Piddling for profit

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Editor’s note: George Ostrom is under the weather this week. We bring you this column from 1987...

With all the emotional arguments and lawsuits currently taking place over mandatory drug testing, it had to happen. A lady in Detroit, Michigan says there is a simple remedy for those who have cause to fear taking their basic peepee test. Meryl Podden is now selling “certified” drug free urine in two-ounce bottles at $49.95 apiece. She told the Associated Press that sales are booming. Meryl’s new company is called Insurine Labs and she says they put out up front cash to drug an disease free “donors” for maintaining a reliable product flow. She also revealed that the pay for each marketable sample is five piddling dollars.

Following the media leaking reports of over 1,000 satisfied Insurine customers in the Detroit area alone, we know that there are many other entrepreneurs going in this business. My beer drinking friend, Gage McCastoff, is so despondent over this latest news he has taken to his bed. Says he has wasted away a fortune.

Gage is not the only person who may develop a lingering case of sorrow out of this urine testing business. The big push by the feds is for checking out people like train engineers and airline pilots. That idea developed a good amount of logic after an Amtrak engineer back east got spaced out, and killed several passengers by running through a danger light.

Less acceptable to some, is the testing of athletes, but that too seems more reasonable following the recent problems with million dollar professional ball players turning into inept dopers. I can imagine a scenario wherein some bearded, 280 pound, all-pro Detroit Lions defensive tackle, buys a bottle of Meryl Podden’s certified pure filtered kidney suds, then the laboratory analysis reports back that he is pregnant. Would make a heck of a headline in Sports Illustrated... probably a movie ta boot.

Another strange subject is this business of keeping the body of famed singer, Kate Smith, in cold storage since she died last June. Miss Smth’s will specifically states she is to be interred in a “pink or rose colored granite mausoleum at the St. Agnes Catholic cemetery in Lake Placid, New York;” however she didn’t check first with the cemetery manager. He says a pink granite monument does not fit into their rules and would be unacceptably out of place. What’s a body to do?

Kate’s sister Helena says her sister’s will does not allow for a burial in any other place and she’s not backing off on the issue.

I looked up mausoleum in the dictionary and it says, “a large room or structure used for a tomb.” Why couldn’t the cemetery just go ahead and allow the mausoleum to be constructed and just alter the outside design and color to whatever fits the regulations? They could even make it look like a fountain or a rock garden.

As long as they had pink granite on the inside, Kate would never know.

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