(White-winged Nightjar, Eleothreptus candicans, source)
"What is another name for a Nightjar?" asks the host on the UK quiz show blasting from the wall of the radiology office.
Goat Sucker, Horse Kisser, and Pig Tickler, are the options offered up to the elderly contestant. Her floral dress, spectacles and hair set would not have seen her out of place in an episode of Keeping Up Appearances.
Is a Nightjar where you keep your Night Soil? A look of panic emerged on the face of Hyacinth's neighbour. Apparently not. While visions of old chamber pots ran through my head I learnt that a Nightjar is also known as a Goat Sucker and that none of the options were a euphemism for some sexual contortion. It's a bird if you're interested. No joint poo receptical or Karma Sutra involved. Too much time in gastroenterology offices means I have poo on the brain. Living with a juvenile husband also means euphemisms pop into my mind by default.
TV in waiting rooms tends to be dull, so a low budget British quiz show, hosted by the guy from Law & Order UK, was welcomed. Although I should add a disclaimer. I was slightly delirious from walking/stumbling ten thousand kilometres to the door of the radiology office, which despite the sign is not near the obvious carpark. Instead it's down a long walkway around a couple of corners and at the back of the building, where there is another hidden carpark. So really, a mind numbingly boring episode of Law TV from one of the infomercial channels may have been deemed exciting by that point. Hell, I may have even enthusiastically paid $5.45 a minute, for a reading from Psychic TV, by the time I finally wheezed that I was there for my 3:45 ultrasound.
A woman who would not have looked out of place as a screw in an episode of Prisoner, sat at the top of ramp, a series of light panels in front. As she smugly regaled the serfs/contestants below with her knowledge of monotremes and spiny anteaters, I mumble that she shouldn't be so smug if she doesn't mention they are actually known as echidnas. But she can't hear me, and the woman two seats down who can, looks like she'd rather move further away from the strange wheezing woman talking to the TV.
Tap tap tap. Tap my foot and squirm in my seat while a guy with a magnificent mullet answers another question. Drink one litre of fluids before the scan, she said. Don't pee after two, she said. Damn it's not a mullet after all, just really long hair pulled back at the top. You'll always be Mullet Man to me UK quiz show contestant. Because I need to focus on a non-existent mullet to stop thinking about the litre of water I have consumed to have a full bladder ready to squish and scan.
Tap tap tap. Call me now please or you'll have one litre of water on your ugly brown and black carpet squares.
Governess Merciless. Oh this just gets better. The screw at the top of the ramp is a wrestler. There a mention of red latex. Oh British TV, I think I love you.
Hold the water, even when you're there for abnormally frequent peeing. Hold it in. Hold it in. Luckily I threw up some of the litre so it's not quite so bad. Well from a pee on the carpet perspective, not so much from a watery spew as you hold onto the side of the porcelain at home perspective. But I have topped up since so who knows how much is in there.
Come on people. Scan me. Let me pee or puke. A gross choose your own adventure. It's coming out somewhere. Once upon a time I could drink water without wanting to puke. I could also eat without wanting to puke. And not worry about peeing in a waiting room. Or at least I think so. My memory is pretty hazy these days.
Here we go. Maybe. No? The other guy left. There's only me now. Please hurry. Tap tap tap. Squirm. Rearrange. Wait. Watch Mullet Man and wrestling screw in their battle of wits.
3:45 comes and goes.
Tick tick tick. The clock behind the admin desk measures the increasing sensations in my nether regions with each nerve rending tick. Tick tick tick could become drip drip drip any second.
Wait? What? It's my turn? Okay.
Stumble down the corridor and into the mood lit room. Lie on the table while a stranger rubs KY on my stomach and scans my bladder. He hesitates.
There's only 40mls in there. What? No that's not possible. I drank it all. I feel like I need to go. I topped up after my spew. Where has it gone? What? I have to drink more? More waiting? Just 40 minutes more. At the sight of my crestfallen face, he repeats the just. Like that makes it better.
Back in the waiting room and more UK quiz show. Less excitement and interest this time as I am handed more cups of water to drink and wait. Wait wait wait. Pull a magazine out of my bag and read.
Kegal, kegal, kegal. Squirm and read. Read and re-read as each pang in my bladder says I need to pee. More water. Wait. Can't concentrate now. Did you know that a decrease in cognitive ability has been recorded in people who really need to pee? People study these things. When you are busting to pee, your brain turns to mush. Add that to pre-existing brainfog, and I may have been the intellectual equivalent of a rock, sitting on the orange chair staring and mouth breathing at the magazine in my lap.
The admin lady is packing up. People are leaving. Come on. Scan me. Scan me. Tap. Tap. Tap. Squirm. Squirm. Squirm. Kegal. Kegal. Kegal.
Finally. 3 hours since I last peed I am scanned again. 80 fricken mls.
My body is the Tardis. And somewhere in the endless interior of my body, is a well of water. Sitting, waiting, refusing to budge. And yet I still need to pee.
I wall walk out to the waiting room once more. The UK quiz show is over. I pay for the pleasure and wait for my disc. Maybe if I asked Governess Merciless to order the water to stop loitering in my stomach, or behind my pancreas, or near my patella, or wherever it's hiding, it would move to my bladder quick smart.
After 3 hours I make my way back down the concrete and wooden corridor to the car, contemplating the fact I can't even get a scan right.
But at least I have learnt something new thanks to Hyacynth Bouquet's neighbour, Mullet Man and Governess Merciless. Night Jars are Goat Suckers and as Wikipedia tells me Goat Suckers are Chupracabras. And last night I watched an episode of Grimm about Chupracabras. Life comes full circle. And just like that, all that water finally found it's way out at 5am this morning.
And because I'm pretty sure my bladder and body are telling me they don't care what I want, I give you Transvision Vamp and Baby I Don't Care (1989).