Erma Bombeck Writing Competition
1st place in Humor Category
Winner Leigh Anne Jasheway
of Eugene, Oregon
"The First Time's Always the Worst"
The first mammogram is the worst. Especially when the machine catches on
That's what happened to me. The technician, Gail, positioned me exactly as
she wanted me (think a really complicated game of Twister - right hand on
the blue, left shoulder on the yellow, right breast as far away as humanly
possible from the rest of your body). Then she clamped the machine down so
tight, I think my breast actually turned inside out. I'm pretty sure
Victoria's Secret doesn't have a bra for that.
Suddenly, there was a loud popping noise. I looked down at my right breast
to make sure it hadn't exploded. Nope, it was still flat as a pancake and
still attached to my body.
"Oh no!" Gail said loudly. These are perhaps, the words you least want to
hear from any health professional. Suddenly, she came flying past me, her
lab coat whipping behind her, on her way out the door. She yelled over her
shoulder, "The machine's on fire, I'm going to get help!"
OK, I was wrong, 'The machine's on fire,' are the worst words you can hear
from a health professional. Especially if you're all alone and
semi-permanently attached to A MACHINE and don't know if it's THE MACHINE
I struggled for a few seconds trying to get free, but even Houdini
couldn't have escaped. I decided to go to plan B: yelling at the top of my
lung (the one that was still working).
I hadn't seen anything on fire, so my panic hadn't quite reached epic
proportions. But then I started to smell smoke coming from behind the
partition. "This is ridiculous," I thought. I can't die like this. What
would they put in my obituary? Cause of death: breast entrapment?
I may have inhaled some fumes because I started to hallucinate. An
imaginary fireman rushed in with a fire hose and a hatchet. "Howdy,
ma'am," he said. "What's happened here?" he asked, averting his eyes.
"My breasts were too hot for the machine," I quipped, as my imaginary
fireman ran out of the room again. "This is gonna take the Jaws of Life!"
In reality, Gail returned with a fire extinguisher and put out the fire.
She gave me a big smile and released me from the machine. "Sorry! That's
the first time that's ever happened. Why don't you take a few minutes to
relax before we finish up?"
I think that's what she said. I was running across the parking lot in my
backless paper gown at the time. After I'd relaxed for a few years, I
figured I might go back. But I was bringing my own fire extinguisher.
That is too funny but
don't let it discourage you from getting your own mammogram! And be
sure to click on http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
then click on the pink window in the middle for "donating a mammogram".
Their quota is to get enough clicks to donate at least one free mammogram
a day to an underprivileged woman.