Tuesday, July 13, 2010

gastrointestinal difficulties

The majority of humans on this planet have the good sense to time their gastrointestinal difficulties such that they occur in the comfort of one's home, or perhaps the relative comfort of one's office.

I, for example, have a coworker who built most of his career on his epic post-lunch gastroepisodes, including a very non-awkward meeting with the CEO, who may or may not have walked in through an unlocked restroom door on his traditional post-lunch magazine reading and miscellaneous other matters.1

Sadly, there are those of us, and I say this in the most general, most un-self-incriminating way possible, who restrict their moments of severe gastrointestinal distress for airplane flights, or perhaps during long, uninterruptable religious ceremonies, or, heaven forbid, during dates.

We shall not discuss the specifics of the first two scenarios, as it is highly unlikely that any individual encounter these events with amazingly precise frequency, and, if so, it is highly unlikely that said individual would ever speak of these experiences in public, due to the sheer weight of the agonizing emotional scarring.

Therefore, we shall confine our discussion to the third, and highly hypothetical situation of being confronted with gastrointestinal difficulties during two of the past four dates one has attended. You'll do me a favor to note that these numbers are entirely random, and in no way describe my recent life.

Normally, encountering said difficulties is not problematic, as forward-thinking individuals from eras past have gone to the trouble of installing billions of porcelain facilities that can assist one in said matters. Unfortunately, and for reasons I cannot and will not fully describe in detail here, the women you are currently on a date with, and trying your best to impress, together with society, by and large frown upon excessive usage of these facilities during short time periods.

I might add there are other methods of relieving some of the buildup of pressure, but, again, are frowned upon due to smell and/or sound.

Thus, one must endure.

It is critical that the right moment to excuse one's self is chosen. Go too early, and you may be forced into a second episode which surely nullifies your chances of a second date. Go too late, and you run the risk of bad timing. Luckily, you will have plenty of time to plan, as it will be the one sole thing on which your mind can focus.

Let us pause and consider the challenge of making small talk while the explosive equivalent of several rabid jaguars thrash within one's entrails.

Be warned: your moment of departure may be unduly delayed while she complains about work. When she finally pauses (oh glorious saving pause!), you are free to jump up and run to the nearest restroom.

Perhaps you intend to attempt the entire dinner without excusing yourself. Let me advise you against this in the strongest of terms. You could very well find yourself walking down the street next to her, cramped over like an old man, praying to find restroom facilities within one or two centimeters of your current position.

This can only (and did) end badly. In the best of scenarios, you make a hasty and sprinting exit.

This is not dignity, my son. This is not dignity.2

1. Now, some people will tell you that his very quick promotion had something to do with CEO guilt, but I will attest to his amazing skillz and worthiness for his current role.
2. My sincerest apologies for the crassness of the topic, but it had to be said. Luckily, my sprinting was swift.

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