Urine Trouble

Science and Technology

This week we'll be talking about urine.

My interest in urine began a few days ago when someone handed me a leaflet about drug testing. More precisely, the leaflet listed a few ways to beat the mandatory drug tests often required by employers. One thing is apparent: Urban myths abound.

So tomorrow you're going to be subjected to a drug test. You're worried. You want to beat the rap, stick it to the man, fight the power. Do you drink a pint of lemon juice? Do you get on an exercise bike and pedal until you lose consciousness? Do you sit in a hot bath with a rubber glove on your head?

Will you fail the test if you eat poppy seeds? How about hemp food products? Have you ever tried to smoke that stringy stuff on the side of a banana? I had a friend who smoked a tea bag once. Decaf. Honest.

According to the mini-study my friend handed me, some drugs, such as marijuana, can be detected in the urine up to 30 days after last being used. The study helpfully lists quite a few "Ways to Beat the System." Of those listed, perhaps the easiest methods are either to borrow urine from a friend or to use dog urine and pass it off as your own.

Other remedies include drinking cleansing teas, diluting your urine with water or Gatorade and taking strong diuretic drugs to try to flush out whatever might be detectable.

Another method involves injecting someone else's urine into your bladder, raising the question: Surely its better just not to do drugs in the first place? I mean, is injecting someone else's urine into your bladder really sticking it to the man, or just sticking it to yourself? Or following a dog down the street with a sample cup clutched in your hand — is that cool these days? I don't know. Maybe I'm getting old.

Business is business, though; and in a rousing display of capitalism sans ethics, quite a few Web sites have suddenly sprung up to provide services for the soon-to-be-tested. For instance: visit www.4cleanP.com and be amazed. For $69 you can buy a concealable urine substitution kit with enough human urine for two urinalysis tests. Overnight delivery is available seven days a week, and each kit comes with a supplemental heat source.

Listen: "Give the piss police what they want — a clean urine sample at proper temperature. We are just what the doctor ordered and won't let you get caught with your pants down." Well, that's nice. They seem to really care. But has anyone really done this?

Regardless, if urine is now a commodity, that inevitably means competition, and that means Web sites like www.urineforsale.com. There you can get a five-ounce bag of human urine for just $67. According to the Web site, "All donors are drug free, healthy, and well known subjects." Well known? What does that mean? Regis Philbin? Cher?

Other Web sites provide chewable urine-cleansing tablets, shampoos that confound hair drug tests, blood-cleaners and mouthwashes. It's big business.

Then of course, there is eBay. Visit the online auction site, type in "urine" and you'll find plenty of products to choose. For just $7.80 you can buy four ounces of urine collected from a deer in heat and shipped in a polyethylene bottle: "The flip top lets YOU control the direction of the stream." Amen to that.

There are more uses for urine than providing a means to drug test snotty-nosed employees. Gandhi supposedly drank his own urine, and so did Jim Morrison (his own, not Gandhi's). According to Dr. Beatrice Bartlett, drinking urine is very good for you. She wrote a leaflet called, "Urine Therapy: It May Save Your Life."

Apparently there are at least seven ways to use urine therapeutically. First and most straightforwardly, you can drink it, sampling midstream from the first urine of the day. Next you can subject yourself to a cleansing fast, by eating no food and drinking only urine and water for up to 45 days at a time.

Then there's my favorite: The urine enema. With assistance from a trusted friend, you're supposed to inject two to three ounces of urine into the colon and retain it for as long as possible. Why? Well, why ever not?

You can also gargle with urine, use it as a douche and apply it to the eyes and ears with a dropper to relieve pain and discomfort. It's liquid gold! Finally, sniffing urine is supposedly the most effective way to treat sinus congestion and upper respiratory problems.

Alas, 'tis not a good way to keep friends.

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