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By Tardsie

They’re Pretty Much Infallible, You Know.

When you hear that somebody has passed a drug test, you probably assume the person is drug-free. It’s a reasonable assumption–the testing is scientific, impartial and totally reliable. I used to think so, anyway, until a time came when I had to take a drug test.

Technically, I didn’t really have to be tested, but my lawyer (and while it’s true that I’ve started in the middle here, I trust you’re more than capable of filling in the important elements of the backstory for yourself) thought it would be a real good idea for me to be tested to show the court that I was drug-free.

Dude, Do You Even Know Me?

I smiled patiently at him, like a father who’s just been asked a silly, but heartwarming question by his four-year-old child. “You know I’m gonna fail that test, right?”

His smile never wavered. “Call these people,” he said. He handed me a card for Pee-Testers International (the actual name of the company is being withheld in recognition of the great service they performed on my behalf).

My Memories Of That Testing Service Are As Warm As A Beaker Of My Own Urine.

Following his advice, I scheduled an appointment, and was somewhat buoyed that Pee-Tester International’s receptionist seemed to be on very friendly terms with my lawyer. Still, I was taking no chances, and procured some synthetic urine (yes, they really make that) to use in place of my own THC-infused urine. The specimen must be body temperature at the time of the testing, and since a buddy¹ of mine lived close to the testing center, I went there to heat my urine in his microwave and smoke bowls until the time of the appointment.

There were all kinds of wretched fuckers haunting the reception room when I got to PTI; I felt very out-of-place. It started to dawn on me then that PTI served two functions: primarily it was a legitimate (and accredited) testing service, monitoring the rehabilitation of parolees and drug offenders. But a smaller, unadvertised portion of its business seems to have been helping those who could afford it to beat drug tests for marijuana, which was illegal in Washington State until only a few months ago.

I Courageously Broke An Unjust Law That Was Eventually Changed. In This Way, I’m Very Much Like Gandhi Or Rosa Parks.

I had to wait a short while in the lobby, which made me nervous. The container of synthetic piss nestled in my crotch was still pleasantly warm, but was cooling with each passing second. I read a book while I waited. I did a good job of centering myself and holding my anxieties in check, but I was still relieved when they called my name. The practice, the preparation, the worrying–those things were in the past: we had gone live, and it felt very good to be getting on with it.

The counselor I spoke with was an attractive, empathetic woman who was maybe a couple of years older than I was. She was intelligent and well-spoken, but almost stubbornly predisposed–in spite of all evidence to the contrary–to see me as blameless. The only other person in my life to have made such a deliberate and herculean effort to so completely blind herself to my faults was my own mother.

No Matter What Kind Of Degenerate Shitbag You Are, Mom Still Thinks You’re A Gentleman.

“How often do you smoke marijuana?” she asked.

“Hmm,” I said, considering the question. “I don’t know–maybe six or seven times a year.”

“So not very often.”

“Hardly.” We both laughed.

“And when was the last time you used marijuana?”

“Oh, gosh,² let’s see…I think maybe last Christmas Eve.” This was mid-June. I’d anticipated this question, and had given it a great deal of thought in the previous days, as I had my response to it. It was a risky move, but I knew exactly the follow-up question it would generate. Most critically, I knew that my answer to that question would likely have a significant impact on the outcome of this evaluation.

Believe Me, Man–I Spent A Lot Of Time Doing Just That.

Her expression darkened, and took on a puzzled aspect. “But…you were cited for possessing marijuana just two weeks ago.”

I executed my line flawlessly. I laughed a little sheepishly and said of the incident earlier in the month, “Oh, I had every intention of smoking that pot,” I said,  “But I never got a chance!”

It was clear from the first that my gambit had been successful. Her face lit up and she laughed along with me. I saw that not only did she believe me (or had chosen to believe me, which amounts to the same thing), but that she appreciated my answer, like I was making her job a lot easier by telling her what I was supposed to.

Think Of Her How You Will, But She Was Very Kind To Me.

But her final question caught me off-guard: “If I gave you a urine test right now, would you pass?”

I hadn’t anticipated that, and it took some effort to keep myself from showing my cards in that age-old liar’s tell of repeating the question back to her: Would I pass a urine test? With so much on the line, though, I managed. I looked her in the eye and said, “Absolutely.”

Her conspiratorial smile was endearing. “I guess we don’t need to test you, then.”

It cost something like $450, plus another $20 for the fake pee I never used (and it’s really not something I wanted to keep around, y’know?), which was an expense I could ill-afford. Still, it was money well-spent, not least for the boost to my self-image which is with me to this day. When I look in the mirror every morning, I can be proud that the face I see looking back at me is 100% drug-free. Don’t believe me? I’ve got the test results to prove it.

I Consider Myself Not Just A Role-Model, But Also A Paragon Of Virtue And A Pillar Of The Community.

¹ The same guy, should you be interested to know, who some years before shouted “Where’s your dignity?” at hapless Rocky dorks.  ∞ T.
²Yes, for real I said “gosh.” In print it sounds silly, but I can make it work for me like you wouldn’t believe.  ∞ T.