Sunday, January 22, 2012

I sold my precious urine for $20

So here's how it went: I met the guy in a parking lot, took a vial out and quickly exchanged it for a crumpled twenty....

Obviously that's not how it happened. That would be too easy and too convenient.  Brace yourselves for the real story. If you are squeamish or weak of the heart, close the browser window now (or maybe you were about to do that anyway).

I surmounted unfathomable obstacles to win this rare honor. I had to vault over a herd of overeager first-years to grab this opportunity. I crushed hopes, mangled dreams on my way to the finish line. Bloodied and bruised but my spirit unbowed, I picked up the pen and signed myself up for a urine study sponsored by my renal physiology professor. Somewhere in the background, the "Rocky" theme song began playing spontaneously. Wiping the sweat off my glistening forehead, I sauntered out of the class like a champion, savoring the ruined landscape around me. And that is how it really happened.

Join me on Monday when I, along with 11 other vicious warriors from my class, piss every 30 minutes for 2 hours and give 4 10 ml samples for analysis. All for a $20 gift card to Panera. A lucky competitor will win an additional $20 for having the most concentrated urine.

Here are the tools of the competition: a beaker, a plastic test tube and a dropper.

Lethal weapons

Here are the rules:

1. Wake up Monday morning and measure volume of urine. Take 10 ml sample to class. DO NOT consume any liquid or food between then and class. Diuretics are forbidden.

2. Participants will be divided into three groups in class: dehydration, isotonic saline, and water. Each will consume (or not, if he/she is in the dehydration group) an amount of liquid proportional to one's body weight.

3. Every 30 minutes, each participant will visit the bathroom (or do it under a blanket, as was suggested by our professor) and bring back a 10 ml sample. A total of four samples will be collected.

4. Everyone will receive a $20 gift card to Panera (or St. Louis Bread Co., as it is known here) for his/her graciousness and magnanimity. 

4. Results will be announced on Thursday. One with the most concentrated urine will be crowned champion for eternity and get exclusive rights to be called "ratboy" or "ratgirl" (apparently, kangaroo rats have very concentrated urine). The others will weep with despair and will be in a state of inconsolable grief.

Are you ready? I know I am.

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