The following is a sample chapter from my new book The Coconut Monkey Horror, now available at all online bookstores. If you like it, go buy a couple copies for your friends. If you hate it, buy a couple copies for your enemies.
A Tale of Flying Urine
I don’t do drugs. I’ve never done drugs. I don’t anticipate doing drugs at any point in the future. I don’t want to come across as some anti-drug zealot however. I’ve got plenty of friends who enjoy getting baked from time to time, and they’re usually nice enough to offer me a hit. They’re also nice enough to accept “no” without arguing with me. I could make the joke I usually make, “my reality is altered enough already”. I could point out that it’s illegal, and getting arrested seems like an expensive hassle. But really I’ve just never had any particular interest.
I have a friend, let’s call him Jim. Jim enjoys getting baked. He enjoys it enough that he’s actually been fired from 3 jobs in a row due to failing drug tests. Feeling nice and mellow just doesn’t seem worth losing my job. The only times I’ve ever been high have been while sitting in a dentist chair. Let’s be clear, I LOVE me some nitrous oxide. You could start pulling out my fingernails on that stuff and I wouldn’t care. But I’ve never even used that delightful substance outside of its intended use.
With all that said, you’d think that I would never worry about taking drug tests….and yet I do. Every time I’ve had to take one I worry that it’ll come up with some kind of false positive, or that maybe I ate something that metabolizes as drugs…I saw that on TV once so it must be true. The reason that concerns me is that I know that if for some reason it’s a false positive, they won’t believe me. I could spend hours trying to convince them that I’d never done drugs in my life, and they’d assume I was just like every other druggie who failed the test. I imagine trying to call in character references, people willing to say that I don’t do drugs, and I wonder how many it would take. It’s a basic principle of philosophy that you can’t prove a negative. I mean, think about it, how would you prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to someone that you’d never taken drugs? How do you offer up evidence? You’d need to have video evidence of every single moment of your life, and a way to prove that it wasn’t altered. So yeah, drug tests still make a little nervous.
And then there was that one time……
I was applying to work for Blue Bell Ice Cream, a job I held for an entire month before I found a nice photo lab willing to hire me. Part of the Blue Bell application process was that they required me to take a drug test, and they wanted me to take it RIGHT NOW. They had a place just down the road that did it for them. I was required to go straight from my interview to that building and take my test. This normally wouldn’t be a huge deal. It was near the end of the lab’s work day, but I had a full bladder, so I was completely prepared for this test.
As the cup filled at an alarming rate I quickly realized I would have to come up with some kind of urine containment contingency plan. I take some pride in the fact that I am probably the only person ever to write down that previous sentence. In the hurried shuffle to make sure that all my urine ended up either in the surprisingly tiny cup, or the nearby toilet, the worst possible thing happened. I lost my grip on the cup.
Now I’ve got some pretty quick reflexes, unfortunately. So like a striking snake I was able to grab the cup before it hit the floor. Sadly, the cup had no lid, and was very full of liquid. Liquid follows slightly different laws of physics than solids. While I am no expert on physics I will share this much with you. When a cup full of urine comes to an abrupt and unexpected halt, the urine within will splash all over my face and clothes.
I stood in the bathroom in shock. I hadn’t peed on myself since I was a wee tiny child, and never in such an extravagant way. It was EVERYWHERE. As I stand there covered in my own pee, I realized I actually had to leave to this bathroom and explain to the man waiting outside what had just happened. I mean, the results were pretty easy to see, but you still feel a need to explain right?
They took as much pity on me as they could, but they still needed a urine test for my job, and I had 15 minutes to work one up. So I sat out in their lobby, covered in urine, chugging an absurd amount of water. As I slowly watch the clock tick down I realize this isn’t going to happen. At a certain point they probably had to suspect I was trying some elaborate trick to get out of taking this drug test on such short notice. I’d like to go on record stating that anybody who covers themselves in their own urine in order to avoid a drug test absolutely deserves to skip that test. Especially if they later put it in a book for the world to read.
Come closing time I was unable to perform, and so they sent me home under the condition that I would be there first thing when they reopened in the morning.
Something you should now be told about this job, and this drug test facility, they were an hour drive from my house. Something else you need to know, it was now 5pm, and so I was trapped in a never ending gridlocked rush hour. One last thing, remember those gallons of water I chugged in order to try and make myself pee? I remember those gallons, because ALL OF THEM WERE NOW IN MY BLADDER!
So there I am, covered in my own urine (a fact I can’t emphasis enough apparently) sitting in a car that has no hope of moving ever again, with the entire Atlantic Ocean inside my bladder screaming for release. I am desperately looking around the car for ANYTHING I could pee in.
This is all my father’s fault. He was always so anal about cars being clean. While my car will never be bastion of cleanliness, his tirades against my slovenly nature sunk in enough that there is rarely anything in my car I can PEE INTO!
Visions of my bladder bursting are now rushing through my head. I can even imagine the coroner arriving on the scene. “Well, I’ve never seen a bladder burst so badly, look at this, the poor man died covered in his own urine.” Yup, that’s how my life was going to end, not from going blind on a highway late at night, not from a heart attack caused by the first time I performed in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, not because of the venomous bone spurs of a stolen platypus. Nope, I was gonna die because my bladder exploded in rush hour, and my tombstone was going to say “DIED COVERED IN HIS OWN URINE, LIKE AN ANIMAL”.
Would they clean me off for the funeral or would my parents be so disgusted at my inability to master the most rudimentary control over my bodily functions (something they spent months training me to do as a child) that they would demand the funeral home leave my body covered in my own fluids as a final lesson? Will I ever write a longer and more convoluted sentence about urine? Probably not.
Of course I was eventually able to exit and find a gas station, where I peed for a good 2 minutes. I made my appointment the next day and passed the drug test without spilling a drop. My parents were very proud
But I like to think that my nervousness about taking drug tests is now fully justified. Right?