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Today’s Imaginary Conversation With My Colon

You know, all our colons talk to us. It’s just a matter of listening to what they’re saying.

My interview with my colon took place on January 8th over the course of three one-hour periods. This is just a small section of that interview. (The rest will find its way into the New England Journal of Medicine later this Spring.)

Me: Hi.

My Colon: Hey, Paul. Mind if I have a glass of water or something?

Me: Sure, no problem.

(Some time goes by, then-)

My Colon: Thanks. I was parched.

Me: Oh yeah?

My Colon: Yeah. I’ve been going through Cheesewatch 2004 down here for the last two days. What are you doing to me, buddy!? Let up on the dairy. Don’t you know, we’re lactose intolerant?

Me: We are?

My Colon: Uh, yeaaaah. Man.

Me: While I’ve got you here, a captive audience so to speak, I’d like to ask you a few of the burning questions my readers have been dying to know the answers to.

My Colon: No, I’m not claustrophobic.

Me: Excuse me?

My Colon: Always the first question people ask me. Just figured I’d give you that one answer before we started.

Me: Since when do other people ask you questions? You’re my colon.

My Colon: Don’t give me any of that ownership crap. I talk to who I want, when I want. Sure, I process all the crap you eat, but that doesn’t make me your slave.

Me: Slave…that’s a strong word.

My Colon: Imagine how you would feel if I made you sit in a dark, constricted space…day after day after day. And all I did was push food on you that you had to process and send on its way… And there was no vacation and it never ended. And you never got to talk to anyone. And did I mention that it’s pretty damn dark down here… Sounds a little bit like solitary confinement don’t you think? Don’t think I don’t listen to movies when you watch them. I know what prison is. By the way, I loved The Shawshank Redemption. That Morgan Freeman is one helluva actor.

Me: Wow.

My Colon: Parole is not an option.

Me: I never thought about it that way.

My Colon: Yeah, well – welcome to MY world.

Me: Is there anything I can do? You know, something that might make the whole experience a little less…constrictive?

My Colon: I like corn.

Me: Why corn?

My Colon: It’s a challenge. That’s why.

Me: So you want me to eat lots of corn?

My Colon: Not lots. Some. I’m no masochist.

Me: And that would make you happy?

My Colon: Yes. Corn would make me happy.

Me: Then corn it is!

My Colon: Hip. Hip. Horray.

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