Have you ever run the last leg of the relay?
If you have then you know it’s a stressful experience, because you either make it or break it. I mean, you’re either ahead and it’s up to you to hold the lead, or you’re behind and it’s up to you to make it up. Everyone else is done, so they’re just standing behind you relaxing and catching their breath while you give everything you’ve got to sprint for the finish line. And of course, because you’re last you’re dealing with a sweaty baton, a trampled path, and cold muscles.
It’s not easy.
Well, guess who’s running the last leg of the relay in your body? Guess who’s anchoring the team? Guess who’s picking up the slack? Guess who’s taking the baton for the final leg of race?
Dude, it’s your colon. Or Cole for short.
Now, Cole’s a humble guy. I mean, call him colon, call him large intestine, call him big snakey, call him whatever you want. He doesn’t care. He just shows up to work, all 1.5 meters of him, day after day, week after week, year after year. He punches his timeclock and starts working in the dark, tight recesses of your abdomen from the day you’re born, twisting himself up into all kinds of positions, kicking it into high gear from the get go.
Now, Cole does a lot of work:
- He stores and dumps waste. This isn’t a pleasant job, but somebody’s got to do it. This man is the garbage man and the trash can, think about that. He doesn’t get one of the nicer jobs like looking at your food or tasting your food, no, he just stores and dumps it after everybody else has had their way with it. I mean, they’ve done such a number on it that it’s no longer food — it’s called chyme, a partially digested semifluid mass that probably smells like what would come out of a dog if you fed it raw pork, bleach, and hot sauce. Thankfully, Cole’s a real professional.
- He gathers water from the waste. I know what you may be thinking. “Doesn’t my esophagus, stomach, and small intestine already do this?” And actually you’re right, that is true. But Cole picks up where they left off. Yes, he smiles backwards at the gang, flashes them a big thumbs-up, then quietly finishes the job when they aren’t looking. What a team player.
- He absorbs vitamins. What, you thought he was just a chymebag? Just a water-sucker-upper? No man, he’s also rooting around for vitamins, too. He’s the guy at the dump with an eye on your discarded clothes and furniture, aiming to spot those hidden gems that are useful somewhere else. You know all this talk about reducing, reusing, and recycling? Cole’s been doing that for thousands of years. He practically invented it.
Now, Cole the Colon is a huge player in your body, but you’d never know that from talking to him. If you try he’ll ignore you and you’ll just hear the deep, quiet sound of chyme processing. And that’s sort of the point. He’s always there, always grinding, always working the gears, always helping the younger guys along, and most importantly, always getting the job done. And just try getting him to take a vacation!
So — this one’s for Cole. Pat yourself on the belly today and thank your colon for being a true servant leader, a humble team player, and a bona fide nice guy.