Some of you might find this anecdote a little gross, but stay with me: the point of it is to take note of a particularly puzzling example of weird behavior.
My wife’s doctor had her send away for a special stool sample kit. She was to provide a sample and send the whole thing back to the lab for testing.
Some weeks went by without the kit turning up in the mail. So finally she phoned the laboratory and asked why they hadn’t sent it.
Oh, but they had! They’d not only sent it, but it had already been sent back, complete with sample.
“But I never got it! That wasn’t me, who sent you that sample!” Happily, whoever had done it, had done it wrong and there was no point testing it.
But think about it. Suppose you receive in the mail a stool sample kit that you’d never asked for. What would you do? Uh, check the address, and if it came to you because the carrier misread the address, make sure it gets redirected to the right place? You may even live just a few doors down from the person who was supposed to receive it, and you can carry it over yourself.
Or maybe you’ll just leave the box on the foyer and tell your mail carrier he made a mistake.
Probably the last thing you’d even think of doing would be to provide a stool sample yourself and send it back to the lab for testing. Like, how many times does some stranger come out of the blue and ask you for a stool sample? Not even in San Francisco, baby! And if someone did ask you, would you oblige them? I’m not sure I want answers to these questions.
But even worse–what if this unknown kook hadn’t misapplied the instructions, and they tested the sample not knowing it had not been provided by the patient whom they were supposed to test? “Well, ma’am, we’re sorry to tell you this, but we’ve tested your sample and found you’re at high risk to turn into the Hideous Sun Demon! You’ll need all your internal organs operated on ASAP!”
I mean, what kind of weirdo does this? Shouldn’t you at least ask, Why does someone want a stool sample from me… and who is it who’s asking? And how many people are there out there wacky enough to do a thing like this?
I don’t know about you, but this incident really does strike me as surpassingly bizarre.