Wednesday, August 29, 2012
So I decided not to take the tranquilizer. I could hang in there for ten/fifteen minutes. Besides, I could then come straight from work, wouldn’t need to inconvenience anyone to give me a ride home, etc.
The appointed day...
I arrive at the MRI center and learn I have to be in the tube for forty-five minutes. Shit! That's a little longer than ten. And there are no tranquilizers in sight. I express my reluctance and the technician says, “I think I can help you. We have these headphones. Normally, we play soothing music to help relax the patients." I said, "Like what? TIMOTHY?" He didn't get it. Probably neither did you. (It's a record about a guy who gets trapped in a mine and is eaten by the other miners. But that's for another fun day.)
The technician boasted that on this particular MRI they had television.
“How are you gonna wedge a television in that tube? There’s no room as it is,” I asked, still worried that I wasn’t on major drugs.
“We line up a mirror to a television that’s behind you. You see the image and hear the audio over the earphones.”
"Fine. Whatever. Let’s do it."
So they slide me into the tube. It’s as terrifying as you imagine. I’m handed a bulb to squeeze if I’m about to freak out. I begin hearing the loud rhythmic metallic clanging as it begins to record an image. That noise alone is terrifying. And then the fact that your laying in the barrel of a cannon. They turn on the TV. And that’s when things went from scary to truly frightening. The show they put on was THE NANNY. And not just any episode of THE NANNY. Oh no, this was the one-hour best-of highlights show from THE NANNY.
I thought about squeezing the emergency bulb. But really, would I be the biggest pussy they'd ever seen? "Hey, Fred, you shoulda seen the idiot we had in here last night. He had a meltdown because he didn't like the channel."
I somehow tough it out.
But they finally wheel me out. I am sweating and hyperventilating. They ask if I'm okay, and I say, “Yeah, I guess so. How did the rest of the Focus Group do?”
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM