23 August 2011

Morning Thunder

            I've come to the conclusion that while I sleep at night, my body fills up slowly with air, my sides expanding and threatening to split, similar to pumping up an air mattress and when I slowly come out of dreamy sleep in the morning I'm ready to burst! And then I hear a noise in the distance. Morning thunder.  A loud cacophony of pops, bangs, cracks, squeals, and followed up by a hot breeze under the covers.
            Morning thunder is not a laughing matter.  Some people find it embarrassing, but I'm quite proud of the noises my body is capable of making.  It's exciting, exhilarating, and most of all, it feels fantastic.  It can be unpredictable, like a tornado; other times, it can be as common as morning breath.  Sometimes the two even smell the same. 
            Usually my body will give me subtle hints that it's ready to explode.  First there's gurgling in the depths of my belly, followed up by extreme pressure near the back door.  Then I feel the air being forced out of my lungs as I hold my breath, and I let go.  No regrets.  It's out of my control once the air leaves my body and I cannot be held responsible for any negative consequences.
            The only person who doesn't enjoy my morning thunder as much as I do is Emily.  Most mornings she can sleep right through it, but there have been times when my fart storms have been more reliable than her alarm clock in ensuring she get out of bed on time for work.  There have been times when my farts are as loud as air horns; her sleep is startled and I feel her practically jump out of her skin.  Like I said, I'm not responsible for the hot air that goes in my body or the manner in which it comes out.
            One particular morning, after a night of heavy drinking, I awoke to my cat meowing in my face.  Once my eyes open, my body takes that as a sign to begin releasing the gas and hot air reserves it's been holding hostage overnight.  I don't even have time to glance at a clock or rub my eyes before the three phases of morning thunder start:
            Phase one: hot air release.  Phhfft.  Pfffttt. Phllllllllbbbbbbbbbb. 
            Phase two: symphony of loud noises: Blaaattt! Brraaapp! Phlooot!
            Phase three: me stifling my laughter: Huhhhuhhuhhuh.  Hehehehe.
            That morning was no different.  But once I had completed all three phases, I realized it wasn't over. Apparently there were multiple storms on the horizon and my internal meteorologist had not warned me.  The night before, I had poured beer, tequila, and shoved authentic Mexican food down the hatch.  The perfect recipe for a thunderous fart storm.  Usually I can control the decibels of certain farts simply by lying on my back and making sure my butt is pressed firmly into the mattress so there is no noise, similar to a silencer on a gun. 
            But not that morning.  Nothing could muffle these earsplitting claps of fart thunder.  Some were loud, some were quieter, almost like a massive earthquake and then a few aftershocks.  After a break in the clouds, I peeked over at Emily, who appeared to be sound asleep.  Then another bout of farts loudly escaped my body and I again stole a glance in Emily's direction.  No movement, which was surprising because even my cat had hissed in anger and jumped off the bed from being startled too many times by unexpected loud ass noises.
            The logical thing to do would have been to go into the bathroom or in the living room and release my gas so I wouldn't wake Emily up, but it was early in the morning and the sun wasn't even up.  I was far too lazy to get up and take my fart storm elsewhere. 
            And then the fart finale came.  It was louder than any Fourth of July fireworks celebration, motorcycle clan, and thunderstorm I had ever heard in my entire life.  In hindsight, I probably should have worn earplugs to protect my eardrums from any damage.  The finale lasted no longer than fifteen seconds, and when it was over, I looked around to make certain a Molotov cocktail or a Chinese firecracker had not been lit in my bedroom. 
            As scared as I was to look over at Emily for fear that she would be dead from the loud noises and deadly poison hovering over our bed like smog, I needed to make sure she was still alive.  I could not see any signs of breathing and since she was facing the other way, I couldn't tell if her eyes were open or not.  Now what do I do? Peer over her shoulder like a creeper and risk her rolling over and seeing me hovering over her?  Get out of bed and walk around to the other side?  Or just wait for a sign of life?
            I didn't have to wait long for proof that she was still alive.
            "Goddamnit! Go take a fucking crap or something!" Emily yelled loudly, her breath leaving trails through the fart clouds, her voice reverberating off the walls.  I lay there, shell-shocked.  Her sudden yelling had startled me almost as badly as I had startled the cat with my tooting.  I feared for my life.  I was quiet for a minute or two and thought if I pretended to be asleep, she wouldn't be as mad.  I mean, you can't blame the sleeping, can you? 
            "Morning honey," I said, feigning innocence and trying to adjust the pitch in my voice to the sleepiest tone I could muster.  Emily was no fool; she knew I was wide awake when I unleashed the fury of fart thunder just moments before.
            "You are unFUCKINGbelievable," she yelled angrily, pulling the covers over her head.  Wow.  It was a rare occasion that she dropped the F-bomb, and by F-bomb I don't mean anything remotely related to the Hiroshima style fart bombs I just dropped.  She must be really pissed! I was about to tell her that giving herself a Dutch oven with my flammable gas under our covers wasn't such a good idea, but changed my mind.  If she wanted to breathe in recycled fart air and suffocate, go right ahead.  But Emily is no fool.  She didn't last longer than a few seconds before she surfaced for fresh air and rolled over to face me.
            I tried to be as cute and cuddly as possible after conducting a fart symphony so she wouldn't stay mad at me for waking/scaring/poisoning her.  But there's nothing cute about a twenty-something year old woman who farts louder, longer, and more often than your average fraternity boy or grumpy old man.
            "You sleep okay?" I whispered, daring to gently touch her arm. 
            "Yes, I slept fine until you decided to shit your pants and wake me up with your goddamn farting! Seriously, I thought someone had broken in the house and had shot off a million firecrackers in our bedroom so we would be deaf and scared before they raped and killed us! But no, it wasn't a home invasion! It was just you and your goddamn loud farting!" she screamed at me.
