Friday, March 07, 2008

The colon who came in from the cold

Seen an enormous colon lately?

"Coco the Colossal Colon" is touring America.

"Coco,” as the Colossal Colon® is affectionately known, is a 40-foot long, 4-foot tall oversized model of the human colon that is designed to educate about colorectal cancer and other diseases of the colon. Visitors who crawl through the Colossal Colon will see Crohn's disease, diverticulosis, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, cancerous and non-cancerous polyps, and various stages of colon cancer.

Legendary humorist Dave Barry paid a visit to the touring colon.

...the Colossal Colon... was on a nationwide tour to promote awareness of colo-rectal cancer. The idea is, you crawl through the Colossal Colon, and you encounter various educational items in there, such as polyps, cancer and hemorrhoids the size of regulation volleyballs, and you go, ''Whoa, I better find out if I contain any of these things,'' and you get a colonoscopy.

If you are as a professional humor writer, and there is a giant colon within a 200-mile radius, you are legally obligated to go see it. So I went to Miami Beach and crawled through the Colossal Colon...

The night before his own colonoscopy, he drank the requisite "cleansing" drink called "MoviPrep".

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, ''a loose watery bowel movement may result.'' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

Visitors praised Senator Ted Kennedy, who played a prominent role in the colon's tour.

Reached for comment, Kennedy said:

It's been an adventure. I'll admit: it's very, very painful having all of those folks crawling around my intestines, but if I save even one person by convincing them to get a colonoscopy, it will all have been worth it!

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