I have been suffering from a knock-down, drag-out case of the flu. The knock-down part is what it's done to me. I've been bedridden - not ridden in bed but stuck in bed, or on the sofa - since Saturday night. The drag-out portion is the stuff getting dragged out of both ends, not good stuff like poesy dripping from my ruby red lips but bad stuff like half chewed up cold pizza and whatever stuff I can cram down for a brief stay in the mid-range Bed & Breakfast formerly known as My Stomach.
Thankfully, the throwing up ended pretty quickly, we just had a single big blast of that, and it may actually have been the result of inadvertently looking up my season profile on Crossresults.com rather than being caused by the flue.
There's all sorts of stuff leaking out of the other end, however, and the problems down there are a bit more persistent, in a number of respects. It's not a pretty picture, to put it mildly.
I started to feel bad - Real Bad, Hannibal, as a wise man once said - on Saturday night. So I convinced myself that I just needed a nice easy Sunday comprised of football watching and a little nap.
So I turned on the pre-game at 8:00 AM, and took a little nap. Until it was bedtime.
In between, I watched football for the 7 minutes I was awake. And I farted. Lots.
Any man who tells you that he doesn't enjoy a good puerile attack of the farts is either lying to you, or you're a woman in which case he's telling the God's honest truth, we don't enjoy farting like crazy honey, and whoever told you that is just wrong and lying and deceiving you about our true nature.
So anyways, after realizing how I'd been blessed with a comedy goldmine, I found this endlessly amusing. The Wife of and Son of were mostly out of the house during the day, so nobody was endangered by the risk of methane suffocation but me and the pets. Yet surprisingly, the small community of humans and domesticated animals that lives in my house didn't find my airborne blasts the least bit amusing; rather, "shared sense of dread" seems to capture the feelings they enjoyed, at least based on the cats running from the room after one particular WMD attack.
Not like I care; the cats start paying the damn mortgage, they can make a rule about "no farts but licking your ass all day is permitted." Until then, my house, my rules.
And oh, what a variety of comedic flattus we had.
There was my old friend Squeaky Pete. And his big hollering buddy, Flattus Eructatus. There was the Firecracker, the Pinwheel, and my old favorite, the Searing Hindquarters Heebie Jeebies. One after the other they came, spent a couple minutes in the livingroom stinking it up worse than the Giants, then departed without fanfare, like the Redskins's Superbowl hopes every year in mid-October.
Fmr. French President Chirac Reacts to Rouleur's Farting Exhibition
How bad was it? You know it's bad when you pass gas, and the dog walks over and stares at you. I thought about pretending I was a Spartan in 300, and shouting, "This is FARTA!" each time. But like the Persians, there were just so many of them, and they just kept coming... So I just sat there being a typical puerile dude, watching football, farting, napping a bit, scratching myself a little, and wishing I felt well enough to drink a couple beers.
Unless you're one of my female readers in which case I spent the afternoon meditating, and getting in touch with my feelings, and *not even thinking* about farting on the nice sofa.
Anyhow, little did I know, that these sonic stylings were not the Trumpets of Juvenile Male Humor; no, they were the official Heralds of Doom.
Around halfway through a nice Sunday dinner - roast beef, if you must know - I felt a little tingling in the mid-parts. "Ahhh," I thought. "I recognize that... it's the White Sands Nuclear Device Test alarm." Excusing myself rather than making everybody at the table feel as nauseous as you do now, I hied myself to the powder room, and, just in case, took a seat on the throne of repose.
Good thing too, since the cork fell out and everything I've eaten since 1989 basically just dropped out. How'd that handkerchief get in there? Criminy... I'd inadvertently Released the Kraken!
That started a long run of, well, the runs. Every 20 minutes or so for the last three days, I released the Kraken. There was a little vomiting Sunday night, but no matter how big the blast, if it ends in one or two episodes, it has to be little, so the vomiting was minor. Same thing with the fever that comes and goes along with some delirium, and the irritating cough. Minor stuff.
The other stuff... well, it's been constant and it's only now easing up.
I'm told that the biggest problem if you have the trots is dehydration, which can kill you, because, as it happens, diarrhea is the most efficient way for squeezing water out of a person this side of a mortgage closing.
So I drank lots of water, chicken broth, downed lots of Gatorade, and did all the other things said to be good for stopping the trots like nibbling bits of bread and Graham crackers and so forth. Yet I kept erupting, like Old Faithful.
On Monday, I thought that things were settled. Things had been quiet from mid-day onwards, and as dinner approached, I decided to go to an old standby that worked when I had suffered from dysentery previously: extra cheese pizza. For real. Pizza plugs things up quicker than a Republican Senate filibuster, and you could use it to stop up an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. So I gave that a shot.