            OH boy. I had done it now. Tropical Fart Storm KC had ravaged our bedroom and the damage had been great.  Paint had peeled, sheets had been polluted with poisonous gas, and Emily had nearly suffered a massive coronary.  Since that morning, I have made an effort to be extremely careful about my morning thunder, and the mattress certainly takes a brutal beating every single morning.  But I'd rather the mattress take the beating because I'm confident the next time I wake up Emily with another fart storm, I will get punched in the face and probably the ovaries as well to guarantee I will never spawn a loud tooting mini-me.
            Emily has suggested I take Beano, go see a gastroenterologist, or go to etiquette school to learn some manners, but I'm only doing what nature intended!  I'm releasing gas!  It's not very often she finds farting amusing, probably because she is a mature adult.  If she passes gas, she is so polite that she will say excuse me every single time!  Where's the fun and humor in that?           
            I know I'm not the only adult out there who has earsplitting and deafening morning thunder, nor am I the only grown adult who finds farting to be comical and entertaining.  I agree it can be gross and mildly inappropriate at times, especially when you end up walking behind a middle-aged obese woman at Walgreen's who can't stop farting, but for the most part it's often laugh worthy. I can't help it but laugh; no matter what you say or how old I am, nothing will convince me that farting is not funny.
            There's no one in this world who finds farting funnier than I do than my amazing (and often gassy) friend Amanda.  It is she who sent me a book called "Farts: A Spotter's Guide", just a few months ago, a book that identifies the habitat, range, voice, and "field marks" of ten common farts, along with hilarious illustrations. There is also an attached battery powered fart machine that reproduces each emanation in accurate sound, so while you read, you have a hands on learning tool.  Not only is this book extremely educational, but it's also a great conversation piece.  When I have friends over, that fart book gets a workout!
            Amanda is a girl who not only cackles every time she toots, but she also has been known to light her farts on fire (please do not try this at home).  Sometimes she feels the need to call me and leave me a fartmail if I don't answer, but if I do answer, it's rare that she (and not her ass) says hello.  Thankfully I have a friend like Amanda, someone who can appreciate my nose wrinkling, breath-holding, ass-exploding fart humor.  Without her, I'd look like the only idiot who laughs at farts, so I'm glad there are two of us.
            I'm not at all ashamed of farting.  Everyone in my life has gotten used to it.  They have all accepted the fact that I laugh every single time I fart, without fail. In fact, when my friends and even some family members see books about bodily functions, my name instantly comes to mind.  I guess you could say I have left my skidmark on many people's lives.  For my last birthday, my own father got me a "Poo Log" to keep by the toilet.  I've used it twice; then Emily removed it from the toilet handle and hid it somewhere I'm probably too short to reach.  She has no funny bone for toilet humor.
            For my your entertainment and education, I have compiled a list of my top ten favorite farts, or TTFF.  The list is in no particular order and is not all-inclusive.  Before you get grossed out or embarrassed, let me remind you that we all fart.  Every single one of us.  So stop denying it already! After all, a fart is just a turd honking for the right of way, so be polite and let him out!

Top Ten Favorite Farts (TTFF)
1. Bubbler: The only fart you can see!
            Sound: silent but bubbly
            Culprits: Olympic swimmers, children, senior citizens
            Habitat: pools, lakes, hot tubs
2. Front Traveler (alias: Queef) The fart that sneaks out the front door!           
            Sound: sputtering, similar to car running out of gas
            Culprits: fat girls, mothers, models, bankers
            Habitat: church pews, PTA meetings, doctor offices, Lane Bryant
3. Chinese Firecracker: The fart that will give you a start!
            Sound: a series of loud pops, bangs, crackles, and pops
            Culprits: Prisoners, grandfathers, the Irish
            Habitat: fraternity houses, jails, holiday cookouts
4. Quacking Duck: The fart that quacks back!
            Sound: clucking chicken; fowl mating call
            Culprits: politicians, housemates, lesbians
            Habitat: showers, bathtubs, dormitory hallways
5. Popcorn Fart: The fart that is hot enough to pop corn!
            Sound: rapid firing of hot, small farts, like the putter of a moped engine
            Culprits: priests, the deaf, athletes, valedictorians
            Habitat: churches, theme parks, graduation ceremonies
6. Flutterblast: The fart you can almost ride on!
            Sound: like a boat motor, partially submerged in water
            Culprits: teenagers, creepy uncles, gym teachers
            Habitat: hot showers, stairwells, locker rooms, sports arenas
7. Smog: The fart that leaves a hole in the ozone layer!
            Sound: silent (but deadly); often leaves a thick blanket of poisonous gas
            Culprits: lawyers, dogs, TV show hosts, coroners
            Habitats: first dates, courthouses, funeral homes, elevators, live TV
8. Shart: The "gamble and lose" fart!
            Sound: similar to air pockets popping in a mudslide
            Culprits: Boy Scouts, military personnel, AARP members
            Habitats: the desert, fast food restaurants, nursing homes, crime scenes
9. One Cheek Squeak Sneak: The sneakiest and squeakiest of all farts!
            Sound: like a warm delicate breeze; often with a high-pitched squeak
            Culprits: exam proctors, students, the President, preachers
            Habitats: high schools, NYSE, the Oval Office, boardrooms, in-law's house
10. Jail Break: Even farts make a break for it after hours of being locked up!
            Sound: variety of noises; often unpredictable
            Culprits: retail clerks, garbage men, golfers, motivational speakers
            Habitats: break rooms, hotel lobbies, bachelor pads


17 August 2011

An Airborne Toxic Event

            There's nothing in this world I hate more than flying.  I'm not scared of being over 30,000 feet in the air, losing an engine and crashing into the ground at 800 MPH.  I'm not scared of an air traffic controller falling asleep or a pilot dying mid-flight.  I hate flying because airplanes are cesspools for germs, illness, and diseases.
