There’s a moment in every man’s life, or in most instances-an everyday occurrence, where the battle between “good verses evil” or “right and wrong” becomes more and more of a grey area. A foggy, murky area where the lines of decency and civility are blurred. For instance, every guy reading this (and more than a few ladies) has been shopping, standing in an aisle, minding their own business, just shopping. When a sharp pain in their abdomen spikes pain throughout their system, the kind of pain that if it were just a little sharper it would double them over. Apparently the guacamole dip you ate is in an epic battle with your lower intestine. The guacamole dip is like the crazy guy with a knife in a 1970’s TV movie who’s been backed into a corner “BACK!! Everybody get BACK and no one gets hurt!” the dip yells as it waves the knife around your lower intestine. But the lower intestine is a tried and true veteran of breaking down all of the crap that you’ve thrown down the old “pie hole” throughout your life, (not to mention gallons of cheap beer from 1983-2008) and it’s not about to get pushed around by some crazy acting guacamole that the stomach didn’t have the cajoles to take care of itself. The guacamole dip is feeling pretty good about itself, yelling, “hold on boys, just a few more feet of this gut and we’re home free!” What the poor dip doesn’t know is the intestine has an ace in the hole (no pun intended)…enzymes. Enzymes are to hard to digest food (like baked beans, cauliflower & broccoli) that a U.S. fired heat-seeking missile is to a carload of Taliban warlords. The missile always wins, just like the enzymes. Now that being said, the enzymes have one slight drawback in their alliance with our intestine…they produce foul, rotten egg smelling methane gas in rather large quantities. They’re like the Vikings of the Ninth century, they fight, they win, they pillage …except that these particular Vikings are in your gut…producing tons of horrible gas that can either be released into the atmosphere or sequestered in your abdomen-doubling you over like your spleen AND appendix are going to simultaneously explode together. This is where you’re back at the grocery store, standing in the bread aisle, deciding whether “whole grain wheat” bread is really worth it or should you buy the store brand and save some coin when your central nervous system goes into high alert. “THIS IS AN URGENT MESSAGE FROM THE LOWER INTESTINE. WE’RE ISSUING A ROTTEN EGG GAS WARNING. THIS IS NOT A WATCH, BUT A WARNING. WARNINGS MAY INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: WAILING, SCREAMING, CURSING, AGONZING PAIN, OFFACTORY OFFENSES, AND A POSSIBLE DIARERRIA STORM. IMMEDIATE ACTION MUST BE TAKEN!” You casually look up the aisle (both directions) to see if the coast is clear (you’re an old hand at these “rotten egg gas warnings” and they don’t faze you the slightest). After insuring the area is clear of anyone who might hear or smell this release of gas; you subtly back up against something (not your wife) that won’t reflect the “back-fire report” of said release and cough loudly (but not too loudly as it might send the colon the wrong message about what TO release and what NOT to release (see definition of “shart”). Aaaahhh…relief. You’ve expelled the offending gas. Your intestine wires your brain…”cancel the warning. But tell him to leave this area immediately”. You wipe the beads of sweat away from your brow, when you get the first whiff of the toxic fume shock wave.
”Whoa!” You chuckle under your breath, but you begin to leave the aisle as your knees start to buckle from the smell when your escape route is blocked by a cute little twenty-something brunette, who appeared literally out of nowhere. “Good afternoon sir! My name’s Brittney and I’m from the local community college! We’re talking to area shoppers today about the ill effects of global warming and wondered if you’d have a moment to answer a few questions on our survey?” “Oh…ah…” you stammer, but what you really want to tell Brittney is “listen kid, you gotta move and I mean move right now before we both die!” But in that time of thinking and responding appropriately to your new friend, a look comes over sweet Brittney’s face like that of death itself; she’s inhaled through her nose. You and Brittney can’t exit the bread aisle fast enough as you both scramble towards the open expanse of the main aisle-towards fresh air, knocking over the Ritz cracker display and obliterating the Twinkie display, sending flaming chunks of yellow sponge cake through the air. The youthful Brittney takes the lead as her age makes her more nimble but you’re an old hand at getting away from odors like this and you scramble up and over the shelving gondola itself in no short order like a bull was charging you. After landing on your shoulder in the adjoining aisle, you pick yourself up, adjust your coat, rotate your displaced shoulder and wipe the Twinkie cream off of your forehead. Brittney (who was just doubled over catching her breath a few seconds ago in the main aisle) marches up to you and shouts, “You’re the reason for global warming you big turd! Go away and leave us in peace you evil man!!” she shrieks. You (still in “emergency exit mode”) look for the nearest exit before someone reports a natural gas leak and the Fire Department rolls up. Brittney briskly heads for the ladies room, in an attempt to rid her hair of Ritz cracker crumbs, as you saunter out of the store sans the bread you were supposed to buy.
Later that night your wife goes to the breadbox, finding no bread.
Wife: I thought that you went to WalMart today to buy bread.
Husband: They were out.
Wife: Jeez…they’re always out when I send you to buy bread!
Husband: Yeah…go figure.
Wife: Oh sweetheart…you missed some shaving cream up by your ear again, and don’t let me catch you licking it off of your finger like last time. That stuffs toxic! It might upset your stomach.
Yes…it might indeed. Hand me a box of Ritz.