Sunday Nibble #40: A short guide to knowing your shit #4

I originally wrote these pieces for my friend Peter’s website, TheFlushed.com, back when they had been planning to expand their editorial content. However, the actual shitshow that 2020 turned into intervened, and we sort of forgot about it. Until now! Here, at least, you can read all about the anal emanations you’re likely to encounter in this ongoing series. How many of them do you recognize?

This one inevitably occurs when you’re in public. Perhaps you’re in line at the mall, or at a party, or grocery shopping. Even more likely, you’re at a formal event, like a wedding or funeral.

It starts small. Just that sudden little gassy feeling, only it’s not an impending burp. Well, in a sense it is, but let’s call it an Australian Belch — it wants to happen down under. The only problem, of course, is that there are a lot of people around, so you can’t slip one out and you can’t slip out of the room. Why, what would people think if you abruptly left your pew (or a P.U.) and ran down the aisle while Auntie Lou is eulogizing your late Grandpa John in glowing terms?

So you try to hold it in, but the more you do the more insistent it becomes. You may even experience the phenomenon of feeling gas bubbles in your intestines pop, which just makes the need to toot your horn even more pressing. All you can do is clench and suffer through it until the time is right.

Eventually, you finish checking out, or they finishing checking out your grandfather, and you’re able to make your way to a safe place to play a few bars of “Fart and Soul.” You’re not even going to try to find a bathroom, you’re just going to liberate the Methane Menace into the open air, perhaps on the fly. Maybe you duck into an alcove off of the church lobby, or one of those side corridors in the mall. You might even just call “Blast off” as soon as you’re outside the market and you have the cover of noise and a breeze.

All right, captain. You’re all clear, so it’s time to announce, “Engage,” and open the shuttle bay doors. You give that fart permission to launch with an encouraging nudge, and it’s finally free to fly away.

Then you realize with a sinking feeling that this shuttle was carrying a full cargo which did not make it into the open air. You’ve now experienced the exact opposite of The Phantom because you have just crapped your pants.

Meet The Traitor

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Sunday Nibble #38: A short guide to knowing your shit #2

I originally wrote these pieces for my friend Peter’s website, TheFlushed.com, back when they had been planning to expand their editorial content. However, the actual shitshow that 2020 turned into intervened, and we sort of forgot about it. Until now! Here, at least, you can read all about the anal emanations you’re likely to encounter in this ongoing series. How many of them do you recognize?

You knew that going to that new Indian-Mexican fusion place last night was a risky idea, but you’ve eaten there before and the food is just so damn awesome that the flaming chipotle sag paneer and tikka tacos with a side of chutney and mole salsa you had were totally worth it — until the next day, when you suffer Mahatmazuma’s Revenge.

It begins with a bit of rumbling and gurgling, then soon turns into a mad dash for the can, where you fumble your clothes into position for emergency evacuation, have a seat and, before you can say “Check, please,” the remains of last night’s meal blast out of you in a torrent that could launch a rocket for Elon Musk — and that’s just the beginning.

You didn’t even realize you could have this much in you, but every time you think you’re done, another wave hits the shore and firehoses its way out your nozzle. And the sound… oh, the noises you’re making! Just pray that this hit you at home and not anywhere you’d have to use a public bathroom, because the farts and gurgles and splats and splashes echoing in the porcelain bowl under your posterior could drown out all seven stages at Coachella combined, and the smell would make a skunk retch.

Did I mention how spicy that dinner was? Well, you’re experiencing that spiciness all over again, only this time via a more delicate opening. You subconsciously start humming Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” as you hope that it’s over, but you’re only halfway there. Now you’re regretting buying that rougher TP because it was cheaper. Like Spider Man, the aftermath isn’t going to feel so good.

When it finally seems like you’ve blasted out all of your internal organs, there’s one last, final hold-out, the only solid bit of the experience — the sad little turd that had to wait until the deluge was over. At least this job only needed one painful wipe. You glance in the bowl before you flush and mutter, “Holy moley,” because it looks exactly like the Mexican sauce that came with last night’s food.

My friends, you’ve just experienced Chocolate Rain

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Read the next installment.

Sunday Nibble #9: Don’t pan(dem)ic!

I’m actually writing these words a little over a week before you’ll read them — hey, that’s how it goes when you get ambitious and want to publish every day. Still, this past week has been… weird, and I can only assume that the week between when I wrote this and when you read it will be equally weird.

I do my regular grocery shopping on Thursday nights. This came about because at the previous full-time job I had, we got paid every other Thursday, so it was just a natural thing to do a weekly budget two weeks at a time, and get groceries for the week on the evening of payday and a week later.