            Recycled air ÷ limited space x 15 infected passengers + multiple hours=an Airborne Toxic Event.  A toxic event to the third power: a microbiologist's wet dream, a fat paycheck for the medical industry, and days/weeks of misery for innocent victims. 
            It never fails, every time Emily and I get on an airplane, within a few days we have contracted some sort of illness.  An upper respiratory infection, a sore throat/flu combo, or my personal favorite, the violent stomach flu.  We usually try to choose seats in the two-seat row so we have minimal contact with other people, but sometimes we have to sit in the three-seat row.   When that happens, we end up sitting next to a person who coughs without covering his mouth, sneezes in our direction, or uses the Sky Mall magazine as a tissue.  Or all of the above. 
            What the hell is wrong with these people?  Have they never watched Discovery Health?  Some of the programs featured on that channel have traumatized me for life.  And I wonder, have they never been sick themselves?  Where were their mothers when they were young, telling them to always cover their mouth?  I swear serial killers have better manners and hygiene than 99% of people who travel on airplanes.
            Just last Christmas, we flew home to Wisconsin and within a few short days, Emily ended up being violently ill with the flu.  New Years Day when the Wisconsin Badgers were playing in the Rose Bowl, halfway through the game I had the chills, a fever, and ended up violently ill with the stomach flu.  It was so bad I could have been the poster girl for Pepto Bismol: Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, and diarrhea!  To hell with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, these flu symptoms are a just few of my favorite things!
            What upset me even more was that those invasive asshole germs waited to attack me the night before we had to get back on a plane and fly home to Florida!!!  So, not only did I contract germs from someone on the airplane, but now I had to drag my deathly ill self aboard a plane and hope I didn't infect anyone else with my recycled germs!  Why couldn't anyone else be as considerate as me when sick? I always cover my mouth when I cough, sneez into my armpit to avoid backsplash, and wash my hands regularly, ESPECIALLY when I am a walking petri dish!
            This might surprise you, but I haven't always been germaphobic.  Touching door handles then eating finger foods never bothered me.  Shaking people's hands then rubbing my eyes wouldn't make me bat an eyelash.  There were even times I would pee at home and not wash my hands before I resumed normal activity.  They're only my germs, how harmful could they really be?
            My knowledge of germs and airborne diseases expanded about ten years ago when I got a job working for a company called Clickity Clack, a non-profit company that provided services to the developmentally disabled population by opening group homes in my college town, as well as several nearby cities.  The house I worked in was occupied by six older gentlemen who were relatively independent.  There was no adult diaper changing or colostomy bags, just mild temper tantrums, bickering, and countless hours of watching LHOTP (Little House on the Prairie). 
            As part of the job description, all direct care providers were required to take twelve hours of continuing education a year; we were legally required to take the OSHA class every single year, while some of the other classes were subject to change.  This OSHA class focused heavily on sanitation and hygiene.  Specifically hygiene, since we worked with a population with compromised immune systems.  In this training, we would learn how to wash our hands, safely handle and cook foods, and general overall safety in the workplace.  When the instructor informed us we would be learning how to properly wash our hands, I was the only person in class who laughed out loud.  Who doesn't know how to wash their hands?  But when I realized that most people actually don't, I started to wonder.  How many germs are really out there, waiting to be transferred to every orifice of my body and attack my immune system like the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor?
            Turns out, about fifty million bastard bacteria per square inch of my body, that's how many.  The instructor shared this fun fact with us as she began the hand washing demonstration.  We were instructed to wash our hands as thoroughly as we normally would, then rub this gel like substance on our hands and put it under a black light.  Afterwards, she would teach us how to correctly wash our hands, since most of us clearly didn't know the proper way.  I always thought I was a decent hand washer, but once I put my hands under the black light, my cuticles lit up brighter than the Griswold's house in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  Was I really covered in germs from head to toe?  The thought made me feel dirtier than a twenty-dollar hooker.
            Ever since the discovery that every human body is literally crawling and infested with multiple species of bacteria combined with the fact that I got more illnesses in one month working in the group home than I had my entire life, I took a stand against germs.  I became the hand washing Nazi for both the residents and staff at the group home.  I was tired of the residents sharing illness and I myself would get a sinus/ear/upper respiratory infection every other week!  My nose was so red, chapped, and dry with white flaky skin that a fellow staff member had asked me if I was snorting drugs.  I wish!
            But it wasn't until I met someone who had absolutely no sense of personal hygiene whatsoever that I became a diehard germaphobe.  A former supervisor of mine, a 400 pound (NOT an exaggeration; if anything, I spared her a few pounds) woman named Terry, who bathed as often as warthogs in the wild and whose breathe smelled of sour milk.  She was easily the dirtiest person I have ever had the displeasure of meeting (and that says a lot because I see a lot of filthy bums in Florida).  Not only were here fingers stained yellow from cigarettes and yesterday's food, she smelled of a gangrenous foot that had been dipped in bacon grease and put out in the sun for three days.
            Working with her was always a challenge.  Despite her loud demeanor and complete lack of common sense, she had no regard for the health and safety of the people around her.  Often times she would use the bathroom then head into the kitchen to start dinner for the residents or distribute medication with visible feces on her hands.  Her hair was oilier than the track at Talladega Superspeedway and there was visible dirt in the many Shar Pei style folds of her arms.  Her teeth probably hadn't been brushed since the Vietnam War ended, and I swear I once saw an outline of a pork chop stuffed in her back fat.
            One time she even left a crumpled pile of skid marked underwear (underwear I actually mistook for a circus tent) and stretch pants in a corner in our office.  When I approached her and asked why she would leave excrement stained clothing at work, she said she had Taco Bell the day before, which led to an unexpected burrito supreme blowout.  Everyone has accidents; I get it. I'm no stranger to sharting but seriously? What forty-year-old woman shits her pants and leaves the evidence crumpled in a corner like a toddler fresh out of Pull-ups? 