It took about 20 minutes for that stuff to blast through there. It even came out in whole wedges, ferchrissakes. I'd released the Kraken yet again! Woe unto me!
So I was up all night again, hitting the crapper every 20 minutes when I'd wake up with a twinge.
Now here's the really terrible part.
After you've crapped for about the 50th time, certain parts of the body just stop working. They just don't care. It's like when that irritating colleague asks for your stapler, and you only give it over reluctantly knowing you'll have to go pester him to get it back. Eventually, you stop asking for it back, because it's more hassle than it's worth and you'd rather just go get a new one. You just give up because it's not even worth trying.
So too with my butt, the part that exercises, um, good judgment, about when the coast is clear. You know, when it's safe to fart. I think the medical term is a disambigulator or something. You've heard about this anatomical part - it's at the heart of the great sonnet, "Here I sit, broken hearted, try to poop but only farted; the other day I took a chance, tried to fart but shart my pants." The part that prevents *that* from happening is what quit on me.
It just quit working without two weeks notice or anything. I swear there was an "I resign" script tattooed on my ass by 2:00 AM Tuesday morning, though that may have been from my bike's seat from earlier in the summer when I was doing a lot of base miles.
This presented me with a terrible dilemma. No, really. Some times I'm not amused by my own farting or talking about poo. Hard to believe, but it's actually somewhat true.
I would awaken from a semi-doze every 20 minutes or so, and feel a sense of urgency. But I was sooooo tired, and getting up, going to the crapper to release the Kraken again, or maybe just some disappointing huge fart*... that would take 5 minutes, I'd get back into bed and be more sore, more tired, and I'd be coughing again...
*Wait. Did I say "disappointing huge fart"? No such thing. But it would be a fart that I didn't need to get out of bed for.
Yet there was no way of knowing what was coming. No way to predict, since the missing valve was AWOL, exhausted from the weekend the way a tollbooth attendant on the Jersey 'Pike is worn out by July 7th. Just tired of all the traffic and not wanting to hear about any more shit from any more assholes...
So I had to spend the night gambling, only for some reason it wasn't as fun as Vegas usually is and there were no comp drinks or strippers, though I did wake up with a lingering sense of regret and a feeling I'd done something very wrong. Anyhow...
It was a clear choice: Fart or Shart. Pick one.
Pick right, and you win, and get to go back to sleep with minimal disruption, particularly if you pick "Fart" and you win. But like a red/black bet in roulette, the house always wins, and it's going to be a Shart more often than not. With a little luck, you can trigger the Emergency Lockdown Procedure and not soil anything.
But does anything about this sad tale of dissipation make you think that I have had any luck recently? No. Of course not.
It was like using a Mossberg 10 gauge magnum goose hunting shotgun to trim fingernails. Solid tool, but not calibrated correctly for the job. There were some... um... difficulties implementing proper industrial safety cutoff valve procedures.
I'm not going to get into the nauseating details. It wasn't pretty.
I am feeling better today. But my cats are now looking at me with a look that says, "Dude... you're a complete pig. Don't even talk to me." And my dog gives me this sad gaze that says, "you'd hit me on the nose with a newspaper for doing that."
Mercifully, Wife of the Rouleur slept through most of this drama. She is probably wondering why I was up early yesterday doing a big underwear wash, and she will no doubt be alarmed when she finds out how depleted our Domestic Reserve of Soft Toilet Paper has become, and "what happened to that big bottle of Chlorox?" Big disasters were avoided, but really, is ten little disasters that add up collectively to one big one any better than just having a single big one?
For the life of me, I don't know why I didn't just go up to Rite Aid, buy a box of Depends, and just lie in my own filth, not worry about it, and get a decent night's sleep.
That, or spend my waking hours joining a Barcalounger to a terlet to create a potty that you can sleep on comfortably without falling forward off and knocking yourself out on the Italianate bathroom tile.
Eventually, I got with the Immodium, figuring that anything that needed to get out would be pushed out by 48 hours of steady expulsive (explosive?) efforts. It took a few hours to work and that seemed to bring a little stability to the situation, though like the Middle East Peace Process, I have this nagging feeling that the progress is illusory and it's about to blow apart at any second. Just to be safe, I'm going to pass on Wednesday Taco Night at the Rouleur household, at least for this week.
But there is a silver lining amongst the brown clouds. That leftover tube of baby diaper creme that the Son of Rouleur no longer needed when he moved over to BigBoy Underwear? Daddy has now put it to productive use. It's so much nicer for the environment when we can recycle, don't you think?