Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Improper Poll: Inner Rumblings

I have a noisy stomach. Okay, it’s not my stomach that’s noisy, but my whole digestive tract. The noise seems to be completely random in nature and is not associated with illness or any other forms of urgency. It’s as if my innards just occasionally decide to throw loud parties which involve lots of celebratory shouting without consulting the landlord, as it were. The medical term for this, which a friend told me and not a doctor, (because I’d be WAY too embarrassed to mention this to a doctor), is borborygmus. Apparently I have borborygmus.

So anyway, once in a small, intimate college classroom during a particularly quiet discussion, my evil borborygmus tenants decided it was a major holiday.

“What is the significance of the peach in that scene?” the professor asked. “Bbbllllorrrgglllorrrglorrgeeewww?” my intestines answered.

Really. What can you do? I couldn’t blame it on someone else. They all knew it was me. If I’d sat there just turning various shades of red to red-purple, that’s just pathetic. I had no choice but to laugh. I also apologized. People smiled and nodded. Ah yes, close to lunch time…but of course we all knew they were really just being kind because it wasn’t my stomach growling, but my intestines. My borborygmus. And it wasn’t so much of a growl as it was a drunken-sounding shriek.

The professor waited politely for the topic of my noisy digestive tract to die down and took another stab at it. “What does the narrator mean by saying….”

“Bbluggglelugglelugglegrrrrorrrrglloorrrg?” my intestines interrupted. This time, everybody else laughed. Except the professor. He didn’t laugh.

Should I have excused myself? I still wonder this. But that just seems like running away, which is exactly what it would have been, and all I could think of was that if I ran away, at some point I would have to show back up. And then I would be the Girl-With-Borborygmus-Who-Also-Ran-Away. Because-of-the-Borborygmus.

So I just sat there and laughed again—while turning various shades of red to red-purple—and mentally stomped on the floor of my intestines to warn them to shut up and stop throwing wild keggers because the rest of us were trying to have a quiet, serious discussion up here. Alas, the intestines paid no attention though the classroom became focused on nothing else. Everyone was eventually engaged only in listening for the next entertaining noise my digestive tract would make. The professor released the class early in disgust.

So I have the enviable distinction of possessing intestines which are able to cancel school. And you’ll be happy to hear that’s not my only bodily function story. So today’s Improper Poll Question is: Do you have a story about bodily functions, either your own or someone else’s?


  1. I made a comment and then got disconnected...My computer is acting up.

    You are missing out an a lucrative plan. You would be the "Disguster for Hire." Hire yourself out to college kids. They pay you to sit in their class, and they're guaranteed to get some time off. They would get into bidding wars during finals week. That way, their final exams would have to be rescheduled, and they would have some extra time to study or time to have their OWN kegger.

    As a fellow teacher (do you do this?) when I have the occasional bout of awful gas, I will "drop a bomb" as I am circulating around the room. By the time it's smelt, I am on the other side of the classroom and they're looking at each other as the one who's dealt it. (Besides, even though I tell them teachers have gas---just like Walter the Farting Dog---they don't believe me.)

  2. I used to have a student who stunk out the other kids with his farts every morning. I swear I saw their eyes water.

    Stinky would occasionally come up to my desk to drop his bombs. I know this, because he never had a real purpose, and his buddies giggled like schoolgirls. In the middle of small talk about cage fighting, or asking what was for lunch, or rearranging my Kleenex box, Stinky would get a satisfied look and return to his seat, smirking.

    The noxious cloud was wasted on me, because I make it a habit never to breathe through my nose at work. (Unless I suspect an oddly-behaving student of drug usage. That's another story, my reputation as the human drug dog.)

    I know that I am breathing in molecules of somebody else's poop gas, but so are others when they inhale through the nose. At least I'm not smelling it.

  3. My late sister's husband was subject to extremely noxious gas. Whenever it struck during the night, he would pull the covers over her head and say, "If you love me, you won't struggle."

  4. Ha-ha-ha, you stole my thunder, uh gas. I was going to blog about this too.

    Borbylicious bubbles in my guts are having a party too. What is it?!

    As hubby and I were on a public elevator my intestines started grumbling like an old grouch. I nudged hubby in the ribs. He is a sweetheart. He loudly said, "Excuse ME."

  5. ROFL, no way am I going to try and top your Borborygmus! I'm also amazed others have tried :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  7. Oops. Typo. Here we go again. I have a diagnosis of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which is every bit as delightful as it sounds. *sigh* You don't wanna know my stories. Really. Really, really.

  8. I can't tell you how much I enjoy your responses! Have been laughing until my eyes teared up. Yes, Sioux, unfortunately I COULD be "Disguster for Hire" and will be sure to add that one to the resume. But sad to say those older ones have figured out that teachers are capable of producing gas. In fact, I think they suspect us of more than our share.

    And Val, I too have had those stinky ones make a point of dropping the bomb in my vicinity. I always thought it was because I was seated near the pencil sharpener and because they figured I was least likely to exclaim, "Ewww!" and point a finger. I never suspected they were actually TRYING to inflict poop gas molecules on me...horrors. But that does explain why some of the teachers I've subbed for have those intermittently-spraying air fresheners sitting up at their desks! :-o

    And speaking of horrors, I hope your sister's husband had plenty of redeeming qualities, Judie!

    Linda, any man who would take a hit like that for the woman he loves is every bit as much a hero in my book as Superman! How refreshing! :)

    Lisa, a nice Southern lady like you couldn't possibly have such stories! LOL....

    Thanks again to all!

  9. One day at work I got on an empty elevator. The last person to ride the elevator before me obviously had some serious gas. The elevator stunk so much I held my nose.
    The embarrassing part was when the elevator doors opened at the next stop there was a crowd to get on and I was the only person standing in the stinky elevator with everyone smirking and thinking I was the one who had passed the noxious odor.

  10. Hey, if you listen to Dr. Oz, you'll never for any reason hold in those gaseous inclinations. I think it can cause you to explode, or some equally horrendous consequence.


  11. Oh, I'm like Lisa.I cannot share my stories! ;)

  12. As much as I've enjoyed those gas stories (and I can't tell you how hard I've laughed; Donna, I too have been trapped by that gas-bandit!), I didn't mean to limit the bodily functions to the intestinal region! I've had some seriously ill-timed hiccups, a coughing fit in a college auditorium (this time DID excuse myself only to find out when I tried to sneak back in that the entire seminar had been discussing the implementation of EMS services on my behalf), and I also once barfed in a Porsche...in winter. It froze solid. :)


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