Plonk 19: Soupy
By Dave Carnie
On Friday night my friend Mark invited me out for food and drinks.
“I’d love to,” I texted back, “but I’ve been puking and pooping, pooping and puking, since I got back from Peru last night.”
My tummy rumbled the second I stepped off the plane at LAX. Oh, a welcome home turd? I thought. Just what America needs, more shit. By the time I got to customs, the rumbling had grown a little louder. My internal investigation was delayed, however, by an old woman behind me.
“Excuse me?” she said. “Who was that person you were traveling with that everyone was taking pictures with?”
“Tony Hawk,” I said. She made Golden Retriever face—HUH? “He’s a pro skateboarder?” I offered.
“Well, I don’t skateboard,” the lady said laughing, “so I wouldn’t have any idea who that is.”
While Tony enjoyed Global Entry status and zoomed right through customs, I had to wait in line with all the other peasants and field their stupid questions. There was hardly anyone in line, but it was moving at a snail’s pace. The lone customs officer was dealing with a trio of Japanese girls. Muslims? Probably not, but you never know with Japanese girls. What are they always giggling about? They took forever. Maybe the customs officer was trying to decide whether to send them to camp? Japanese internment camps are on the table again, right?
“What were you guys doing in Peru?” another man behind me asked.
“Oh, we were, uh, shooting a pilot for a possible show Tony wants to do,” I said. “Sort of a food/travel/skate show thing.”
The man nodded like he knew what I was talking about. I didn’t.
While Tony signed autographs and posed for photos with fans in Peru, I usually stood off to the side and answered questions. The most popular being, “What are you doing here?” Well, apparently signing autographs and posing for photos because that was pretty much all we did from morning to night in Peru. I’ve known Tony a long time, and I realize he’s a celebrity, but I was surprised by how often he was recognized on the streets in Lima. Every morning there was a group of kids waiting for us to emerge from our hotel, every night they were waiting when we returned, and in between we entertained a seemingly endless stream of admirers. Tony handled the throngs of people like a gentleman with grace and patience. I was impressed because I would have lost my shit if I were him. “I could never do that,” I thought to myself. Fortunately no one is offering to make me rich and famous so I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about that problem. All I have to worry about is making sure my poop goes in the right place.
“How long were you in Peru?” the customs officer asked me.
“Four days,” I replied.
“Would you go back to Peru?” he asked. Odd question.
“Yeah,” I said, thinking about it for a moment, “I would.”
“Good. So you like Peru.” Then he stamped my passport. “Welcome home.”
Free of customs, I devoted my full attention to the bomb that was ticking in my butt. I had a choice to make: I could use the bathroom at the airport, or wait 45 minutes to get home. The situation wasn’t urgent yet, but I decided to play it safe and use the airport bathroom. It was late and no one was around.
I crammed myself and my luggage into the tiny stall, sat down on the toilet, loosened my bowels, and was surprised when a massive jet of hot shit shot out of my ass and filled the bowl below me. It sounded like someone pointed a hose at the toilet and turned it on full blast. For like five minutes.
“Diarrhea,” I said contemplating the bowl of black soup I had just created. “Hm. That’s weird.”
It wasn’t that weird. I had been traveling all day, eating unusual South American food, and drinking shitty red wine on the plane. My body was a little upside down. I was actually quite pleased to have taken care of this disagreeable issue in someone else’s toilet, an industrial strength airport toilet at that. At least at the time I thought I had taken care of it, because when I got home it happened again: another thick jet of hot black shit filled yet another toilet, my toilet. I was going to take a shower anyway, but after the second blast it was mandatory.
As I stood in my tiny glass shower under a glorious stream of hot water, there was more grumbling in my nether regions. I was too busy enjoying the shower to even think about the little fart that wanted out of my butt. So I just farted like I’ve done a million times before in the shower. “Go ahead little fart, be free.”
Almost immediately the water around my feet turned black. It wasn’t a fart at all, but another shit storm that exploded out of my buttocks and cascaded down the glass shower door. Technically we call this a “shart,” but “shart” is too cute of a word to describe the torrent of feces that flew out of my ass and pooled around my feet. “AAGH!” I squealed, trying not to stand in my own waste. It was the first time in my life that I’d shat in a shower. I don’t even like to pee in the shower. I had to admit it was kind of nice, though. I felt like a little baby. Go wherever and whenever you like.
I was unable to enjoy this primeval experience because it was painfully clear that something was very wrong. I spent the rest of the night in the bathroom on the toilet alternating between puking and pooping. When I wasn’t puking, or pooping, or puking and pooping, I tried to clean the shower. The shower will never be clean.
By morning I was suffering from all the telltale signs of possession by a South American doo-doo demon. This wasn’t the first time. An evil spirit from Xibalba, the Mayan Underworld, invaded my fundament via a greasy chicken lunch while spelunking in Belize a few years before. I’m not sure which one of the 12 Lords Of Xibalba hijacked my body deep in the dark recesses of that evil cave, but one of them took my anus hostage and demanded I deliver him to America immediately. I managed to keep my butt cheeks clenched long enough to swim out of the cave, get to a jungle toilet, perform an anal exorcism, and flush the demon back to Xibalba where he belonged.
Since Peru is Inca territory, this possession was most likely orchestrated by the Incan Lord Of The Underworld, a fellow who goes by the name of Supay. (Is it a coincidence that “Supay” sounds sort of like “soupy”? You know what else is soupy? Diarrhea, exactly.) Unlike the Xibalba demon and his funky chicken, Supay penetrated my rear defenses using a very unusual strategy.
During lunch on our last day in Lima, I picked up a jar of spice in the middle of the table. I poured some into the palm of my hand to test the heat level. Normally I sample flavors with the tip of a finger, but I had recently seen three celebrity chefs on TV, completely independent of each other, tasting out of the palm of their hand. Must be a chef thing, I thought. So I, too, licked the spice off my paw like a cat. Mmm, spicy.
I was in the midst of lick number two when I remembered the skate demo we had just come from. While Tony stood on the outskirts of the skatepark in the middle of a massive rugby scrum and appeased the masses as best he could, I entertained the spill-off from his mob of admirers. “He’s white. He’s with Tony. Therefore he must be famous too. Let’s get him!” At first I resisted their advances, but that just made things worse. The more I protested, the more desirable a photo with me became. It was easier, I learned, to oblige Tony’s fans, put my arm around their shoulders, rest my palm on their warm, brown backs, and smile. I must have posed with dozens of dirty, sweaty, skater kids that afternoon.
And guess who didn’t wash their hands before lunch? “Uh oh.”
Supay had hitched a ride on the backs of his own constituents and then tricked me into inviting him into my own system. Sneaky devil. Then he hid quietly deep within my bowels until I set foot on American soil where the stowaway escaped out my back door and slid into our public water works. Who knows what horrors this wily demon plans to visit upon our country? We should probably round up the Japanese and throw them back into the internment camps. Just to be safe.
“What’s the Peruvian version of Montezuma’s Revenge called?” Mark texted after I explained the possession story.
Good question, I thought. It took me a moment. Then I replied, “Macchu Poopoo.”
“Did you mean, ‘Mucho?’” Mark replied a few moments later.
“Oh, yeah,” I wrote. “Yes. That’s much better: Muccho Poopoo. Thank you.”
I suppose I could just as easily call my bout with Peruvian diarrhea “The Curse Of Lake Shiticaca,” but I think “Muccho Poopoo” sounds funnier.