You Can’t Spell ‘Love’ Without VDLR. Provided You Add the Letters D and R to Love.

Well we’re off to the mountains this weekend for a little lakeside R&R at my family’s annual canoe/kayak week, but not before rolling up our sleeves for the most romantic portion of the engagement: the blood test.

D.C. does indeed still require a blood test. (Vaccination without representation!) Specifically, couples have to get tested for syphilis (VDLR) — and only syphilis. I’m not sure why the D.C. government is so concerned about this particular pile of bacterial heebie jeebies when there are scads of other ways we could be damaging each other’s lives in the decades to come. Why not test for the Clap? Or the Herp? Or the likelihood that in a matter of years we’ll begin a long, slow slide into boredom and bitter resentment of one another eventually culminating in our respective affairs with the hired help? And if one or both of us has syphilis and we’re getting married to each other, isn’t this a win-win for the larger D.C. community? Also, I would also think that given D.C.’s string of spectacularly epic fails in the past year when it comes to keeping its adults and children safe through social services, our potential no-pants-dance disease need not sit atop their priority list. Given the town we’re in, I’m going to assume that it’s because there’s a vocal and deep-pocketed Syphilis Testers Association of America lobby tucked somewhere on K Street. (Motto: Changing the way America sees chancres.)

Assuming that we score better on this test than we did on the math portion of the SATs (writer couple humor FTW!!11!!!) we’re hitting the open road. Can’t blog because I’ll be too busy paddling the lake, toasting marshmallows, and singing camp songs. Like the classic Girl Scout ditty, “Alice the Camel Has Nine Humps.” Apparently they didn’t test for syphilis before Alice got married to Mr. The Camel.

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9 Responses to “You Can’t Spell ‘Love’ Without VDLR. Provided You Add the Letters D and R to Love.”

  1. I-66 Says:

    I’ve been adding D and R to love for years. It’s on my business card. It says: “Dr. Love”

    OH!!!

  2. Lemmonex Says:

    I was also under the impression that the syph was a largely dead disease…

  3. Shannon Says:

    Syph was quite the big thing in Baltimore for a while, due to the demise of public housing projects (which kept the syph geographically centralized). Don’t know about D.C.

    The whole thing is awesome – like, what, are you possibly going to exhume and marry an old-school European royal? Perhaps an inbred syphilitic Hapsburg who can’t chew?

  4. Bridal Bird Says:

    I-66-Oh indeed. Oh my, specifically.

    Lemmonex-Yeah apparently moms can give it to their babies. But they can also give them HIV and they’re not testing for that.

    Shannon-Baltimore, the city that reads. Apparently just not STD pamphlets.
    Something tells me that at least one of my readers is now mulling the feasibility of exhuming an old Hapsburg royal…(looking in J’s direction)…

  5. RCR Says:

    I though the STAA’s motto was “A burning passion to discharge America of Syphilis.”

  6. Phil Says:

    Georgia did away with their testing in 2003, which I think included rubella and sickle cell anemia along with syphilis.

    I tested positive for crabs.

  7. Curious Says:

    Is there really a test for crabs? Or is it just “Hey, look at that, I’ve got crabs.”

  8. Phil Says:

    It really just involves a magnifying glass.

  9. The One Where I Will Beat the D.C. Marriage Bureau « Bridal Bird Says:

    […] us into wedded bliss, we will need to get blood tests for syphilis. You remember that, because I wrote about it. We bring in our paperwork saying we’re syphilis-free, along with $10 per person to get the […]

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