Though all evidence appears to the contrary, I have boundaries; monstrous boundaries, actually. One of them has to do with the medical community.
A couple of years ago, I had severe abdominal pain. You know that feeling when your womb is going to rush through your flange at warp speed in a fireball? Yeah, that feeling. Of course, it turned out to be nothing. However, getting to the nothing diagnosis gave surreal a determined run for its money.
My OB ordered an ultrasound of my uterus at an ultrasound factory. In Los Angeles, the only thing more common than ultrasound pop-up shops in mini-malls are dialysis joints.
I disrobed from the waist down and was shuffled into a dark room. The ultrasound lady told me to lie on the bed with my legs spread. No shit. How else was she going to reach my flange?! I wasn’t a pony; I’d been riding stirrups long enough to know the drill. Instead of placing a blanket over my stomach and legs, and sitting down at the machine, she said, “When I was pregnant with my third, I used to give myself vaginal ultrasounds all the time. Look, it’s easy.”
Her pants dropped to her knees underneath her yellow smock. A condom was slipped over the wand and doused in lubricant, followed by an “Oh, shit,” forcing her to waddle over to the screen so she could point it in my direction. I thought, “Why is this happening? Why does every little thing in my life have to preempt absurdity?!”
Suddenly, on the big screen bereft of coming attractions was the film, Whack Job Womb. Even better, it was an interactive screening.
She was standing with her knees bent, giving me a guided tour of her uterus. Every time my eyes deviated from the screen, she wailed, “Look, look, look! Here comes the exciting part!” As in, “If I push left real, real, reeeeeal far . . . Ugh, mild discomfort. That’s the whatever-the-fuck part of your uterus,” and continued, “If I go right up into the center, there’s my I-don’t-care part of your uterus. If I go suuuuper far right, this is the—wait for it—sweet spot of your uterus. Isn’t this fun?” she squealed.
Even more thrilling, she managed to use the keyboard and diagram specific points in green.
Generally speaking, I have a pretty high threshold for whack jobs. Though, after she took the wand out and told me to stick it into my vagina, I was pushed over the brink. Calmly, I told her, “If you think for one second I’m sticking that wand in my vagina after it’s been soaking up your lady juices, you are one sick, twisted bitch.”
“Oh my God, where are my manners,” she yelped, and swapped out the used condom for a new one. Like that mattered! PS: How do you overlook being called a twisted bitch? WHO DOES THAT?!
I stood up. She pushed me down. “GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF ME,” I screamed.
“But you need an ultrasound, and who better to do it to you than you?”
“A transvadge wand manager with some boundaries and vaginal etiquette,” I blared.
Standing up with my pants halfway up, she came at me holding the wand close to her face. I swear it was like a scene from Fatal Attraction, only the wand was the rabbit in the pot. She caterwauled, “Are you suggesting that I’m inappropriate?”
With my pants and shoes on because I’m phobic of dying without shoes on, in a horrifyingly condescending tone, I said, “Honey, you eclipsed inappropriate and beelined right into a thousand milligrams of lithium PER HOUR,” and walked out.
I was so relieved when my OB did the ultrasound himself a day later. I thought, “you couldn’t just do it the first time?”
Katie Schwartz is a comedy writer, producer and essayist, among other writerly things. She collects vintage tchotch, not bodies, which is surprising considering her obsession with death humor. You can catch her weekly column at Monkeybicycle and other print work on Huffington Post, Exquisite Corpse, or here. If you’re not bored to death, watch some of her produced work at FKR.TV, FunnyOrDie or on the YouTubes.