Interview With The Guy That Collected My Urine
Sometimes you find yourself in an establishment, wondering about the strange trail people took to end up working there. That’s why I asked the guy that recently collected a sample of my urine how he wound up analyzing pee for a living.
Me: You sit in this room all day and wait for people to urinate.
Urine Collector: Yes, I do.
Me: So how does a guy get started in the urinalysis biz? Were you interested in urine as a child?
UC: Obsessed. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t thinking about urine—drawing pictures of it, bringing it to show-and-tell, collecting samples from my siblings and our pets. I couldn’t get enough of the stuff.
Me: Describe your ‘Eureka!’ moment, the time when you said to yourself, ‘This is what I want to do with my life. I want to collect piss in small plastic containers.’
UC: I was in fifth grade. By that time, I was always lurking in the restroom, because I enjoyed urinary environs—human friends didn’t interest me—and I would take in the smells, the sounds. I have a poem I wrote that day. Allow me to read it. (the room goes black, except for a single spotlight that shines down on The Urine Collector, who is resting on a stool, smoking a cigarette, and snapping a slow beat)
Behold now, these ancient echoes that reverberate as splashes of flaxen liquid strike the alabaster surface of a urinal!
Envelop me, O ethereal, pissy mist that floats over toilet bowls both old and new!
Bladders From Above, bless us with thy holy golden rain, and smite those that conspire to stop thine rivulets!
Me: That didn’t rhyme.
UC: Expressions of passion rarely do.
Me: So are you passionate about poetry too? Did you ever think about writing as a career?
UC: No. Writers don’t get to analyze urine.
Me: Of course they don’t. Be honest with this next question. Can you tell from a person’s looks if they are going to test positive for drugs? Like if some guy with dreadlocks wearing a Phish T-shirt walks in, do you just say to him ‘Nope. No way. Don’t waste my time. Get the hell out of here,’ or is that frowned upon?
UC: The brotherhood of People Interested in Scrutinizing Sewage (P.I.S.S.) requires us to take an oath of equality. Every person that comes through our door receives a cup, regardless of weight, ugliness, hairiness, whatever. Having said that, words like ‘stoked’ are a tip off, and spotting even the smallest traces of tie-dye on a garment raise red flags as well. Whiffs of patchouli will also garner special attention. In those cases, I personally get in real close and watch the urine come out of the urethra.
Me: That seems like a good place to end this. Thank you.
UC: No, thank you (he wraps both his hands around the container, like he’s holding a cup of hot cocoa, closes his eyes and sniffs deeply, taking in the aromatics and other unseen nuances that only a seasoned expert can detect).