            Even I wouldn't have done that as a kid, and certainly not as an adult.  In fact, one time when I was about eight years old, my parents had grounded me to my room for the entire day.  It was on an extremely beautiful summer day, so that punishment was harsh.  I was not to come out under any circumstances unless they beckoned me.  So, I obliged and kept myself occupied by reading books in my bedroom. 
            But a few hours later I could feel my daily afternoon poop forming.  I couldn't leave my room and I was afraid to ask to use the bathroom, for fear my parents would deny my parole hearing later that day.  So I used my common sense.  I reached under the bed, pulled out an ice cream bucket I used for LEGOS, emptied it on the floor, and pooped in that bucket.  I put the lid back on the bucket, tucked it safely under my bed so no one would see it, and resumed reading. 
            But even I wouldn't just leave that bucket in a corner for someone else to discover, like she had left her stained clothing for someone else to pick up!  When I was ungrounded that evening, I took that bucket to the bathroom when everyone was asleep and I flushed its contents down the toilet.  It's common sense to dispose of evidence!  I couldn't believe I, an eight year old, had more common sense and respect for those around me to clean up my own mess than Terry, a forty-year-old woman/supervisor/mother (yes, she is a mother; some poor unfortunate soul impregnated her).  Even when the mentally disabled residents who lived at that group home had bodily fluid accidents, they had enough common sense to throw their soiled clothes in the wash, hamper, or even in the garbage.  What was wrong with this woman?
            Not only was this woman revolting, she was completely unprofessional as well.  Shocking, I know.  As a supervisor, she believed it was perfectly acceptable to wear sweatshirts with half of yesterday's lunch stained and dribbled down the front for a meeting with the residents' social worker.  When I would catch her wearing the same, dirty and unwashed outfit multiple days in a row, I would ask her what she made for dinner the night before and according to the stains on her shirt, she was correct.  The last time I saw someone wear an inside out sweatshirt was 1996 back when that fuzzy sweatshirt look was popular.  And even then it was barely popular.  So for a fully-grown woman to turn her clothes inside out to hid the dirt and food stains was far beyond my grasp of understanding.
            Every time I worked with her, I was afraid to get too close for fear I would catch influenza, malaria, or typhoid fever. At times, she made me wish I had Trichotillomania just so her body lice wouldn't be tempted to abandon ship and make their home on my head.  I worked with her every single day and I'm still amazed I made it out alive and relatively healthy.  What was even more disgusting than her body odor and poor hygiene was the fact that she was my supervisor, yet I had to enforce OSHA hygiene standards while at work? 
            To keep the residents, the staff, and myself safe, I knew I had to be vigilant about germs, especially with Terry working there on a daily basis.  The rest of the staff always kept the house clean, the residents were clean, and we all strictly followed OSHA rules.  But not Terry. Since everyone was afraid to confront her about her body odor and hygiene, the task of keeping her toxins away from everyone else often fell on me.  Being an extremely offensive and blunt person, I carried the burden of dealing with the elephant in the room (pun intended).  
            "Terry, what's that smeared on your hand?  Please tell me that's chocolate and not poop?"
            Terry does a sniff check of her fat sausage fingers, crinkles her nose, and wipes her hands on her stained sweatshirt.  I proceed to hold back bile that coming up my throat.
            "Terry, please tell me you washed your hands after spending forty minutes in the restroom and flushing the toilet three times!"
            "Of course I did," Terry replies.
            "I didn't hear any water," I say and she rolls her eyes.  I proceed to kick her out of the kitchen and tell her that I will be preparing dinner for the residents.
            "Terry, are you going to wash your hands after assisting that resident with his bowel movement?"
            "Why? It's not like I touched his butt or anything," she says, thinking nothing of coming into contact with someone else's BM.  I proceed to file a complaint with her direct supervisor. 
            I had had enough.  It was now time for a serious empty threat.
            "Terry, OSHA called and they demand you to wear gloves while you make food, distribute meds, do personal cares, chores, and if at all possible, to just wear a Hazmat suit every single day to work for precautionary purposes."
            "HAHAHAHAHA," she laughs, thinking I'm actually joking.  If OSHA knew how many violations Terry had actually committed in her three-year tenure as supervisor of a group home, she probably would have been arrested for terrorism by use of deadly germs. 
            I was often tempted to contact the CDC or the nearest BioChem lab and invite them to come take a sample of her skin, hair, and stool because I was that convinced they would have discovered a couple new species of deadly bacteria.  Scientists around the world would have thanked me for introducing them to hundreds of new species and I probably could have won a Nobel Peace Prize. 
            Instead, what I gained from working with Terry was more rewarding than any prize.  I had acquired germaphobia.  Thanks to her, I hate airplanes because there are far too many people, too many germs, and not enough ways to protect my mucous membranes from an invasion.  Thanks to her, I cringe when I see someone use the toilet and not wash his hands.  I start to sweat when I see people sneeze into their hands before they touch the keys on the ATM.  And when I see the UPS man hand me his pen and pad and ask for my signature, I immediately douse my hands in hand sanitizer after I sign for my package.  And don't even get me started on eating fruit that hasn't been washed.
          Luckily, Terry got fired (three years too late and surprisingly, not for lack of hygiene but for sharing nudie pictures of her "boyfriend" with several staff members; who in their right and sound mind would agree to be intimate with this ogre, I have no idea, but Godspeed dude).  Clickity Clack ignored my pleas for action and countless complaints and grievances against that she be terminated because OSHA was practically ready to quarantine her.  But because a new staff member was "offended" at seeing these pictures, they had no qualms with firing her immediately? What sense did that make?  
        Either way, she was gone for good but the memories are etched in my brain forever.  I'm convinced most of my illnesses came from the germs on her extra large body, which to this day still haunts me.  Not because she was shaped like an upside down bowling pin, but because she smelled of rancid belly button and rotten meat, and thought that hygiene was the name of a combo plate at a Chinese restaurant.  Because the words soap, shampoo, and detergent were not in her vocabulary.  And because she was a woman who belonged in a zoo or a research lab, not as a supervisor in a group home and certainly not as a member of society. 
