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Published July 29, 2010
Just got back from Vegas. Here goes!

HAVIN' MY BABY

Alright, the first thing you should know is that I’m not referring here to the classic tune by Paul Anka.

No, I’m talking about a very embarrassing moment that shall go down in history as The Las Vegas Incident. Now if you are to be offended by graphic descriptions, I suggest you leave this blog immediately. The following narrative is not for the squeamish.

Why?

Well, because I am about to describe a bodily function that in certain circumstances can get you into big trouble and, to be completely accurate; the bigger the function, the bigger the trouble.

When I go on vacation the first two days are usually busy and rushed and my eating habits inevitably get disrupted. In this particular case we had a four hour car drive to Detroit, the stress of clearing U.S. customs, airport security, and a four hour plane ride to contend with. Full meals were put aside and so quick snacks ruled the day. All I did was munch, crunch and lunch on a variety junk food snacks which is so out of character for a fine tuned athlete like me. Needless to say, my digestive system was put way out of whack.

(You can still leave if you want to. Or, you can read on.)

By the second day in Vegas I realized what was going in was not coming out. I felt like a bloated, hard bellied tub of lard. Indeed, I was beginning to worry that my entire system might be backed up, clogged and out-of-order.

Was I constipated?

Well I guess!

You see, for the most part, I’m as regular rain. As a rule, I get up in the morning; drink my coffee and bing-bodda-boo-bodda-bing, like clockwork, it’s time to release the hounds. In some kind of genetic harmony, both my sons react the same way. Watch out when we’re all home at the same time.  I say let the bathroom wars begin.

So anyway, I found myself  lying in bed the second night in Vegas wondering if I’m either going to explode, implode or just plain be bunged-up and logy for life. As I drifted into slumber, those thoughts quickly slipped away on the heels of several Johnny Walkers taken over ice.

Nevertheless, at six-thirty the next morning I’m awakened by a rumble in my tummy. My eyes fly open when I begin to sense a tremendous pressure building in an area of my anatomy that I could have believed was completely sewn shut. Nevertheless, I knew the moment of truth had finally arrived so I quietly tip-toed into my Italian Marble bathroom. You see we were staying in a suite at the swanky Venetian Hotel.

After initiating my penguin walk, I leapt to sit on the throne, ready to purge myself of the three days of digested material that was now log-jammed in my colon. I felt pleased, happy and relieved.

I should have known better.

When I released my sphincter I suddenly felt as if I might, in fact, be giving birth to a baby. My God, it felt as if my movement was the size of someone’s head, which is something akin to pushing a square peg through a round hole with a bulldozer.

 Push, push, push!”

Those words reverberated in my brain as I recalled time spent in obstetrics assisting at the birth of my three children. I also remembered the time, while hugging my wife during labour; she bit down hard on my shoulder. Perhaps I could put this recollection to work. How was my wife able to handle the strain and the pain when she wasn’t resorting to cannibalism? How did she cope?

 Deep controlled rhythmic breathing.

Yes, that’s it. Sitting there on my porcelain perch I took three deep breaths followed by panting exhalations, hoping to ease the discomfort from that which was about to occur. Real or imagined, it seemed to be working for me.

Gradually this massive extrusion began to move, slowly yet steadily. I began to wonder if I might have to stand up in order to provide more room for this deposit. The behemoth just kept coming and coming.  I’m sure my eyes bugged out like a leopard frogs. It occurred to me that this excretion would be a sure qualifier for the “Rate My Poo” Website. (I dare you to Google that one my friends.)

Ladies and Gentleman, the back splash was of tsunami proportions but the relief I felt was like nirvana. I felt as if I’d lost ten pounds of weight in an instant. In reality, my “birthing” was more like 8 pounds 6 ounces.

So, after taking care of business, it was time to flush.

Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that flushing hard, solid objects was never recommended by Mr. Thomas Crapper, the inventor of the flush toilet. This is why we keep an eye on toddlers who like to flush their plastic toys and teddy bears.

But I had no other option, so I depressed the handle and, for all intents and purposes, it was, “bombs away” . . . well, sort off.

You see, I could hear the rush of water as the vortex intensified but I soon felt the dampness of the rising torrent on my butt. Jumping to my feet I realized that what comes out doesn’t always go down. I’d plugged that sucker tighter than a Nun’s nasty.

Upon reflection, I’m sure BP could have used my extrusion to stop the oil leaking in the gulf. The only problem was that it was long gone; jammed in the plumbing like concrete reinforced with rebar.

