Names, dates, locations, social security numbers and a few facts have been slightly altered to make this blog readable. Nevertheless, a surprising amount of what you’re about to read is true.
There I was, sitting on the toilet in Mullarkey’s Pub, tears rolling down my face and clenching to the toilet roll dispenser like a lone survivor holding on to the last piece of floating debris from his sunken ship.
My whole body was trembling, my left eye twitching uncontrollably, and an involuntary torrent of saliva was running down the side of my jaw.
I swore to the almighty Father if he could help me make it through this time of desperation I would never again attempt to eat anything spicier than a bowl of porridge let alone a Vin Da Loo.
The ghandiesque waiter had warned me, “be very very careful Sir, dis is a very very hot dish”. Looking back, I now realize he symbolized the wise old man sitting on the side of the road, telling the lone traveler of the unspeakable dangers that lay ahead if he was to continue down this path. The fact that there were six little chilies illustrated alongside it on the menu when all the other dishes were offering, what seemed to be a mere one or two, was all the persuasion I needed, as I recklessly continued down this passage of self indulgence, washing down each broiling mouthful with a generous quaff of Kaylani Black Label.
Three hours later I become eerily conscious that my alimentary canal which extends from my stomach to my anus, was in fact acting as the magma chamber for the molten substance which had recently passed through my bowels and into my small intestine. The cheeks of my arse hadn’t touched the porcelain rim of the toilet when the contents of my bowels reached the point of critical mass, catastrophically exploding into an apocalyptic volcanic eruption with minimal warning.
Holy Mother of God my rectum felt like Mount Tambora with every earth shattering movement, as the seismic activity furiously petered out of my scorching hot brown eye.
And if things weren’t bad enough, I also had the unsavory task of dealing with the toilet tissue, which was clearly a closer relative to a high powered industrial belt-sander then the ‘double quilted, aloe vera scented, kitten-soft sheets of paradise’ that cute little labrador puppies carelessly play with and snuggle up to on television.
On my last ditch attempt of desperation I removed the roll of toilet paper from the dispenser, ran it under the cold tap and gently placed it between the cheeks of my arse.
As I clenched the ball of soaken papers between my buttocks, the water welled up cooling off places where I firmly believed had suffered third degree burns in the napalm assault that had just taken place. (and yes, I had returned to the privacy of the cubicle.) The relief was only temporary but surprisingly refreshing considering the agony I was in.
My only moments of brief euphoria proceeded an occasional fart between the intermittent bouts of molten lava, blowing cool air over my scalded ring, it’s at times like these that life’s most minuscule pleasures can bring a smile to ones face.
Sitting there in torment, both exhausted and emotionally traumatized I couldn’t help but notice someone’s blog above the latch of the cubical door, reading… “Live For The Burn.”
The beads of sweat that were running down my forehead had slowed and seemed to be cooling. The tears had subsided, the twitching above my left eye was no longer in time with the pulsating throbbing of my rectum, and the involuntary flow of saliva from my lower lip felt more like a trickle then a river in its youthful stage.
I entered that toilet with an overwhelming zest for life, full of vigor, animation, vitality and oomph. I left that toilet delicately sauntering like a man that had just been anally violated by every well endowed Congonian from Kundelunga to Cameroon.
Before I go any further (and while public toilets are still fresh in my mind) I wish to add… I have never had sex in a public toilet and I categorically state under mature recollection, such a ludicrous act has never been proposed, nor have I ever propositioned such a preposterous proposal…
The only thing to have ever screwed me in a public toilet was the condom machine. What is it about condom machines in public toilets, are they really there to sell condoms or are they there to bring a man down when he’s up?(excuse the pun.) In my short yet uneventful existence on this planet, I have yet to encounter three things, an ugly baby, a small rat and a condom machine that isn’t hell bent on ruining a perfect evening, (I should also add a Polish woman that has purchased or offered to purchase me a beverage, nevertheless, a three pointer is internationally recognized as sufficient when expressing a point of view without losing the persuasive diplomatic uppercut that the third tends to deliver.)
Like, what kind of man with all his critical faculties intact, would return to a drink at a bar whilst in the company of a lady (who’s partial to a bit of hankie-pankie,) and proclaim to the bartender, “Yer condom machine is jiggered and is after swallowing the price of a pint, I want my four euro back, or a pack of yer featherlite sensations.” And yet the manufactures of such appliances have been kind enough to accommodate us with, a narrow window presenting a multitude of prophylactic devices with a variety of gratuitous enhancements, “Ribbed to raised dots, tingling, enhanced sensitivity, delux, real feel, his pleasure, her pleasure, everyones pleasure but the poor bastard looking in the window that has just been robbed of his four euro. And not to mention, a superior fruit selection then the average stall on Moore Street.
Nevertheless, you don’t give up that easy, you tap the machine, gently but firmly, as you don’t want to give the impression to the other men in the urinal that you’re too bothered, about the disastrous event that has just unfolded. Of course the tapping proves as futile an exercise as trying to justify the cost, benefits and methods of colonic irrigation to your grandfather.
Helplessly, you look on, like a child staring into a chocolate vending machine in the hope that a ‘persuasive tap’ will result in a bar falling into the dispenser… no such luck! And as I’m as qualified with the inner workings of a condom machine as I am with Indian cuisine my solution does not evolve past the ‘gentle tap.’
The reality is that the same bollix given the task of maintaining the device has just cashed in on your misfortune and would show little or no compassion for your predicament as he is probably on the other side of the country, suffering from acute insomnia induced by the sleep deprivation brought on by his nymphomaniac wife who’s insisting on sex morning, noon and night as they desperately try for their first child, and has about as much use for a condom as a pacific halibut has for an eighteenth-century french dictionary.
Me, on the other hand. I feel like the battered and bruised dog that has successfully clobbered six junk yard mongrels for the chance of scoring with for a Crufts finalist, only to learn that I had unknowingly left behind, two exceptionally signifiant items for the task in hand at my last visit to the local veterinary clinic.
As for my patience; it is now comparable to that of a rabid pit-bull that has just piddled on an electric fence and the preferable solution to this rather niggling dilemma is to rip the machine clean off the toilet wall, carelessly disregarding the bracket shrapnel, cables, tiles, condoms and coins that have been wrenched across the urinal with the brutal force that epitomizes the primal instinct that is weaved into our genetic desire to reproduce. And proceed in an orderly fashion, condom machine in-hand to the bar where the damsel is perched. Slap it down on the counter, knock back the remainder of my double bourbon, belch! and continue out the door with my woman in one arm and the remains of the condom machine in the other.
Unfortunately reality begs to differ, and the conclusion to this scenario is a few colourful adjectives (under my breath) followed closely by a very dirty look at that despicable device, one more authoritative tap and a quick sympathetic glance at the mirror as I continue mumbling a barrage of insults to both the machine and myself whilst I come to terms with the crushing reality that the only thing escorting me home tonight is a batter burger and a heavily salted, vinegar drenched garlic cheese chips.
Now getting back to the Vin Da Loo, I think it only right that I explain my rather peculiar intro to this somewhat, out of the ordinary piece of literature.
Firstly, I’ve always been fascinated by the way writers begin their books, not so much the first few pages, but more so, the opening lines. How they can grasp a reader’s imagination, and create a world where the helpless individual holding the book becomes trapped in what seems like a whirlpool of letters spinning around them. Opening the pores of their mind, unclogging the arteries of their imagination and dragging them down into the abyss, the void that becomes the story. Listening with their eyes, the writer holds each reader by the hand and leads them on a journey through a maze of chapters that twist and turn through the mind’s eye, captivated and entranced by his every word. We the readers are but puppets on his stage, living and breathing his every sentence as we follow the winding road, page by page with our undivided attention to his final word.
Secondly, why is it only men can talk freely about their experiences whilst sitting on the throne? In fact, the majority of us men, after returning from a good session on the pot will remark to the first lad we meet on how much better we feel, and more often than not, will be met with a few words of support, a pat on the back or if the gentleman had himself, visited the restroom previously that day. He too would join in the sheer bliss he himself felt after emptying his bowels.