            It's been years since I've seen Terry and quit my group home job, so my germaphobia has calmed down a bit.  I still wash my hands religiously after using the restroom and before and after I eat.  I still carry hand sanitizer for the times I am out in public and am forced to touch door handles, pens, shake hands with people, or touch anything in a public restroom, including the soap dispenser.  Even after I wash my hands in a public restroom, I keep my paper towel handy so I can open the door without exposing myself to more germs.
            It might sound psycho to you, but I simply do not want other people's germs and bacteria anywhere near me, especially when uninvited.  And that's precisely what happens every time I'm on an airplane.  The person behind me could sneeze and send a snot rocket straight into the back of my head, or cough so hard a phlegm wad would shoot towards me at the speed of a bullet in The Matrix.  If only I could slow down time and deject the snot bullets like Neo, I would never get sick again! 
            Every time I step onto an airplane, I feel fine and healthy.  But no sooner do I make it past the cockpit that I hear the symphony of open mouthed coughers up front, hands-free sneezers and slack jawed heavy breathing sleepers in the middle, followed up by chronic nose blowers and lepers towards the back.  Mozart couldn't have written a more beautiful masterpiece himself.  Short of wearing a bird flu mask, I do my best to not let any germs invade my privacy or my orifices. 
            Although I know I have it under control and I'm just exercising caution to avoid airborne illness, Emily still thinks my germaphobia is out of hand and that I use hand sanitizer far too often.  She thinks I'm crazy that I spread it like lotion all over my hands, wrists, and halfway up to my elbows, almost like I'm sanitizing myself to go elbows deep and assist a cow giving birth. Maybe she's right, maybe I do use it too often and there's a high chance my hands might actually be addicted to it.  But I can't help it. It's not my fault that money, doorknobs, community writing utensils, and humans are so filthy.
            It may seem like I have minor OCD tendencies, but my germaphobia is just a simple fear of/general disgust for getting someone else's poop particles, phlegm chunks, and dirty saliva spittle in my body and then getting an illness because of it, especially an airplane illness.  Sorry, I hate being sick, and I'm sure you do too.  Sore throat, swollen sinuses, and sneezing for days straight is not my idea of fun.  And to think, it could have all been avoided had you sickos and lepers just covered your mouth or washed your hands once in a while?  Or at least had the decency to put your germs in a carry on and stow it accordingly?
            Believe it or not, I'm really not one of those psycho germaphobes who obsessively cleans her house and scrubs her skin raw for hours in a scalding hot shower.  I'm actually an extremely touchy feely person.  I love to hug and kiss and punch and kick as much as the next person, but at least I know when I share my skin or appendages with someone else, the chance they will get infected from germs on my body is extremely low. 
            So what I don't want to keep the toothbrush holder on the left side of the sink, coincidentally the side of the sink that's closest to the toilet?  You know when you flush, millions of bacteria fly out of the bowl and land wherever the hell they want?  I'd rather not brush my teeth with a poop stick.  So what I'd rather wave or hug you than shake your hand?  I don't know on whom or what that hand has been, and I'm afraid if I find out, my body would spontaneously combust just to spare me from getting infected. 
            All this time I've been diligently working at keeping myself germ and illness free, and people have teased me relentlessly.  Well, it wasn't so funny when you had a minor case of the swine flu now was it? Now airborne illness has your attention?  Now you're worried about germs?  Now you wash your hands and watch where you sneeze?  Puh-lease.
            Here's a little germ for thought: next time you get use a public restroom and don't wash your hands, just remember you might as well have used your own human waste as finger paint and decorated the entire bathroom.  Next time you sneeze directly into your hand and shake hands with someone moments later, you might as well have sneezed directly into their mouth.  
            And next time you're on an airplane and cough without covering your mouth, you might as well have reached over and given your neighbor a sloppy, germful kiss.  With tongue. 
            But please refrain, because that neighbor will probably be me.

16 August 2011

Home Run

            The first time I got to first base, I was in fourth grade.  His name was Kurt and he was obsessed with me.  Kurt followed me around school and the playground, just waiting for opportunities to strike.  He acted like a puppy that obnoxiously attacks its owner with slobbery kisses every chance he gets. 
            One day, he took four chances to kiss me and was successful in every single one.  Outside before school started, he snuck up on me and planted a wet kiss on my cheek, a kiss that froze on my face because it was -25° below that day.  I kicked him and told him he was stupid.  He told me he loved me.
            The second chance was at lunch while we were in line waiting for our food trays.  Another wet kiss on the cheek almost made me lose my appetite.  I told him he made me want to throw up and he said he still loved me.
            The third kiss on the cheek was during a special assembly we had at the high school that day.  The lights were off and we were watching a school play, so the setting was sort of romantic I guess.  I told him to be quiet and he asked me to marry him.
            And the fourth chance was on the bus ride back to school.  He somehow charmed me into sitting next to him in the back of the bus and that was when he kissed me on the mouth.  Crazy thing is, I actually kissed him back.  If a boy was going to try to kiss me on the mouth that many times in one day, I had to kiss him back.  I liked his persistence and it wasn't the first or last time I was chased and pursued by a boy.  Even though I was a tomboy and had a boy haircut, I was a hot commodity among the boys in my grade.  But I have always been pretty selective with whom I share my mouth.
            The first time I got to second base was in eighth grade.  His name was Austen and he had longer hair than I did.  He was determined, asking me for months to go steady with him.  I finally agreed to go out with him if he cut his hair; I didn't want my boyfriend to have longer hair than me (his mom was a new age hippie; therefore, so were her kids).  And he happily obliged.  He took me to see the movie Seven on Valentine's Day, brought me a candle that smelled like a nursing home, and copped a feel of my microscopic breast, arm over the shoulder in a dark movie theater style. 
