November 07, 2009

Eau de Toilette

A few years ago, I worked with a woman who tried hard to be funny. She was a very nice person, but she felt the need to slip into a contrived "wacky" mode in order to make others laugh. This didn't work out for her at all, and the only thing she elicited from her co-workers, including me, was a polite laugh and a deep wish for her to go elsewhere.

Actually, she could be very funny, but this was only when she had no intention of being so. We worked in a small office, with about 15 to 20 people and her particular nook was right across a narrow hall from the men's restroom. One day, I was working on something, and she came and rapped on my door frame and said in all seriousness "My God, what did Frank have for lunch?" It took me a second, but I realized what she was talking about and started laughing. But I stopped as soon as the stench rolled up the hallway and hit me. At that point, we both started gagging and ran outside to revive ourselves and to wait until the office ventilation system cleared most of the odor out of the air.

I was reminded of this episode earlier this week when I went into the mens room at my new work. The second I opened the door, I was assaulted with one of the top ten worst smells I've ever experienced. I half expected every stall to be occupied, but when I looked down, there was only one pair of feet in the line of toilets. I'd had no time to take a breath before I had come through the door, and I was tempted to breathe only through my mouth, but then the thought of actually tasting the stench started to make me sick, so I turned tail and ran out the door. I walked into a meeting 5 minutes later and noticed a man sporting the same pair of light tan shoes and argyle socks that I had glimpsed in the stall, and fearing that the odor had clung to him out of sheer evil, I sat as far away from him as possible.

Events such as this make semi-lasting impressions on me, so this morning, I started wondering "What did Frank have for lunch?" So I looked it up, and what I found was highly educational as well as disturbing.

Yes, I read up on farting and shitting. And came up with some interesting facts. For instance, the average person farts 10 to 25 times per day because of all of the air that he/she ingests while eating and drinking. That air has to go someplace, so it propels itself right out the old blow hole. However, farts are not supposed to stink. And they won't if you avoid foods that ferment easily inside of you, like onions, beans, cabbage, radish, prunes, bananas, dark beer and wine. Light beer is not on the list, so thank God for that.

And since farting is so often a precursor of taking a dump, there were also some handy tips on keeping the odor level of your shit from moving into the red zone. It wasn't mentioned, but I would imagine that consuming the foods above would carry over from the gaseous stage to the solid state. Plus, fatty foods can cause your poop to smell putrefied. How do you know if your poo is fatty? Well, if it floats, it's more than likely fatty. The article I read was careful to mention that your turds would float in water, not in mid-air, which I think would be cause for some concern. Perhaps the most surprising fact that I learned was that the main reason your shit is smelly is because it backs up in your colon and rots. Did you know that you are supposed to have a bowel movement three to five times per day? Holy shit! I wouldn't call that normal. I'd call it diarrhea!

In order to curb my growing nausea, I stopped researching the subject, but not before I learned that there are actual support groups for people with smelly farts and shit.

I shit you not.

Next time I'm near an Office Max, I'm going to have some sticky notes made up with the names of these various support groups printed on them. So the next time I encounter a situation like I walked into this week I can slap a note on the mirror so that when the afflicted party comes out of his stall, he'll be able to see it as he washes his hands (hopefully) and seeks the help he so desperately needs.

That's me ... helping to improve society one step at a time.

1 comment:

  1. OMG you are so funny, I was reading this and laughing in the office!! Gotta love you!