The following story is true. Only the facts are false.
Yesterday my doctor confirmed my longstanding suspicion. As it turns out, I really do have my head up my ass.
The news, just in time for Thanksgiving, came as no real surprise. That's because my doctor was far from the first person in my life to tell me I have my head up my ass. My wife has told me that, and so has my mother, and so have at least two of my closest friends, and I've overheard colleagues at the office whispering about it behind my back, and now that I think about it, some kids in high school teased me about it, too.
I'd always dreaded being diagnosed with this anatomical aberration, but just never really expected it to happen to me.
At first, I hoped my doctor meant this as a figure of speech. As in: I was merely out to lunch or had my head in the clouds. But no, he said. In his professional opinion, I literally had my head up my ass.
"This is certainly hard to sugarcoat," he explained, "but that major blockage we've identified in your colon is actually your head. The technical term is Head Up Your Ass Syndrome, or HUYAS. It's also known as Cranial Rectal Inversion, or CRI."
"How did it happen? I asked.
"In some cases," my doctor said, "the cause is a traumatic accident, such as a car crash. The head telescopes down through the neck and along the spine and finally burrows into your bowels, and there you go.
"But in your case," he elaborated, "it all happened organically. Over the years, you gradually grew more and more self-absorbed, so clueless and solipsistic and oblivious to your surroundings and inattentive to others, so utterly in the dark and blind to reality and unable to observe anything but yourself, your comfort zone so microscopic, your perspective on life so narrow, your sense of proportion so distorted - so intent were you on snuffling around in your own intestines all day and all night like a truffle hound to pick up the scent of your own never-ending wants and needs - that you wound up having your head up your ass.
"Could happen to almost anyone, really.
"As it happens, we see it in a lot of middlebrow middle-aged men leading middling lives in middle management."
I soon realized that having my head up my ass might present some problems. Carrying on a normal conversation in public could be a challenge, for example. It could hurt my social life, maybe even prevent me from getting ahead at my job.
"We could try to pull it out," my doctor said. "But the longer it's up there, the harder it is, and you've had yours up there a long time. Plus, that sort of delicate extraction can be dangerous. Your head could break off. I've seen it happen. And heads can be very hard to replace."
"Then again," he said, "in all my years of medical practice I've never seen anyone with his head quite so far up his ass as yours is. I mean, it's really kind of a miracle you can even sit, much less see where you're going. Your best bet might be just to accept your plight. Adapt to it and just move on with your life. Donald Trump has."
My doctor had a point. Doing as he suggested might actually have certain advantages. I could now park in handicapped spaces. And from now on, if anyone ever again asked me, "What, do you have your head up your ass or something?," I could unequivocally answer, "Why, yes, if you must know, as a matter of fact, I do."
So it's officially on my long list of reasons to be grateful this year. At least now I know my status. And given the options available, I've decided to leave my head exactly where it is. After all, it's in the location where it evidently most belongs. Sometimes, in the end, you just have to stay true to who you are.
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Bob Brody, an executive and essayist in New York City, has contributed humor to The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Forbes and McSweeney's.