They say curiosity killed the cat, and quite frankly, I couldn’t disagree more. As a matter of fact I’m pretty sure “they” only came up with that expression to keep the cat from asking too many questions. Don’t you think? Questions such as: What do you mean, you’re ripping out my fingernails? What gives you the right to deny me the joy of childbirth? Who are you to tell me I can NEVER GO OUTSIDE FOR THE REST OF MY GODFORSAKEN LIFE??
These are the questions I’d be asking, if I were a cat. I mean, anyone would, if they had any sense at all. It’s like I always tell my kids: the one who asks the most questions knows the most. And while it’s true that ignorance is bliss, let’s face it – it’s also still ignorance. Which I, for one, cannot abide.
All of which leads me to my recent mammogram. I know. Right now you might be thinking, wait, what? How? And that’s good, because it shows that you, too, are a curious person. So, let me explain.
For the uninitiated, I will begin by telling you that a mammogram hurts. Rather intensely. The good news is that the pain only lasts for about five to seven seconds and then ahhhhhh, the pressure of the plates is released and you are free. Repeat 4 times and you’re done, in routine situations; best case scenario, you’re in and out in under 10 minutes.
So. Like I said, I went in for my annual mammogram a few days ago and somehow, the technician and I got on the topic of people fainting during the procedure. Because apparently they have. “God,” I said, imagining. “That would be horrible.”
“It is,” she agreed. “Now hold your breath – good. Relax. Let’s switch sides.”
“Even worse, though?” I said. “Would be if you fainted. Like while the plates were pressed together, and I was stuck here.”
“That would be bad. Can you move your arm up a little?”
“Seriously, think of it! Or, okay, let’s say you had a massive heart attack.”
“Oh, wow . . . thanks a lot!” The technician seemed a little disturbed, perhaps because I’d asked her to envision her own untimely demise while at the helm of a giant imaging device. I mean, no one wants to die at work. Which I totally get.
“Okay, sorry . . . not a massive heart attack. Just something that has you unconscious on the ground, and I’m stuck here like this. OWWWWWWWW.”
“Someone would hear you screaming,” she assured me. “But, I guess it could still be pretty bad, if the door was locked.”
“Oh, God,” I said. “Is it? Is the door locked? What would I do?”
“Here,” she said. “I’ll show you. See this foot pedal?”
And thus it came to be that I learned how to escape a mammography machine, in case of emergency. Granted, this would be a pretty rare emergency. But still, if it happens? I will not dangle there in excruciating pain, screaming until someone breaks in to set me free. Or worse, have a massive heart attack myself, brought on by the sheer agony. No, I will release myself, tie my robe, and then perform CPR on the technician, who will later tell anyone who will listen how my curiosity saved her life.
Well, I mean, once I learn CPR. Maybe I’ll change the story so she just needed smelling salts. Or to breathe into a paper bag. The moral of the story here might be that it’s good I never went into the medical field.
Just kidding. That’s not the moral of the story. The moral of the story is that if I were you, I’d keep me away from your cats. Because, if I get a minute alone with little Fluffy? (And if I’m not too afraid to get close, see this post for more details on that), I will tell him, listen here, kitty. Don’t believe the hype – curiosity will never kill you.
On the contrary, and particularly if you are ever getting a mammogram and the technician faints dead away – curiosity will SET YOU FREE.
Oh, and for those of you that are still with me, another interesting fact I’ve recently learned is that the lead blanket the dentist puts on you for x-rays? It is not bulletproof.