A Barrel of Laughs at the Gastroenterology Office: You Can’t Photoshop This

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WEST GOSHEN, Pa.—When was the last time you had a good laugh in the gastroenterology office? A really good laugh, not some tight-ass snortle, but a full-on, stuff-coming-out-your-nose production? I didn’t think so. There’s more laughter at funerals than at the gastro’s. Of course people who attend funerals usually don’t spend the night before shoving M80s up their asses and doing Drano shots.

For whatever reason, people in the gastro’s appear to take their butts seriously. Their expressions are sphincter grim, and their voices decorously split the difference between a funeral director’s and a golf announcer’s elocutionary style.

I was dropping someone off at the gastro’s last week, synchronizing cell phones for a later pickup, when I noticed the banner hanging above the check-in counter, “Ask us today about our Patient Portal.”

Upon seeing the banner I was consumed with projectile laughing. Wave after wave of unseemly, uncontrollable, orgasmic howling the likes of which I hadn’t seen since the last time I did mushrooms.

(If astronomers want to know what happened before the Big Bang, may I suggest that someone saw a funny-ass sign in a gastro’s office on an otherwise routine afternoon and, if you’ll pardon the expression, lost his shit.)

“Fuck me swinging,” I thought. “Ain’t no portals in here I’m particularly inspired to ask about.” I could barely finish coordinating with the person whom I was to return for later. (She, I might add, was not amused at my amusement.)

I rounded up what was left of my composure and was about to make a semi-dignified retreat when the nurse said to the person who was getting more annoyed with me by the minute, “Don’t worry, ma’am, you’ll be able to make the call after you wake up.”

“Probably butt-dial it,” I thought, crabbing my way toward the door as if I needed a rest room.

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