            Austen and I "dated" for a few months in junior high, then occasionally in high school.  He was my second and third baseman actually.  We logged many hours of heavy petting and we got far enough for me to discover that he was not circumcised.  It was the first and last time I ever saw a turtle in its shell.  But I still didn't have sex with him.  We came close but I just wasn't ready. 
            I might have some not so desirable personality traits, but at least I can say I was never "easy".  Most of my friends were extremely sexually active towards the end of junior high and all throughout high school.  A few girls in school were already pregnant! Sure, I liked dating and getting attention from boys just as much as the next girl, but I also liked being a kid and enjoying my childhood.  I was in no rush to grow up and let some cocky teenager have my V-card.  Or get an STD.  Or get pregnant.  I was barely halfway through puberty myself; I was so not ready for sex.  Making out, dry humping, and an occasional hand down the pants action was plenty for me. 
            Besides, I didn't want to waste my first time having sex with any of the boys I went to high school with.  These were boys I knew too well and in a small town, the rumor mill is rather large.  One of my friends had finally had sex for the first time with her long-term boyfriend after prom our junior year.  She told a friend who told someone else and so on.  It turned into a game of telephone and by the time it got back to me three hours later, I heard that she had was a hermaphrodite who had an orgy with her boyfriend, one of the female math teachers, and the janitor.  Clearly (hopefully) none of it was true.  Once I went to college I could only hope there would be a huge selection for me to pick from (and the rumor mill would be much smaller so when I did have sex for the first time, rumors wouldn't spread around campus like wildfire or Chlamydia.)
            And indeed there was.  I had never seen so many attractive guys in one place.  If I wanted, I had my pick of the crop.  I had come into my femininity by then and had a rocking body.  Add that to a killer personality and any awkward college boy could be mine.  As my luck would have it, it didn't happen that way.  There were guys who escorted me on a date or to a house party, guys I made out with, but it never went any further than that.
            I was nineteen, a freshman in college, when I made it around all four bases.  Home run.  But it wasn't with a college boy.  I lost my virginity to a boy I went to high school with.  Something I swore I would never do but ended up doing anyway.  If it were possible to kick my own ass, I would have.
            I had gone to my hometown for a visit one weekend, hooked up with my friend Amanda, and headed off to a friend's house. Jason and Chance, two guys we went to high school with, shared a house together and had invited Amanda over that night.  Amanda still lived in town and since I was in town visiting, I figured why not?  I hadn't seen either of the boys in quite some time, so it was nice to catch up. 
            Jason was hopelessly in love with me all through out high school.  He went to a neighboring high school, but we had mutual friends.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't reciprocate the feelings.  Although Chance and I also had mutual friends in high school, we weren't really friends.  But that night, you wouldn't have known any different.  We started a fire in the fire pit, played catch up, and drank ice-cold beer.  We talked about college, jobs, dating, gossip, etc.  Before we knew it, the alcohol had kicked in and our inhibitions were thrown into the fire. 
            After Amanda and I started giggling and acting goofy after a few beers, they started teasing us, claiming we couldn't hold our alcohol.  Well, they seriously underestimated us.
            "Just because we're girls doesn't mean we can't drink, and drink a lot," Amanda said.
            "Yea right.  You're probably a two beer queer!" Chance exclaimed. 
            I personally took offense to that.  I'm an Irish gal and we Irish take pride in our drinking abilities.  It was time for a challenge.
            "Why don't we have a case race?" I suggested.
            "What's that?" Jason asked.
            " We each have a case of beer and whoever finishes first wins. Boys against girls," I explained.
            "What technically makes a case? Twelve or twenty-four beers?" Jason asked.
            "Technically, twenty four.  But from the looks of the cooler, it looks like we only have about three 12-packs in there, let's just do twelve beers each team," I said.  We all agreed.
            "What do we win?" Chance asked, winking at me.  I sneered back at him, annoyed that he would doubt my Irish abilities. 
            "Bragging rights.  And I should warn you, we can drink you boys under the table," I replied.  It was true; Amanda and I could definitely hold our alcohol.  We divided up the beers, twelve each, and started the case race.  In less than twenty minutes, Amanda and I had chugged three beers each and were already ahead of the boys.  They had only finished two each.
            "Drink up assholes!" I said, crushing an empty beer can, belching like a fat redneck NASCAR fan and throwing it across the fire pit at them.  Jason and Chance looked surprised that two girls were in the lead.  Or they were just surprised a thundering belch could come out of someone my size.
            "Hike up your skirts!" Amanda yelled at them, opening another beer.
            "I'm not worried.  You will be throwing up like a pregnant woman after that next beer.  I know it," Chance said.  Amanda and I exchanged glances and broke out in hysterics.  Little did they know we had eaten an entire pizza before we went to their place, so we were loaded up on carbs to soak up the alcohol.  Rookies we were not.
            Obviously, the boys lost the case race.  They had nothing on us.  The guys were absolutely embarrassed. Two girls had beaten them in a sacred man sport.  Drinking beer wasn't something most girls enjoyed, let alone competed in.  But then again, Amanda and I aren't normal females. 
            We sat around the fire for a while longer throwing out insults and taking turns stoking the fire.  Jason ended up excusing himself to the bathroom, which we all made fun of him for.  After what seemed like an hour we all went looking for him and found him passed out under the kitchen table.
            "What a pussy," we said in unison as Amanda drew a penis on the cheek that was facing up and I pulled his pants down so his ass was hanging out. 
            For the rest of the night, it was just Amanda, Chance, and I sitting around the fire, drinking and talking until Chance mentioned he had walkie-talkies in the house. The rest of the evening we ran around drunk in the woods with our walkie-talkies.  Eventually, we lost track of Chance.  Amanda and I eventually got tired and after we both tripped over the same log and knocked the wind out of ourselves, we made our way back to the house.  When we walked back in the house we found Jason had actually woken up off the floor and was putting hot dogs on a plate to cook out by the fire.