Even my dog enjoys a blissful trot after emptying his load, you can almost see the leering smirk on his face after he finishes his business, in particular an area that is frequented by socially superior bipeds, sauntering around like a flock of sexually aroused peacocks, displaying their ridiculously well-chiseled mating rituals. Or perhaps one of the many scores of women aged forty-three and up, in groups of between six and eight, that take to our country roads I January and march for miles. Three abreast, heads forward, arms swinging frantically from side to side and the unmistakable hum of small talk being the only warning that an unsuspecting by-standard may have that they are in the direct line of fire of the ‘power walkers.’
I guess my dog inherently knows that some snotty nosed pedestrian that refuses to look at, or sniff the ground in front of them will end up taking home a rather unwelcome edition to their near flawless overpriced Persian rug that is manufactured in an overcrowded place, where it is my understanding that underfed, undernourished and underaged employees work under supervision, under poor light, for well under the minimum wage.
And as for farts, don’t get me started on them… Six weeks ago I just happened to be sitting at the dinner table at my parents house enjoying the remanence of my delightfully moist madeira that was adequately complemented with a mug of ‘Barry’s gold blend.’
I was enjoying this occasion with my family and my one year old nephew Joey, who was deservedly propped up at the head of our table, as the rest of the family gazes in awe as each innocently inspirational expression melted our hearts to the point of joyful tears.
Joey farts… Now, I have seen people overreact before, I even once witnessed the very bizarre spectacle of Maggie Burns knocking Padraic McWilliam’s unconscious with a barstool when he marginally missed the double four on his third dart, in an ‘edge of your seat’ fin-allay to the fourth and final leg of the ‘Connemara open darts Christmas special’ for a box of ‘season’s greetings, four packets of custard creams and a five euro voucher for the pick and mix section in Danny Black’s fruit and veg shop’ which were very generously donated by our local chamber of commerce.
However, nothing could have prepared me for the joyous jubilation and sheer excitement that proceeded this innocent passing of wind.
My father and mother were clapping and praising the child as if he had single handily solved the mathemitacial equation for perpetual motion. My brother was laughing hysterically and my sister who’s the child’s mother was joining in on the momentous occasion by also frantically clapping and reciting the second verse of Bob the builder which Joey joined in on.
This was truly a triumphant occasion and I felt a part of something very special, as did Joey I’m sure.
And what better way to celebrate this beautiful event… I just happened to have one waiting in the departure lounge, so I let it rip in all its glory and joined in on the last few of lines of Bob the builder. There was an awkward silence in the air for about three-seconds, the kind of silence one would expect to encounter after you had unexpectedly vomited over the person you’re talking to.
I got a telephone book thrown at me, my half eaten slice of moist Madeira confiscated, along with my freshly brewed mug of Barry’s tea. And I was quickly ushered away from the vicinity as cleaning the table was now of optimum importance.
Based on current estimates, there are between 400 and 500 billion (a billion being a thousand million) stars in our galaxy (the milky way). And there are approximately 500 billion galaxies in the universe. Taking these rather substantial numbers into consideration, a significant portion of the worlds top mathematicians conservatively estimate that there are as many stars in the universe as there are particles of sand on earth.
However, in order to fully appreciate the scale of how immeasurably boundless the universe is, distance also offers a sobering insight.
Light Travels at 186,000 miles per second, therefore if I was in possession of an aircraft that could travel at the speed of light, I could have travelled around this tiny wee speck of a planet we call earth, seven times in one-second.
I could be walking along the surface of the sun in eight minutes. Keeping in mind that the sun is ninety-three million miles away, that would be fair going all things considered.
Now, lets just say for the sake of adventure that I didn’t feel like returning home right away and wanted to visit a star or two on the far side of our tiny little galaxy, I would be traveling for a further seventy-thousand years. And if perhaps I felt like traveling to one of our further known galaxies I could be traveling for another thirty-billion years.
However, it is also said by experts in this field that space travel is infinite, therefore, I could be travelling for ages after that.
And yet when we put aside the telescope and introduce a microscope into the equation we reveal a world that makes the miniscule composition of a needle as substantial an instrument as a monumentally large steel structure that would look ridiculously vacuous anywhere other then our most visited and densely populated street in Ireland.
What I’m trying to say is that on the grand scale of things an innocent fart when put alongside the gravity of how insignificant we really are in this little hovel we call ‘Earth,’ dwarfs it down to nothing more then a little bit of methane being accidentally released from between the cheeks of our tightly clenched buttocks.
To be continued…