Back in college I suffered some intestinal grief, so my doctor ordered a flexible sigmoidoscopy, which is a shorter version of a colonoscopy. I mean, both are a long flexible camera going in one’s rectum**, so it’s not a significant distinction, but still.
Anyway, the night before the procedure, the patient is required to “clear the decks”, so they gave me this stuff to drink called Evac-Q-Kwik, which was this red syrupy beverage I had to chase with two glasses of water, then stay within running distance of a bathroom for the rest of the night.
I was home from college, so I did this whole preparation at my parents’ house, and at one point, I was sitting there working things out and the power went out. I was like, what the hell? Because this Reader’s Digest article was just getting good.
Next I heard a knock at the bathroom door, and my mom asked if I was all right. I said yes. Then she asked if I needed some light, and I said yeah, that would help.
A moment later, she cracked the door open just enough, and placed a fully lit candelabra— five candles, all blazing—on the bathroom counter. Why did she reach for the candelabra first? No idea, but in hindsight, this was probably better than a flashlight because without electricity, the bathroom fan didn’t work either.
I got an impression of Libarace, sitting at his piano, with his signature candelabra blazing away as he played, and I felt all regal. Then I finished my Reader’s Digest article and my business in peace. And thankfully, didn’t start a fire.
* This would be a great name for a detective, or a forensic surgeon, or DIY astronaut.
** “?!? damn near killed ‘em !”