            "I thought you were passed out.  When I said we could drink you under the table, I didn't mean it literally!" I teased him. 
            "I tripped and fell on my way back from the bathroom.  And then I was too lazy to get back up so I must have passed out," he said.  Clearly he didn't realize he had genitalia drawn on his face, nor did he question why his pants had been pulled down to his knees when he had awoken.  Amanda and I were whispering and laughing to each other while Jason pulled the wieners out of the package, another thing we also found downright hilarious.
            "Where's Chance?" I asked Jason after I managed to stop laughing.  He shrugged and headed back outside towards the fire.  Amanda said she was following Jason back out by the fire pit.  She was not one to turn down a wiener (food or male organ).  I was drunk, not hungry, so I organized a one-woman search party for Chance.  I hoped he was in the house and not lost in the woods somewhere.
            I looked in closets, the living room, and the bathroom.  I even looked outside by driveway and when I couldn't find him, I went back to the fire pit.
            "Where's Chance? I think we lost him in the woods Amanda!" I yelled, starting to freak out. 
            "Simmer down.  He's probably puking in the bathroom like Jason was earlier," Amanda said, laughing.
            "I was not puking! I had to take a shit!" Jason defended himself.
            "If he is really drunk and got lost in the woods, he will probably die and then we'll go to prison and become someone's bitches!!!" I exclaimed, my drunken hysteria on orange alert.
            "Calm down KC.  Did you check the house?" Jason asked, holding multiple wieners over the fire. 
            "Of course! He's nowhere in there!"
            "What about his bedroom?"
            "Oh shit." I felt like an idiot.  "By the way, you have a dick on your face and you're holding three wieners over the fire.  Now who's the idiot?" I yelled at Jason before I ran back into the house, hearing Amanda's cackle and Jason's whining echoing in the yard.  The most logical place to look for him would have been his bedroom, but that was the last place I looked.  I opened the door slowly and peeked around it and there he was, lying on his bed naked and watching Adult Swim on TV.
            "What happened to you?  I though you were lost and dead in the woods! And why are you naked?" I asked him, standing in his doorway.
            "What are you talking about? I was never in the woods! I've been here for at least an hour now!"
            "Yes you were! We even had walkie-talkies to keep track of each other!"
            "No, that was just you girls.  I never left the fire pit.  You guys were just so excited when I told you I had walkie-talkies in the house that you just ran inside and never came back out to the fire pit, so I got bored and came inside," he explained. 
            I stood there and thought for a second and it all came back to me.  He was correct; once we heard the word walkie-talkies, we bolted inside and headed out the front door to test them out.  We were too preoccupied saying "wiener" instead of "Roger" and farting into the walkie-talkies to realize Chance had not come with us.
            "Oh.  Well, why are you naked?" I asked him.
            "I fell on my way inside and my clothes were dirty," he explained.
            "You fell? Is that because you had too many beers you pansy?" I teased him.
            "No! It was because it's all muddy right by the steps and I lost my footing!" he said defensively.
            "Both you and Jason are falling down drunks tonight!" I said, shaking my head.
            "Fuck off," Chance said, laughing.  He sat up a bit straighter in bed and by doing so he completely exposed himself. 
            "You still haven't answered my question.  Why are you naked? You don't even have boxers on!" I said nervously, my voice several octaves higher than normal.
            "I sleep naked."
            I was starting to feel a curious and tingling sensation in my naughties, which is weird because I was not attracted to Chance.  Sure, he was cute but to me, he was just one of the guys.  He had gotten a little chubbier from the last time I had seen him in high school and he always reminded me of a hedgehog.  So I have absolutely no logical explanation or reason for what I said next.
            "Can I be naked with you?"
            I'm not even entirely certain I was horny either; my original plan was to just make sure Chance was accounted for and head back out to the fire with Amanda and Jason.  Then I got curious and figured since I was nineteen, and the opportunity was literally standing erect in front of me, I should just do it.
            Chance nodded his head eagerly at my question.  He moved over and put his hands behind his head as if he was expecting a strip show.  I had enough alcohol in me to be confident about anything, so I slowly stripped off my clothes.  At least I thought I was "stripping".  My stripping is about as sexy as watching a toothless lunch lady and a bald janitor have sex in a dumpster.  It was clumsy, awkward, and it took me far too long to take off my own bra.  At one point my foot got caught in my jeans and I fell face first onto his bed.
            Chance and I lay on his bed face to face, smiling and flirting for an eternity before he made the first move.  He attacked my face like a honey badger attacks his prey. According to the You Tube sensation Randall, a honey badger doesn't give a shit, he just takes what he wants (if you've never seen Randall's honey badger video, it's time you click this link, and watch. Come back when you're done).  And that's exactly what Chance did.  Chance came at me, mouth wide open, and kissed me with more teeth than lips and before I knew it, I was in full on mouth attack mode.  He didn't give a shit if he bruised my lips or tore my jaw apart with his molars.
            We awkwardly fondled each other's body parts for a few minutes, him more than me.  His boobs may have been a wee bit bigger than mine (which means they were actually pretty small) and I had no interest in touching those.  Then Chance crawled on top of me and he was as hard (and as heavy) as a rock.  For a while, we did nothing but rub our naked bodies together and exchange sloppy, wet kisses (similar to the kisses I got from Kurt back in fourth grade).  It was pathetic, really.  We might have been the first two humans in existence to not know how to have sex.  Had we recorded ourselves, I can only imagine that it would have been the worst sex tape this world has seen since Dustin Diamond released his sex tape.
            While we were kissing and rubbing, I felt Lil' Chance poking at my inner thighs so I opened to let him in and suddenly felt an uncomfortable pressure and realized a minute later that Chance and I had committed a cardinal sin of one-night stands.  He loved it before he gloved it and somehow I let him.   
