Trapped

WARNING: If you are grossed out by natural human biological processes…… oh well…. Tough!

The words on his test paper turned into bloody stars. He tried to concentrate by blinking several times and sipping the sparkling water that had been placed on his right-hand side by the interviewer even though he had asked for still water. The language on the paper looked Japanese and he could not make out simple words: words like research and researched looked the same and, worse, meant the same thing in his feeble corrupted mind. He was freaking out because he believed he was losing his marbles and dying faster than the natural process. You see, a few minutes earlier he had inhaled poisonous gases – that was not of his choosing. He had been trapped in an elevator with a man whose innards threatened to explode unless ammonia-sulphuric-nitric mix was released into the air promptly via the backdoor.

The offending man had apologised quickly and warned of the impending explosion, but before anyone could excuse him or say if it was ok, he released the fumes through his backside. The smell instantaneously made the eldest person in the elevator to collapse, an anorexic looking man to vomit violently, and a small child to start crying and ask her mother why the man had pooped. The rest of the lift occupants had no choice but to breath it in while cursing and suppressing laughter. There was no escape. When the lift finally opened on the 32 floor, the poisoned lot spilt out into the hallway. Those who had managed to hold their breaths inhaled a lungful of air, those who got sick wiped their brows and spit-filled lips, clucked their tongues loudly and went about looking for loos. The little girl continued to cry pointing at the offending man and asking why he ‘pooped his pants.’ The people who had been waiting for the lift knew better than to get on. Someone suggested getting public health people to yellow tape the lift until proper sanitation was carried out.

The interview, to say the least, was an utter and complete disaster. He was blinking too much. His stomach had swelled to 9-months-pregnant proportions, and he was sweating profusely. The interviewer asked him if he needed anything. He asked for the bathroom and sprinted out of there like a bat out of hell. No matter how hard he massaged his swollen tummy, no amount of gas left his insides, he desperately tried to ‘go’ but nothing came out. “There is a special place in hell for people who let rip in closed spaces, although I doubt the devil would want them there!” he cursed as he walked out of the bathroom and headed home. Needlessly to say he would not be getting an invite to a second interview.

When he got home he told his wife about his near-death experience and how his stomach was still swollen and growling. She told him of a similar experience and knew just the remedy. She went about preparing and boiling a herbal concoction of mwarubaini (neem), thistle, purple hibiscus, garlic, ginger and aloe vera, and some other leaves whose names he didn’t know. It did not look enticing, but she insisted it was a remedy passed down several generations and worked every time.
“The secret is to take it just before bed and let it work its magic throughout the night. In the morning you’ll ‘go’ with ease like a newborn baby!” she said. The man had no reasons to doubt his wife: over the course of their marriage she had saved them from various mishaps and they were prone to mishaps. Her family tree was the epitome of health and they hardly took chemical pharmaceuticals or western medicine.

The rest of the evening went swimmingly well despite the feeling of wanting to pass gas. Just before bed, he took a glassful of the now cooled down herbal remedy, brushed his teeth and went to sleep. Amazingly, it seemed to work straight away because his body temperature lowered, and the growling reduced. A smile returned to his taut face.

Several hours into the night, he awoke to a noise that rivalled the Krakatoa volcanic eruption of 1883. His stomach was somersaulting and growling loudly; and then he had an irresistible urge to fart. He wanted to wake his wife but decided against it immediately. ‘It’s best if I just farted without waking her, that way she won’t smell a thing. She might dream it, but that’s safer!’ he consoled himself as he let rip a colossal fart that shook their whole house and rippled into the neighbours’.

Only it wasn’t a fart. Let’s just say his wife had to discard the beddings, the mattress and their PJs and fumigate the whole house for weeks. An indelible mark was left on her right thigh and no amount of exotic salts would scrub it off. In one swift eruption, the once upon a time pinnacle of a happy wife was reduced to new depths of degradation.

Herbal teas are great but avoid self-medicating and making concoctions that no one has any idea what their chemical reaction would be when ingested. Just because something worked for someone else doesn’t mean it would work for you. When you see someone looking too good ‘for their age’ and they tell you they drink Thames water directly from the river through a straw laced with arsenic, don’t assume that would work for you too. For those that fart in closed spaces, yes there is a special space for you in hell.

And avoid using lifts, always use the stairs!

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