March 23, 2008 in City

Interactive colon presents much to digest

Doug Clark The Spokesman-Review
 

So I was hanging around inside a 20-foot, pink, plastic colon the other day and …

Hey.

Stop snickering. Right now! Today’s column is scientific in nature. I won’t have it degenerating into a stream of sophomoric potty humor.

So please.

Let me do my business.

As I was saying, the traveling Super Colon exhibit rolled into the Providence Auditorium at Sacred Heart Medical Center for a special Friday and Saturday appearance.

What a colon: ribbed walls, red veins, white-rimmed openings at each end …

Super Colon reminded me of one of those air-filled bouncy games for kids, except you can’t rent Super Colon for birthday parties.

Which is a darn shame, because Super Colon is one terrific crowd pleaser.

Two grinning visitors posed for a cell phone snapshot at the Super Colon exit. One of the women told me she planned to send the photo to her husband with the text:

“I’m being eaten by a giant colon.”

I’ll bet her Christmas cards are a gas.

But this is not why Super Colon decided to visit Spokane.

The bottom line is that Super Colon came to teach the public about this important yet often overlooked organ.

And to scare the ever-living poop out of me. We’ll get to my problems soon enough.

Sure, I can see why a colon the size of a carport might cause a few guffaws.

In fact, I all but nose-snorted my coffee when I read our headline advertising the event:

“Giant, inflatable colon is interactive.”

I never thought I’d see those words in a newspaper.

Not without being connected to Larry Craig, anyway.

Curved like a massive piece of elbow macaroni, Super Colon was set up in the carpeted auditorium.

While I was there, adults and a few children wandered through the hollow colon replica.

You heard me. Wandered through.

That’s the interactive magic of Super Colon.

As I made my way through the colon tunnel (which was a bit cramped for a guy my size), I attempted to interact with the spelunkers ahead of me.

I introduced myself and extended my hand. “You didn’t touch anything, did you?” said one of the women, refusing to shake.

Super Colon is not as hilarious on the inside as it is on the outside. The walls have a number of disgusting protuberances to depict proctological problems such as polyps and cancer.

Now we’re getting to the scary part.

I know this will come as a surprise to most of you, but I have reached that age in life where one should bend over and get a colonoscopy.

So far, I have resisted this procedure due to the fact that I am a chicken.

Fortunately for me, the health workers at the Super Colon exhibit were kind enough to tell me that not being tested is a great way to get cancer and DIE. They even wanted me to have an informative brochure on the subject.

Estimated Cases in U.S. per Year – 148,000.

Estimated Deaths in U.S. per Year – 50,000.

“I’m getting light-headed,” I told Emily Fleury, who works for Community Health Education and Resources.

Should people 50 and older get tested? Alimentary, my dear readers.

Super Colon isn’t exactly a whoopee-cushion laugh riot.

But being able to host the “incredible, inflatable, interactive colon” can be taken as another sign of Spokane’s rising status.

Did you catch the story on the Business page this week? Forbes Magazine rated the Lilac City as one of the nation’s Top 10 cities.

Super Colon’s presence, as one of my editors observed, should expel Spokane all the way to No. 2.

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