“So, um, how does this whole thing work?” I asked the receptionist when I set up my clinic appointment.
“It’s $135 and we don’t take American Express!” she tells me quickly.
Ok….”Well, I’ll be heading over on my lunch break from work. Should I expect a long wait or…?”
“No, sir. You’ll come in, give us $135, you’ll collect, and you’re free to go!”
Collect! So the code word is collect! Nice. And she’s obsessed with getting that $135…
The night before my wife asks me if I’m going to be ok with doing this. Honey, I got this thing in the bag! She’s the one with the painful and humiliating tests! I get to…collect.
Collection Day is upon me, which means more paperwork, of course the $135, and some waiting despite what my informant said before. My time comes and I am handed a small container and led to what I dubbed the Tug-O-War Room. She tells me to write my last name on the jar and, when I go, to leave the cup on the counter and ring a doorbell inside the room, which signals them that I left. (Full disclosure: it takes me a few minutes to realize I should write my name on the jar before collection commences.)
Now the Tug-O-War Room is essentially a glorified bathroom. It’s a little bigger than normal with the typical bathroom requirements, a few lounge chairs, and a television/VCR combo mounted on a corner of the ceiling.
Oh, and porn.
Did anyone mention there was going to be porn? I guess I always heard there would be “mood enhancers,” but I didn’t really think about it. I didn’t notice this stuff because it looked like normal bathroom furnishings! But on closer examination, that magazine rack is full of girlie magazines!
That little cart has VHS tapes all over it!
Turns out this stuff is called “The Kit.”
Curiosity gets the best of me and I pull a few magazines up to see how recent they are. These are current. Who goes into the bookstore and picks up the new porn? Dr. K? A nurse? Do they have a subscription, which I guess would be the wiser financial move?
And VHS?!? We get new magazines, but no 3-D Blu-Ray plasma screens?!?
Even more creepy is this:
I can’t even begin to form a theory about why there’s a picture book of Scottish golf courses.
Men are sick.
Panic hits…how much should I be collecting? Are they watching my time? How long is too long? Crap, how quick is too quick? Do they memorize what porn is where and they’ll know if I moved something?!? Does nervousness and neuroticism affect sperm quality?!?
Be cool, man. Be cool.
So I calm myself down as best as I can.
And to make an awkward story short(er), time passes, I ring the bell and return to work, with a bad feeling I just can’t shake…