JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Of Karma and Colons

Throughout the early 2000s, I was one to regularly break out the singularly (and oddly) famous Arnold Schwarzenegger line from Kingergarten Cop.

Someone would say, “Man, my head hurts.” I’d reply, fake Austrian accent in bloom, with “It’s not a toomah”

Someone would say, “Do you see spots?” I’d reply, fake Austrian accent in bloom, with “It’s not a toomah”

Someone would say, “Pass the butter,” I’d reply, fake Austrian accent in bloom, with “It’s not a toomah”

Just like this …

Then, six or seven years ago, my father had a brain tumor (he’s survived and thrived, but it was scary). I haven’t uttered the sentence since.

Karma, man. Karma.

Along those lines, I’m a big fan of hypotheticals. Would you rather have this or that? That or this? Would you rather slam a rusty nail into your skull or spend the next 12-straight months listening to Celine Dion cover Kiss? Would you rather eat 10 cups filled with your mother’s snot or dance naked for 200 seconds at halftime of the Super Bowl? My all-time favorite—and one I’ve uttered, oh, 1,000 times is this: Would you rather have a voice box or a colostomy bag?

Ha.

Ha.

Ha.

Glub.

Karma is a bitch. I don’t need a voice box. Or a colostomy bag. But, after three months of, ahem, scarlet-infused excrement, I recently had a colonoscopy. Two days ago the doctor gave me his diagnosis: I either have Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis. The official word will be determined next week.

I’m not happy, not devastated. I’m in good shape and I exercise regularly and I like the idea of improving my diet and, once and for all, permanently eliminating soda as a beverage of choice. The hypochondriac in me would have sworn I had colon cancer—and I don’t. So, hey, that’s good. Not that Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are reasons to celebrate. They’re certainly not. But they sound relatively smooth to manage in most cases, blah, blah, blah.

The point is, well, I don’t know what the point is. Don’t make jokes about tumors and colons? Be grateful for what you have? Look both ways before crossing the street?

Hmm …