It was also great because I’d go to the store after 8 p.m., so there’d hardly ever be crowds, and I don’t buy a whole lot because, honestly, I’m a cheap date. That’s because ever since the events of August 2016, I’ve been cooking my lunch for the week at home, usually on Sunday afternoons, so that I could avoid processed and pre-packaged foods, and control the nutritional content. In my case, this largely means cutting down the sodium.

After I was laid off from that job because the company went tits up, I moved into the land of living off of savings and unemployment, but kept the same schedule. And even as I moved into my very part-time job with ComedySportz LA, with paydays on the 10th and 25th, and then into my new full-time gig in the wonderful world of Medicare (which really fascinates me) with Paul Davis Insurance Services, where payday is every other Friday, I kept the exact same schedule. Grocery time on Thursday night.

And it worked out well and regularly right up until Thursday, March 12, and then I had flashbacks to the day the L.A. Riots started, when scared whypipo also stripped the grocery stores bare for no damn good reason. Those MoFos stocked up for months when it turned out that the city was only under martial law for a week.

So, anyway, I headed out to my regular Ralphs at my regular time that Thursday only to find that the normally easy parking lot resembled any Trader Joe’s anywhere on a normal day. So I noped out of that one and headed to my second choice because it’s not as fancy even though it’s the closer Ralphs, managed to find a spot in the parking lot, headed inside, saw the length of the lines and, again, thought, “Okay. I’ll try later.”

About an hour and a half later, I came back, and while the lines weren’t as long, a quick stroll through the store showed me that the meat department, canned goods, paper goods, and beverages had been stripped bare. What was the point? Despite my short list, I wasn’t going to find anything, so I got the hell out of there.

Friday night: No need to report to the theater to work because they’ve cancelled all remaining shows for March, but there was a check waiting for me, so I headed out, driving by the aforementioned down-market Ralphs only to realize, “Nope. It’s still crazy.” Got my check and then swung by a stand-by market that shares my first name. The lines weren’t as bad, but… all the same departments stripped to the shelves.

I headed down the street a couple of miles to a market that almost shares my first name, only to find almost the same situation. I was literally only able to find one item on my shopping list there.

Fortunately, because for some unknown reason Ralphs abruptly discontinued carrying the particular types of dog food that my Sheeba demands, I had already changed to a PetSmart that is a mere block from home, and they have not been subject to the same panic buying.

So my fur kid gets to eat better than I do.

Or not. I wound up inadvertently stockpiling enough canned tuna to last through a few weeks, but I also did it over a few weeks because Ralphs has been having this insane sale in the first place — 4 cans for $4.00 — but then a coupon on top of that for $2.00 off 4 cans. Or, in other words, 8 cans for $4.00, half a buck a can. Since the stuff has a pretty long shelf-life, I figured, okay, why not?

And all of this was entirely before Storpocalypse hit. Or is that Bumwadgeddon? I’m not sure what all this panic buying has been dubbed yet. All I know is that I’ve got three weeks’ worth of tuna in the cupboard. Oh yeah — since Ralphs likes to occasionally send me coupons for a free jar of the brand of mayonnaise that is not my first choice, I have two of those in the fridge.

Tuna salad for days, y’all! And I already had two weeks’ of bum-wad on hand. So this panic didn’t really affect me other than the inability to buy meat.

That was kind of a problem because my tradition, between my Saturday day job and Saturday theater job, was to go get nine ounces of ground sirloin at Ralphs and bring it home to make an amazing cheeseburger.

But that option was taken off the table since the meat departments in every grocery store I went to were completely empty. On a hunch on the way home from work on a Saturday, I stopped by a small carnicería in Van Nuys. Not only did they have plenty of meat, but unlike at Ralphs, I got to watch the butcher grind it for me, and it was basically the same price.

So try those little neighborhood mom and pop places if there’s something you can’t find at the big store — just don’t buy more than you need right now, but do give them the business. And they probably have toilet paper, but don’t be greedy, okay?

And FFS, don’t panic. The world isn’t ending. China already got this, and the U.S. may have acted quickly enough. And the economy may actually be fine, just like it has been after other nation-wide disasters.

There is nothing to fear but fear itself, and this is a line from the inaugural address of one of our best presidents ever. So… stop hoarding out of fear. Calm down, take a deep breath, and look at the actual statistics.

There’s no damn reason at all that you need three 24 packs of TP, 6 cases of bottled water, 18 cans of soup, a shit-ton of other canned goods, and enough bread to prove that your whining about being gluten-free was absolute bullshit.

The next several weeks will be crucial, and we may all wind up stuck at home, so yes, by all means make sure that you have two to three weeks worth of food stocked up. But you don’t need three months worth or enough for a household five times the size that yours is.

Take every precaution you need to, but don’t go crazy with the panic buying. You’re just hurting your friends and neighbors by taking more than you need.

Remember: six feet apart, and wash your hands often.

 

An