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An anathema is a medical procedure in which a liquid is powerfully injected up the anus with such force that it penetrates most, if not all, of the way to the end of the colon, often splashing the appendix if it hasn’t been removed, before flushing back out through the anus.

Beyond the force with which the liquid is injected, the primary difference between an anathema and another similar procedure is that a healthy—or some would say, unhealthy—dose of a strong, yet calming hallucinogen is mixed with the liquid. This allows the victim patient to enjoy what might be an otherwise exceptionally uncomfortable experience. He or she goes on enjoying the anathema for a few hours after the liquid has drained. During this time, driving automobiles or other heavy machinery, making financial decisions and/or trying to initiate a meaningful romantic or other relationship should be avoided. Talking to an insurance broker or telemarketer is also not recommended. In addition, it would be wise to put yourself under sober adult supervision until the effects wear off.

This is to say that, after the procedure, the victim patient has an euphoric experience and a clean colon at the same time. This is what’s known in the academic literature as a medical twofer. Then again, this academic literature is not something that appears on any course syllabus’ reading list, but rather it is something that an arts academic might read in private at night, on a weekend or while on vacation in a country that has a relaxed attitude toward not-particularly-pharmaceutical pharmaceuticals.

There is one drawback of anathemas. Not only does the victim patient enjoy the anathema, but he or she may develop an overwhelming, unquenchable craving for another anathema soon after the effect wears off. This can lead to a life of crime as the victim patient is no longer capable of functioning at work and must turn to muggings and other robberies to afford to satiate his or her need for anathemas.

The etymology of the word anathema is quite interesting. There are obvious hints of the word anal in its heritage. No one can miss that particular ancestral word within the rich heritage of anathema as it stares one right in the … oh, right. OK. Well, true, it’s rather difficult to see stuff back there, but the suggestion of anal is all over anathema.

One can also detect overtones of enema and euphoria in the roots of anathema. The rich dash of enema is undeniable. In contrast, it takes a discerning ear to distinguish the soupçon of the word euphoria, but it, too, is there.

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