold the bottle out and hit it a few times, and my hand, but I managed to fill the thing up past the line and almost overflowing. I washed my hands, pulled up my shorts and pants and went out the door to find the nurse. “I’m done.” She went in and pulled the cup from the back of the comode and marched past with a prize-winning jar of yellow stuff. One nurse moved out of the way in surprise- or was it envy?- and then I found my way back to the waiting room. Wow, peeing properly in a cup was a tiring experience…
But today, I have conquered the stream-method, I have mastered the moment-long spray in the cup. It is no longer me who is embarrassed about stream-catching, but rather the new young recruits to the pee-pee lab.
I asked the cute blonde what amount of euphoria convinced her to become a urine analysis expert. She said it was “just a job” and smiled, as if she was trying to think of frisky puppies or cute lop-eared bunnies. She had on one of those not-so-serious looking health care outfits with Eeyore and Pooh dancing across her…but what really stopped me was her vacuously happy smile. I imagined her going home to her husband…
“How was your day, honey?”
“Oh, the same as usual. Until this old guy came in.”
“Yeah, he was at least 35.”
But I don’t believe she likely told him about our ensuing conversation after I returned from the restroom…
“I was wondering…has anyone ever asked you how to practice for the urine speciman test?”
I say this because she looked at me like I was from Outer Mongolia or the Bolivian Coast. It struck her, like a Time Rift.
“Like…I hadn’t thought of that!”
“Well, maybe you should…because, not everyone is as practiced as I am!”