48. May I Be of Help?
© Bruce Goodman 27 November 2013

“Have you opened your bowels today?” asked the nurse tentatively.

“No,” replied Edward.

“Of course,” said the nurse, “I could always give you a pill. That should aid your bowel movements. Hospital patients often have trouble.”

“I’m fine thanks,” said Edward.

“What happens,” said the nurse warming to the subject, “is that it can turn septic. People are sometimes too embarrassed to admit they have constipation, then it turns septic. You can die from it, you know.”

“I went only yesterday,” said Edward.

“These things happen,” enthused the nurse. “I could give you a suppository. It’s very clean and quite painless. I simply gently push a pill up your rectum, and before you can say Bob’s your uncle, your bowels’ll be hunky dory.”

“But,” repeated Edward, “I went just yesterday. Last night in fact.”

“Today’s a new day!” gushed the nurse.

“Oh for shit’s sake,” wailed Edward. “It’s only 5 a.m.”

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