The Life Of A Urine Monkey
He's just an errand boy

Urine. At some point we all feel the need to release the pent-up clear, yellow, or sometimes oddly magenta liquid -- whether it be in the morning, at night, or while we're stuck in traffic on the freeway wishing we had resisted the temptation for that sixth and final 7-Eleven Big Gulp. But there's more to peeing than just wiping the toilet seat after a case of "split stream syndrome."

See also...
... by Scott Taylor
... in the Whoa! section
... from January 7, 2000

A select few, American heroes if you will, have turned this inevitable portion of the daily routine into a virtual moneytree. Yes, I am one of those proud individuals. I am a urine monkey.

Technically speaking, I am a courier -- the guy who picks up those little cups you piss in at your friendly physician's office. My co-workers and I spend our work week driving about town, searching out your freshly discharged bladder remnants and shuttling them off to laboratories to be tested, sampled, and quite possibly used as a cheap alternative to CK One cologne.

Every hospital has some form of urine monkey program. Whether it is by foot, bicycle, automobile or the ever-so-rare rickshaw, the need to transport specimens is constant. Somehow, someway, that cup has to get from Dr. Turn-Your-Head-and-Cough's office to a separate site designated to check your urine for certain unhealthy chemicals.

"It's a well-needed service," explained Mike McTaggert, who began carrying urine for Massachusetts General Hospital only a few short months ago. "People have to piss. When they tell you to fill up the cup, you got to fill up the cup. We're just the gentlemen who have to carry it around." When asked if their job is a glorious one, most urine monkeys would respond the same way. "It's a job. Somebody's got to do it," quipped Jimmy Duarte -- a veteran urine monkey of more than two and a half years. "It's not exactly glamorous," McTaggert added before getting dispatched to pick up yet another cooler full of liquid gold. The humility of these men is incredible.

Urine is not the only bodily material collected by bladder jockeys. There is always the possibility of finding a cooler marked "Blood," "Tissue," or even the elusive "Stool" or mysterious "Other." Urine, however, is tops in the department of weight and awkwardness. Often, 24 hours-worth of urine is collected in jars which can weigh up to a hellacious three pounds each -- proving that these monkeys not only need bravery and courage in the field, but strength and stamina to boot.

So the next time you're tapping your kidney, please take a moment to remember these bottom-feeding juggernauts. Honor their dedication and perseverance to improve mankind via a strange urine-filled dream by whispering: "Thank you, urine monkey. Thank you"

And most importantly... don't forget to flush.

Scott Taylor currently resides at his parents' house in a half-filled bathtub of lukewarm water, clutching his knees, and sobbing "...i...can't....get...clean...." He also hosts the wildly popular Cambridge, Massachusetts public access television show The Crapfest.