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Ellen DeGeneres

Adventures with my Bashful Bladder

Pre–employment drug testing by Francis Storr from Flickr

Pre–employment drug testing by Francis Storr from Flickr

I was recently offered an adjunct instructor position at an art college to teach Business Media Law. When they told me that they wanted to hire me, they explained that the next step was a background check and a drug test.

A drug test. This was going to be fun.

My problem with drug tests isn’t that I worry about passing. It’s that I generally can’t pee on command.

I’ve always had a bashful bladder. When I applied to the U.S. Air Force Academy, a drug test is part of the physical. I was there at 7am and I couldn’t make myself pee until after I finished the rest of my tests. About 10 years ago, I participated in one of the Merck HIV vaccine trials. I had to take a pregnancy test before each time I was due for a vaccination. I drank tons of coffee before going to the clinic and it still took forever to get me to pee on command. After that the staff gave me a set of specimen cups and trusted me to pee at home and bring in it with me. It was weird carrying a cup of urine in my purse into the clinic each time.

Last week I got my official notice of my testing site and that I had 48 hours to complete the test. I drank a bottle of water after my morning coffee and when I started feeling a tickle in my bladder, I headed to the testing site. The gentleman with the African accent showed me to the bathroom and handed me the specimen cup with the instruction that I needed to provide at 50mL sample. I sat down in the stall and tried to think about scenes from my favorite comedians stand-up specials – like Kathy Griffin and Ellen DeGeneres. But no luck – my bladder wasn’t giving in.

I glumly told the guy that I couldn’t pee and headed back to the waiting room to drink more water and think about humorous things. I paced around the room but thought it would probably be better to sit still. No one may have concentrated more on funny things than I did sitting in that waiting room. Two more bottles of water later, I was ready to try again.

I sat down in the stall again and started thinking about Tom Green. His early stunts are so stupid and funny. They make me laugh so much.

Success! After thinking about a few of Tom’s stunts, my bladder let go. Here’s the clip I was thinking about when I was finally able to pee.

Thanks Tom!