Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday Fart-Blogging

As regular visitors to the Friendly Confines will no doubt have surmised, I've lately had occasion to frequent the local hospital a bit more than comfort might wish. I've been more than happy to take advantage of the hospital's enlightened policy of free valet parking, tossing my keys to the attendant and either leverambulating in on crutches or simply dragging my osteonecrotic leg behind me into the lobby to the elevators.

One recent afternoon as I was on my way in for yet another appointment, the elevator door opened and its sole occupant, a very dignified, if momentarily distressed, older woman, poured out into the lobby. As she left the elevator, she declaimed, so the assembled waiting crowd could hear clearly, "They're working on the sewers in the basement, oh dear me, dear me...."

She shuffled through the small crowd and ankled her way to the anonymity of the busy lobby. We politely loaded into the elevator, all Alphonse-and-Gaston -- after you, no after you -- and were greeted by the most horrifying miasmatic stench that ever slugged human nostril. I mean, ho-lee Jesus it was awful. Notes of rotting flesh, day-old bile, staphylococcal infection, and sulphurous, rotting eggs. There are human emissions that are relatively benign, reasonably healthy -- not that you'd be forgiven for blasting one out in my car or other confined space -- and then there are the kind that are harbingers that the dealer is absolutely rotting from the inside out, sick, noisome, toxic. This latter form was what now nauseated an entire elevatorful of people.

Now, of course, we had no direct evidence that the poor, sick woman who'd preceded us had laid this particular stinkbomb. But Lordy -- she'd sure acted suspicious. I happened to catch the eye of a fellow victim, and his amused smirk, flared nostrils and mimed choke told everything that needed to be communicated. A small child couldn't suppress a giggle. Some people!

Gratefully arriving at my floor, I hustled off the elevator, once again breathing the relatively benign, antiseptic hospital air, and went about my medical business.

Later, consultation complete, I once again made for the elevator. When it arrived, it was empty -- and the same awful stench assailed me as I boarded! The doors closed behind me, trapping me in a developing social horrorshow. Only then, through my watering eyes, did I spy the small, desktop-published sign that I had missed on my upward trip:
Well. Isn't this a fine mess.

At this point the only prayer I had of delivery from mortification was to hope against hope that no one was waiting for the elevator on the ground floor. But no. Of course not. A knot of six waited as the doors slid open, expectantly waiting for me to debark. I did so, as quickly as my sore leg allowed, and then started to hustle away from the scene of my humiliation. I heard a woman's voice float out through the closing doors, "Oh my God!" I had an impulse to turn and shout, "Look at the sign! Look at the sign!" but thought better of it.

They'll learn on their way down.

It's just now occurred to me that that scene must have played out hundreds of times in that lobby that day. A more perfect illustration of the principle of karma you couldn't hope for.


Matt said...

An instant classic.

Jennifer said...

Sewer scents tend to penetrate and cling to every fiber of ones being. I am guessing anyone who spent any amount of time in that elevator also carried the odeur of karma with them throughout the day.

roxtar said...

Scotty McClelland: "No, Helen, the President has not taken a foul, smelly dump in his pants. They're just working on the sewers in the Oval Office, New Orleans and Iraq."

roxtar said...

I like to think I would have given the waiting audience a little hand-fan-behind-the-seat-of-the-pants action. "Do NOT go in there!"(/Jim Carrey)

Mike said...

Upon moving to Seattle, I did all the touristy stuff, including the Space Needle. (The Space Needle! In one of America's heroin capitals! Get it?)

Anyway, on the ascent, the elevator operator (hey you pay $12 to ride an elevator, you expect service goddammit) did his friendly patter and asked how everyone was. When I answered, "flatulent", I suddenly had my personal space restored. Make the wisdom of crowds work for you.

ujzvy, me jzvy, we all jzvy.

blue girl said...

Oh, Jeddie. I have tears streaming.


Kevin Wolf said...

This most excellent post has restored my karmic balance.

I also makes me very glad technology does not yet allow us to post smells.

dwgs said...

what's the old george carlin line? "two guys in an elevator, one guy farts, everybody knows who did it."

blue girl said...

...trapping me in a developing social horrorshow.

Crying again.

Highlander said...

Off the subject, but just FYI --

Rigorous Intuition's URL has changed; the blog can now be found at .

It's among my favorite blogs, and I found it from your blogroll, so I thought I'd take a moment to let you know.

roxtar said...

it doesn't seem to work with the www

tafoq - infinitive

i foq
you foq
he/she/it foqs

we foq
you foq
they foq

Highlander said...

My bad. I keep trying to add in those 'www' strings to blogspot addresses, and I keep coming up short. It's my life in microcosm. Or something.