You wouldn’t know it to look at me – in fact my wife was not even aware of it – but every so often I embark on a 3-day fast to try and teach my body who’s the boss. Spoiler Alert: It's Tony Danza. But I DO manage to make it through the three days without food, and for what it’s worth, it’s really not all that difficult. A minor headache on Day 2 was the worst of my complaints this time– in fact, I felt so good, I added a fourth day just for shits and giggles.
Speaking of which….for the past year I’d been eyeing an unused colonoscopy “prep” kit that’s been hanging around our house (don’t ask) and was considering using it to really clean out the pipes after my latest fast. But after hearing all the horror stories, and unsure of the medical ramifications, I wimped out and settled on the Salt Water Flush instead.
It’s not as gross as it sounds. There’s no irrigation involved. You simply add a tablespoon of non-iodized sea salt to a liter of warm water and chug it. Then, soon after, nature starts calling like a telemarketer at dinnertime. Simple, right?
That’s what I thought too. So, on my way home from an early dismissal day – we had to be back four hours later for conferences – I stopped at the local supermarket and bought the sea salt, a liter of Voss water, and a measuring spoon. Figuring I had plenty of time to get ‘er done before having to head back to school, I mixed the concoction in the parking lot and started pounding it as I drove home.
No sooner had the last of the brackish water poured down my throat, the Low Fuel light popped up on my dashboard. “Shit,” (no pun intended) I muttered, as I reversed direction for the nearest gas station. Knowing my F-150 wouldn’t get far without gassing up, I really had no choice – but – as I waited for the car in front of me to fill up, a rumble in my belly had me worrying about how far I could make it.
Why didn’t I just wait until I was in the safety of my own home, I wondered as the gas flowed into my vehicle at a rate I imagined the liquid in me was about to escape. As the pressure in my bowels built up, words from the cleansing website I had read up on flashed through my mind: WARNING: After drinking the mixture, do NOT attempt to flatulate!
At the time, I remember smiling, thinking, who attempts to flatulate? But I wasn’t smiling now. In fact, I was sweating. And it was salty.
I put in just enough gas to get me home and eased myself into the front seat. I turned off the radio so I could focus, and drove away. I made it about a mile before coming upon an elementary school that was getting out. And as luck would have it, the crossing guard had to stop me. Twice. The second time for a kid on crutches being escorted by his grandmother with a walker – who thought it was a good idea to stop in the middle of the road to converse with the equally elderly crossing guard.
I was tempted to toot my horn to “speed” them along, but was afraid the sound might startle my sphincter. So I just grit my teeth and clenched until they cleared the crosswalk and I resumed driving.
Of course I ended up behind a bus. An elementary bus, mind you, meaning it stops at EVERY house and WAITS for mommies to come out and collect their kiddies. And then waits for them to enter the house before pulling away - only to stop twenty feet down the road and repeat the process.
This resulted in more gritting and clenching as I tried to ignore the kids thumbing their noses at me through the Emergency Evacuation door at the back of the bus. Let’s go,” I hollered. “I’m the one with the emergency evacuation here!”
Finally the bus turned right, and I had a clear road in front of me. Funny how I never noticed all the traffic lights on my route before. Not funny when they all happened to be red. And the car with the “Shit Happens” bumper sticker? Definitely not funny!
But I made it home without incident. I delicately slid out of the truck and hurried inside, grateful that no one else was around to witness what was about to happen. Which was…
Once in the comforts of my own home, all the discomfort I was feeling dissipated. So much so that I decided to mow the lawn, thinking the motion of the tractor might encourage things.
I did the backyard first, since it was closest to the bathroom. But thirty minutes later, I was done, and still nothing. As I steered toward the front yard, the thought occurred to me: What if it didn’t happen? Or worse, what if it started happening during conferences?
What the hell was I thinking? I thought for the tenth time that day. Maybe four days without food had muddled my mind. I mean, who does something like this when they’re meeting with parents in a few hours? The conferences were only ten minutes each, and I had scheduled them very tightly, so I couldn’t just excuse myself when I felt the urge.
But thanks to the moles and gophers, my front yard is very bumpy, and right about the time I was finishing, I could feel “something” happening. Thank you Jesus, I thought as I motored into the garage, getting a little taste of what it was like to walk on water as I hobbled into the house.
I'll spare you the details. but let's just say, thirty minutes later, I was ready for duty!