It’s Friday rush hour, on I-95 N.
The late afternoon sun beams through the side window.
An observer peering through the windshield would see: Man surrendered.
Just get me home, and unshackle me from this suit, this choking neck tie, and these wingtips molded around my swollen arches from the soaring humidity. Get.me.out.of.here.
I stand in traffic ten exits from home.
I turn up the AC, adjust the vents, loosen the tie and let it blow.
Sirius is set to MSNBC talk radio. Trump is ranting. Hillary’s consiglieres are stripping him down, one rant at a time. They drone on with the mindless chatter.
There’s a commercial break from the spew – my ears twitch.
- Are you over 50?
- Does your life revolve around going to the bathroom?
- Do you wake up at night with the constant urge to go?
- Does your sex life need revitalization?
- Did you know that 50% of men over 50 have an aging prostate issue? Chances are you need Super Beta Prostate too.
Jesus. Really? Does anyone really buy this crap?
There’s a break in the traffic, and I accelerate. Over 50? Yes. Life increasingly revolving around the bathroom? Hmmm. Urges at night? Many, all kinds. Sex life…hmmmmm. Could I have a prostate issue? I keep my hands on the wheel and resist the impulse to check the man-parts.
Then comes the testimonial:
“Now with Super Beta, I find that I can comfortably get to my destination without the concern of this uncontrollable urge to want to use the bathroom.”
I shift in my seat. Traffic is snarled. And voila, here it comes: the urge to urinate. Zero urge three minutes ago, and now I’m tapping my feet and gripping the steering wheel. I grimace.
Are you a circus monkey? Seriously. The Handler cranks up the Music box, and you HAVE to go, now, right now? What is wrong with you? Or, could this be the onset, right this minute, of a complete breakdown in my Prostate, whatever the hell that is.
I don’t let go of the wheel, despite my hands yearning to wander down to check.
The ad continues:
“Did you know by age 50, half of all men have an enlarged prostate. This means more urges to urinate. Longer bathroom trips. Waking at night to urinate. Or issues with intimacy. If this sounds familiar, call us now because we are shipping free bottles to listeners of this station. Super Beta Prostate is a nonprescription formula guaranteed to reduce symptoms of an enlarge prostate. IT’S YOURS FREE. Pay only shipping and handling. In clinical trials, the ingredient Beta-Sitesterol in Super Beta Prostate was shown to reduce urges to urinate, improve bladder emptying, reduce waking at night, and improve quality of life. The Super Beta Prostate offer is free for viewers of this station. This offer won’t last. Don’t wait.”
And then another testimonial:
“If you want stronger urine flow and a more complete emptying of your bladder, I recommend Super Beta Prostate. Super Beta Prostrate works.”
I clench my jaw, and pull my knees together.
I check Waze, I’m 9 minutes out.
I zig zag through traffic, well above the posted speed limit, an effective but critically necessary momentary distraction.
I pull into the driveway, Zeke’s lounging in the grass in the shade, tail wagging. Susan’s sitting on the front porch.
“How was your day?”
“Clear the way. Just clear the way. I think I need some Beta-Sitesterol.”
“Some what Beta-what?”