Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Fit of the Vapors

(From a recent Gas Ex commercial) 

Woman to interviewee:  "I see you've graduated at the top of your gas and that you’re flatulent in three languages." 

Her secretary, opening the door: "Excuse me, your son Rip is on line toot." 

Babies and small children do it, and then giggle.

Family members of mine have different ways of doing laughs so hard afterward he gets tears in his eyes.  One points.  One actually lifts up off the chair to enable production.  One claims that she has never, ever done it. 

I do it then blame it on the dog.  For all I know, the dog does it and blames it on me. 

We all know what "it" is, we've all done it.  (Yes, even you.) 

Admit it...tooting is funny.  It IS.  Except when it’s not.

Like when I have a belly dancing class that I really don't want to miss. 

It was a normal Monday, which for me means a) I was late to work, b) I sullenly put in sweaty time on the treadmill and c) I dreaded my belly dancing class that loomed ahead...a 6:15 p.m. punishment for those who forgot to practice any belly dancing moves from the last class. 

I dread it, yet I go because I know that once I'm there, of course, I enjoy myself immensely.  I am transformed into Shakira.  Or at least her slightly plumper alter ego, the one hidden away and still practicing in Mexico. 

This past Monday was particularly awful for me, in that I pumped up the fiber a little that day.  Ok, a lot.  Oatmeal.  Fiber bar.  Carrot sticks.  Perhaps an apple or two.  It went along with that whole "It's a new week, better do well on the diet." mentality. 

However, these foods, I have found out in the worst way, are not very shimmy friendly.  In fact, even the drive home from work that day before class was a downright uncomfortable...when all my tummy wanted me to do was lay down flat somewhere and "relieve the pressure." 

I couldn't.  I have half hour between getting home and leaving.  No time.   

I had some coffee the moment I got home, hoping the caffeine would act like a type of Drano, getting to the root of the problem quickly so that the rapidly expanding, painful belly I had would perhaps calm itself down within the half hour before class. 

It didn't work.  I moved carefully, getting dressed for class in loose clothing, hoping I'd feel better once there. 

First order of business in class is the stretching exercises.  Down and to the riiiigggghhhttt!! Each stretch we were asked to perform was a test of muscles I didn't know I had, frantically working together to prevent any extraneous noises.  Our class is three people on a busy night and very, very quiet.  Any disturbance would be immediately heard.  I was in agony yet absurdly proud of myself for not giving in.  I wonder if not giving in will affect me later in my old age. 

Our stretching torture thankfully ended, but now a new chapter in poot prevention was about to take place.  The battle had begun in earnest.  I wasn't only taking a belly dancing class at this point; I was going to war. 

I tied my coin belt on, like a soldier going to war, over a tummy that I had given up trying to suck in.  If someone had tapped it with a ball peen hammer it would have poinged like a drum. 

You might be asking yourself at this point, why didn't you just excuse yourself and leave early, stupid?    

Because leaving early would mean having to explain why.  It was not an option.  Plus, there was only a little class time left.  Surely I would be ok.

We were asked to practice an "entrance", which is when a belly dancer enters a room where she will perform (which for the record I will never, ever, ever do publicly).  She throws her head back confidently, plasters on a smile, shoulders/back/chest back and out, and prances into the room on the balls of her feet, a veil-covered, shimmying, hip-rolling belly dancing feast for the eyes about to give you the SHOW OF YOUR LIFE. 

If at a party I were to do this type of entrance, people would say, "Why, there's Chris.  I didn't know she was coming.  I think she stepped on a tack.  She better move off stage before the belly dancer gets here." 

My stomach is feeling worse and worse, but now there's only five minutes left.   I tell myself to suck it up.

The two other class members wait for the correct count of the music and one by one, practice their entrance while I formulate a reason why I  can’t do mine, why I need to leave.

Backing away slowly, I tell my instructor, "You know, I really have to get going now."  I can barely keep the desperation out of my voice.

She starts the music up for my turn and levels a steely look my way.  "This music is 24 seconds long.  You can stay for another 24 seconds."   

I do it. 

Later, I don't remember exactly how my turn went.  I remember some type of arms-in-the-air-prancing, and her telling me not to look at the floor next time.  I'm not sure if she said anything else because there was a haze over my vision and a loud clanging in my ears.   

Much later, at home, I made some adjustments to my grocery list, crossing out anything that had fiber in it.   

And lucky for me, our dog laid on the floor next to me the entire time.

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