At the precise moment I saw my wife, rubbing her eyes, doing her penguin walk towards me.

“Are you done,” she said. “I need to use the washroom.”

And, guess what?

She, too, was ready to have her morning BM.

“I’m afraid, dear; you’ll have to hold that thought until I get someone to plunge our toilet!” I replied sheepishly. The prospects of a “double-deuce day” had literally gone down the drain and Sesame Street was not about to be brought to us by the Number Two.

After explaining my dilemma, my wife crawled back into bed. The gal has an amazing constitution. I reached for the telephone and dialled the front desk.

Now, as you might imagine, the Venetian Hotel is about as elaborate and elegant as you can get. Hell, our suite was about as big as the main floor of our house. There was silk and satin everywhere, not to mention the marble and gilded accoutrements that accentuated every corner of the space. So, I was more than a little embarrassed about reporting my “poo  paux” to the authorities.

Turns out the phone system was one of those where you press one for this, two for that, and three for everything else. Naturally, I put my money on Number Two and waited patiently for a human voice to respond.

“Hello, Mr. Jimbobalouie, how may I help you?”

Well, there was no delicate way to explain my problem so I said, “We need someone with a plunger to unplug our toilet!” I kind of said this in Larry the Cable Guy style and accent, hoping to gain some sympathy, if not some compassionate understanding.

“I’ll send an engineer right up, Mr. Jimbobalouie,” was her efficient reply. I’m sure she thought I’d hitchhiked in from the Ozarks.

I’m thinking, “A freakin’ engineer? Jeepers creepers, the thing wasn’t that big!” What’s the dude going to bring – a slide rule?

But, upon further reflection, I knew that this very hotel was featured on Discovery’s Frontiers of Construction – everything here is BIG! They are prepared to deal with any catastrophe.

“Ah, yes, that would be fine,” I finally said.

“Is there anything else we can help you with, sir?”

I almost wanted to say, “Can you send someone up to help restore my dignity?” but settled for a whispered, “No, mam.”

A few minutes later there was a knock at the door and in walked the engineer.

“I hear you have a plugged toilet, sir!” he said.

I wanted to say something like, “Yes, my attempt to flush a plastic toy was unsuccessful,” or "Are you a graduate of MIT?" You know, cover my tracks. But, this is Vegas after all, so I knew the joke would be on me.

I simply said, “Ah, yes.”

Now this Engineer was dressed in a military type uniform resplendent with photo ID, a humungous tool belt and assorted pockets filled with the brick and bract of hotel maintenance. He had pushed this huge cart into the room that carried everything but the kitchen sink. That’s when he proudly withdrew his plunger.

Holding his rigid tool up as if to salute me, he said, “I’ll get right on that, sir!” (Get your mind out of the gutter, friends.)

I am one who hates small talk but this situation was totally conducive to that mode of communication. My engineer said, “Pretty hot today”, and then proceeded to plunge the bowl with great effort and enthusiasm.

“Yes,” I said. “It looks like we’ll be well into the hundreds again.”

At that moment a notion hit me. This is what my son always describes as “random shit.”

Like when I texted about what was on the menu at the basketball camp he attended recently, he replied, “Random shit!”

Or later when I asked, “What did the guest speaker talk about?”

“Random shit,” was the reply.

Now appropriately or not, we were not only talking about, but were dealing with “random shit” in both a rhetorical and business sense. I’m not sure whether that would be considered irony or pathos?

“There you go, sir,” the engineer said with a smile. “You shouldn’t have any problems now.” He was shaking his tool over the bowl as if to be sure there wouldn’t be any drips. You’ve got to protect that Italian marble, you see.

 I was wondering whether it would be appropriate to tip the man for his services. I decided to slip him a couple of bucks. He, of course, accepted my gratuity with wink and a smile. Thinking of last night’s great Italian dinner, I realized that this was the first time I tipped someone for what both went in me and out of me from the same meal.  You might call that double-dipping.

So, what did I learn from this experience?

1.    I respect and am in awe of all women who have experienced childbirth. Amen!

2.    I respect those that clean up after us. Thank God we aren’t all shackled with “The Dirtiest Job”.

3.    “Roughage is my friend.” I will repeat this one hundred times.

4.    I am “growing older but not up”. Witness this blog. It is a testament to that philosophy.

There are a few more things I’d like to talk about concerning my Vegas Adventure. Stay tuned.

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