Bethesda, MD - Following a directive from the President, all senior executive branch officials submitted stool samples to physicians at the Bethesda Naval Hospital for screening for colon cancer. While all of the results have not been release, the White House did report that Colin Powell's Colon appears to be disease free.
Not understanding the President's request, Secretary Powell took term "stool sample" literally and arrived at the medical center with a stool clasped smartly under his left arm. Before meeting with his physician, Mr. Powell stopped off at the lab to leave the stool for evaluation.
"It's a pretty common misunderstanding," said Dr. Richard Smith, "but given that the guy's name is Colin, you'd think he'd get it."
The stool sample Mr. Powell provided appeared to have been purchased from Crate and Barrel. Company CEO Gordon Segal, when asked to identify the stool in question, confirmed that it was in fact a Silhouette Barstool, which retails for $79.95.
"When I was first told that I would be examining Colin Powell's stool, I was understandable distressed," said Mr. Segal, "I mean I like the Secretary of State as much as the next guy, but somehow I imagined this task would involve feces."
When the staff of the hospital saw Mr. Powell arrive with a stool, the admissions team was barely able to confirm their mirth. "Look, people generally aren't that excited to be coming in here to drop off some crap for the docs to poke at," said a hospital employee on condition of anonymity.
"Secretary Powell made the situation even more awkward by handing the stool to one of the lab staff with an absolutely straight face," continued the staffer. "I mean he just handed it to this guy as if it was the most natural thing in the world."
Once his error was brought to his attention, Secretary Powell willingly produced an actually sample of his feces for evaluation.
"I'm not sure which one is more embarrassing," said Mr. Powell, "showing up with a turd in hand, or being discovered with an actual stool in hand."
The stool Mr. Powell initially presented was in fact the Silhouette, as identified by Mr. Segal. According to the Crate and Barrel catalog, the stool features a hip rectangular seat, square metal tubing and a comfortable footrest. The stool Mr. Powell ultimately provided was firm and brown and approximately of standard pooh dimension.
"I've got to be honest," said Mr. Powell, glancing between the Silhouette and the lab cup filled with his own excrement, "if it were up to me, I'd take the chair." Once the medical staff had had an opportunity to fully examine the Secretary's feces, they were able to report that Mr. Powell's colon appeared to be entirely healthy.
"Thank God!" said an unidentified woman enjoying a lunch-time stroll, "The last thing we need around here is another member of the administration that is full of crap."