When someone throws a party featuring free all-you-can-eat hot dogs and the chance to explore a 20-ft. inflatable colon, you've gotta be an idiot to pass up something that good. Last Thursday, the new South Jordan Health Center in Daybreak threw a Family Health Fair jamboree that had everything from clowns to marching bands and face painting and, as previously mentioned, a novelty-sized butt piece. Here’s what you missed…
1: We love feeling miniature.
Being a child of the ‘80s, I knew this was the chance of a lifetime. Not because we’re all colon enthusiasts, but because my generation was raised to appreciate all things macro and micro i.e,. Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Honey I Blew Up The Kids, Micro-Machines, Smurfs, etc. Hell, have you ever seen the 1987 film Inner Space? Basically, it’s like The Odd Couple, but instead of two guys living together, Dennis Quaid is shrunken to the cellular level and injected into Martin Short’s ass. Seriously.
This is you're chance to feel like Dennis Quaid ... for once.
2: There will be clowns -- yes, clowns.
When I arrived at the last TRAX stop in Daybreak, I was more than excited to relive some Inner Space scenes and chow down on some free beef tubes; little did I know I was about to be hit with some serious colon-related knowledge. When you approach the super colon from a distance, it looks like a giant rack of Flintstones ribs -- don’t be fooled, it’s not. The purpose of this thing is to educate peeps on the wonders of the colon and also all of the disgusting diseases that can occur in an unkempt poop tube. Eh, and for some there was a clown at the end of it...
Yup, a clown. Because nothing says science like dragging your kids through a giant colon to meet a clown.
3: You know you're in-store for some full-on edutainment.
Like a bouncy castle, inflatable colons are meant to be fun. Novelty colons are awesome for many reasons; this particular one was designed to educate. On the inside of the colon, attached to the walls, there were little signs that pointed out all the gross stuff that can disrupt your Playdough factory -- you know, like Crohn's disease, lesions and all that good stuff. One of the more humbling exhibits was the basketball-sized polyps protruding from the walls. Which, I should add, no one could resist punching -- bitch-ass polyps:
As fun as they are in novelty form, I soon found out that polyps are quite the opposite of fun.
4: Inflatable colons can save your life.
While jabbing a polyp with my finger, I was asked by a helpful volunteer named Leann if I had any questions.. She’s an RN at the South Jordan Health Center and, luckily for me, she and a gentleman named Adam stuck around to guide me through the colon --kinda like that frog in that South Park Lemmiwinks episode (Click here for the reference; click here for a puppy). "What is this thing I’m poking," I asked Leann. "Well, it’s a growth that can occur in the lining of the colon or the rectum," she said. Leann went on to explain that scientists aren’t really sure why people get polyps, but those of us over the age of 50 and anyone who smokes and sits on their ass all day are more likely to get ‘em. "That’s why you should get screened."
It was super-windy in the colon. Go ahead, try to make a joke about that.
5: You can learn about how frightening colonoscopy scopes are.
Adam took Leann's comment as his cue to whip out his three-foot-long colonoscopy scope. “Where … does that go?” I asked, knowingly precisely where it goes. “Exactly where you don’t want it to,” said Adam. If you’ve never seen a scope before, essentially, it’s a three-foot-long robotic cobra that explores your darkest realms with an HD camera at the end. “Yeah, it’s pretty cool,” said Adam as he maneuvered the camera via a little handle that looked like a fishing reel. This immediately wiped the smile off my face. I started to think about all the hours I’ve spent sitting at my desk, not using my legs, and the mountains of encased meats I’ve eaten over the years. “Damn it, I guess I need to get a colonoscopy, huh?” I said to Adam. “Yeah, probably.”
It was like a colon inception -- we were in a colon, talking about colons and, after seeing the scope, I was clenching my colon.
I had a great time and, honestly, I’m glad I checked out the Family Health Fair. You know why? Because it’s shit like this that validates my writing degree. Besides, I got to eat some free hot dogs, I learned about how hot dogs are killing me and now my girlfriend insists I get a colonoscopy. I suppose that’s next week’s story.
The next Family Health Night, and your chance to checkout this big-ass colon, is this Saturday, Sept. 8, at Rice Eccles Stadium. Click here for more info.
(Photos by Colin Wolf)