IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2007
My Favorite Video Blogs
(for others, see Links page)
Wizard of Oz--Alternate Ending
Phil Donahue vs. Bill O'Reilly
Drunk Driving Test
Steve Irwin Meets Ross the Intern
Volcanic Eruption 4/2/07
Polar Bear Cub
Family Stories Vlog
New on My
14 May 2007
In the 7 years I have been writing this journal, or in the how-many years there have been since I discovered Marn, I have often wished for her rapier-like wit and her ability to describe the most delicate of subjects in a side-splitting style which makes you forget the awkwardness of the topic.
But today, as I approach this story, I am trying to channel my Canadian fellow journaler to see if I can really do justice to the tale I am about to tell. This may not be for the squeamish, and, for reasons which will become readily apparent, there will be no illustrative photos.
It's Mothers Day and it began, as all days do, with leaping dogs and a kitchen to clean up (from all the baking I did yesterday for "the wake"). There was coffee to prepare, e-mail to read, journals to check up on. Walt went off to Mass, I got ready to go to San Rafael. Ned arrived bearing a lovely huge bouquet of flowers.
The plan was that we would get to my mother's around 11:15, pick up her friend Paula, go out to the Peacock Gap Country club, where we had a reservation for brunch. Ned had arrived early, so we were in fine shape, getting ready to go.
While Ned and I were waiting for Walt go be ready to go, I felt the call of nature and excused myself to go to the bathroom. That's when all the problems started.
I am what you might call a right regular fella. Never any problems for me. You won't find any laxatives in my medicine cabinet or prunes in my cupboard. On the very rare occasions when I need a little assistance, my never-fail home-grown remedy is to fix myself a plate of pancakes. There is something about the combination of pancakes, butter and maple syrup which greases the pipes and allows anything which might want to exit through the appropriate orifice to slide right out without difficulty.
I haven't had pancakes in a very long time. I had "double fiber" whole wheat toast for breakfast.
It became readily apparent that whatever happened in that bathroom was going to involve "straining."
As time passed it became obvious that it not only involved straining, but LaMaze breathing-and-pushing techniques, relaxation, contortion, prayer, and a few expletives.
I needed pancakes. Desperately.
After some time had elapsed, I called out to Ned and asked him to call my mother to let her know that we might be later than expected.
After more time had elapsed, Walt called in to say that the car needed gas and to ask if he should go for gas now. I told him that would be a good idea.
It had become apparent that what had peeked out to test the water, as it were, didn't want to go back, but also didn't want to come any farther.
I decided that there really was only one hope at this point. Thankfully, I had a box of baby wipes there. I will offer the advice that if you ever want to attempt do-it-yourself-proctology, you will be well advised to lose many pounds beforehand.
To put it delicately, there's a lot of body to get around in order to reach the offending orifice to attempt to do anything. When I was working for the gynecologist's office, I remember typing reports from women with bowel problems for whom "digital stimulation" was something they regularly had to perform. I can only assume these were thin women.
I grabbed up some baby wipes and boldly went where I had never been before.
Interspersed with breathing, relaxation and praying, there was more or less ineffectual proctology. It soon became apparent that there would be no glorious "a-ha!" moment. This would not be a forceps delivery. This would be an archaeological dig, one very thin layer at a time.
As the pile of baby wipes built up in the toilet, I doggedly kept working, changing position, testing whether pushing would help now that there was less to work with, etc. But the Rock of Gibraltar was still doggedly wedged inside.
I eventually reached a point where two pebbles had been extracted and the surface of The Rock had been slightly eroded. Eroded enough that with external pushing and internal squeeze, it could be pushed back far enough that I could actually walk and we could leave for my mother's.
We made the trip in heavy traffic part of the way (apparently this is the day to take Mom on the roller coasters of Marine World) and by the time we made it to her house, 15 minutes late, Paula was already there. We went off to the country club.
After we had been poured champagne, we went off and toured the offerings of the buffet table. I spied Belgian waffles right away and made a beeline. Waffles .. pancakes ... same difference.
I loaded up on waffles, double butter and lots of syrup. Then I had my normal breakfast and ended the meal with more waffles, instead of dessert.
Back at my mother's, I began to feel the urge once again. By now everyone knew of my difficulties so I told them I was headed to the bathroom and would either be back "soon" or "in a long while."
I was very hopeful when I sat down. I won't say that straining was not involved, but never underestimate the power of maple syrup and butter. In time -- not too long a time either -- relief was mine (I was going to say "at hand," but fortunately that was not required).
There was some sense of justification that flushing caused the toilet itself to plug up and sent Walt off in search of a plunger. This baby was not only too solid for my plumbing, but for my mother's as well.
Eventually, all orifices, mine and the plumbing, had been cleared and I am a much happier camper. There will be pancakes for breakfast in the morning.
...there will also be big news in tomorrow's journal. Don't miss it!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Mothers Day brunch
This is entry #2601