            "What the fuck!?!?" I yelled loudly in his ear and slapped his cheek. What the hell were we thinking, not using a condom?
            "Hello! I'm nineteen! I don't want to be a teen mom! You have two seconds to get out of me and put on a rubber!"  It would be just my luck to get pregnant the first time I had sex and I wasn't about to let that happen.
            "Oh shit! I'm so sorry! I didn't even realize!" he said, scrambling to get a condom out of his nightstand.  He put that thing on in record time and before I knew it, he was pounding me like a jackhammer.  I was still seething about my near pregnancy when I felt Chance tense up, heard him grunt and then exhale.
            It was over in less than thirty seconds.  I only know that because the whole time, I watched a mini infomercial that said if I called within the next thirty seconds, I could receive not one, but two Ginsu knives!  What a bargain!
            When he was done, he rolled off me, sweatier than a fat girl playing beach volleyball in the summer heat (I should know; I did just that three weeks ago).
Honestly, by offering to get into bed naked with him, I only expected/wanted some dry humping and maybe a little oral sex, but I certainly did not expect to hand over my V-card so easily like it was a used baseball card to be traded.  Stupid, I know.  What else do two naked adults do in bed besides have sex?  Talk about the weather? Exchange investment advice?  Argue the benefits of added fiber in your diet?  Sleep? No. They fuck. Plain and simple.
But since the opportunity had arisen, I figured why not?
            I wish I could say my first time was more magical than a unicorn who pisses a rainbow, but it wasn't.  I wish I could say we "made love" for hours upon hours, like most romantic comedies suggest, but that shit only happens on TV.  I wish I could say I enjoyed it and had an orgasm, but I can't.  I had had more orgasms while dry humping in high school and simply by masturbating so the first time I had actual sex I expected mind-blowing release.  I guess Chance forgot there were two of us there and I was not just a blow up doll. He had no idea how to please a lady, or at the very least, wait for her to catch up! 
            My first home run was a complete and total letdown.  I had heard friends talk about multiple orgasms, sex positions, and generally just how amazing sex really was.  But if that was any indication of what my future sexcapades would be like, I was so not interested.  Even my friend Amanda was (still is) a nymphomaniac, so I was beyond confused.  Why was everyone else enjoying sex but me?  Plus, was anyone else feeling as sore as I was?  I didn't do anything but lie there like a rag doll and I felt like I had taken up horse riding overnight.  My legs were stiff and sore and I was pretty sure I pulled a muscle in my back and in my butt cheek.
            It didn't take me long to figure out why I hated sex.  A couple weeks after my first time, I had met a cute boy in class and went to a house party with him.  I went to his off campus apartment and had a fantastic one-night stand!  Sex lasted for hours and it was insanely incredible.  I soon realized that it was Chance who was terrible at sex, not me.  Turns out, I was great in the sack!  I knew all the right ways to move my hips, all the right places to kiss, and the best positions!  It all came naturally to me.  I didn't hate sex; I just hated sex with Chance. 
            Come to find out, someone actually enjoyed having sex with him.  And that person was Tina, his girlfriend.  Since I no longer lived in my hometown, I was not privy to certain information, like local gossip.  But when I told my sister Kate that I had made the mistake of sleeping with Chance, she informed me that Chance and Tina were dating and she was pregnant.  That explained why he didn't put on a condom before he penetrated me.  He was used to having sex without protection. 
            When I went home a couple months later for Thanksgiving, I went to a holiday party with my sister and Tina was there.  I had known Tina since she was in kindergarten; she was in my sister's grade and we had gone to school together all our lives.  She was one of the sweetest people I've ever known, but as soon as our eyes locked, I knew she knew.  Tina is a petite little thing, but I had never been so scared of anyone in my life.  She walked towards me, slowly picking up speed and I looked around for reinforcements, but all my friends had suddenly disappeared.
            "So, have sex with anyone's boyfriend lately?" she asked, her face stone serious.
            "Uh...um...well, what? I don't, I mean, what? Excuse me, I have to um, I'm not sure," I stuttered and it's quite possible I let out a nervous fart.  For the life of me, I could not come up with an excuse, form a complete sentence, or come up with a clever comeback, three things I normally excelled at!
            "Chance told me what happened," Tina said. 
            I did the most logical thing I could think of.  I denied the whole thing. 
            "There's no point in denying it KC.  He told me what happened," Tina repeated.
            Shit.  Was I more embarrassed that I had terrible sex with her boyfriend or was I ashamed that I simply had sex with her boyfriend?  My moral compass was not responding.
            "I'm really sorry Tina.  Had I known you and Chance were dating, there's no way I would have played blow up doll for him," I said. 
            "It was that bad?" Tina asked, her humor surprising me.
            "I'm not sure.  It all happened so fast. Literally."
            She laughed.  "Chance isn't at all sexy in bed when he's drunk.  I actually feel sorry for you that you were exposed to that," Tina said.
            "No, I'm sorry you willingly expose yourself to that regularly!" I retorted.
            Turns out, Chance and Tina had been having problems and that specific weekend so they didn't consider themselves a couple.  They got back together two days later.  I wonder if I had sparked some sort of jealousy in their relationship. 
            I'm not the type of person to agree with most adages, but I really do believe you should save your V-card for that special person, not simply because you feel like you should have sex or especially because you're drunk and horny.  Trust me, it's not worth it.  It never is. 
            I've had more than a few sexual partners in my life and hundreds of home runs, but I learned a lot from my first time with Chance.  I guess having sex with him was actually a blessing in disguise.  I learned the difference between good and bad sex, length versus girth (Chance had neither), and to always ask if that person was dating/engaged/or married. Being a home wrecker is so last year.  I got lucky that Tina was so nice to me about boning her beau; fat chance I'd ever get that lucky again.

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