Saturday, December 17, 2005

Everyone Can Use A New Friend In Their Lives...


I never believed people when I was younger. That things would change as you get older. "Gee, wait until you get my age!" I'm going to admit this, You were all right. Yes, drinking is different, there are more aches and pains, it is slower to get up, allergies have developed and the mother of all evils has arrived.... LACTOSE INTOLERANCE!!!!

Basically, I've lost the ability to digest lactose, the predominate sugar of milk.

Common symptoms include nausea, cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea, which begin about 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating or drinking foods containing lactose. The severity of symptoms varies depending on the amount of lactose each individual can tolerate.



Notice I've highlighted a few of the symptoms... These seem to be the symptoms I excel at. If there was an Olympic team, I'd be on it. I would now like to share a story that begins the historical account into my slow digression into Lactose Intolerant Man.

Now, I've always had a bit of a problem with food going right through me. Never thought much of it though at the time. Always chalked it up to an unhealthy lifestyle consisting mainly of draft beer and late nite subs. As I got older, I learned this was not the case. I have a problem and the very first memory I have of this incredible gift God has bestowed upon me was when I made my first pilgrimage to Los Angeles.

The year was 1997...

We had just finished eating a meal in Marina Del Rey. Pepper and I decided to hit Venice Beach afterward to do a little bit of shopping for the folks at home. Venice Beach was dead by the time we get there. We've been there earlier in the week and experienced all the sights and sounds it had to offer. We decided to go later in the afternoon, to avoid the mobs of people. Plus, it would be nice to avoid the pick pockets, trannies on roller blades, numchuck wielding veterans, the rather touchy feely rainbow coalition, and the hoards of the undead looking for their next victim.

Now we didn't know that pretty much everything on Venice Beach closes early. By the time we got there just about everything was closed. There were a few places open and Pepper wanted to check them out, why not? 15 minutes into staring at Pepper deciding what keychain to bring back for an undisclosed friend, I felt it. Before I could even figure out what I felt, I was done....

"Um Pepper, I gotta go."

At this point Pepper looked at me and knew. I'm doubled over in pain with the, I just dropped the soap during my first prison shower face... No words were exchanged at that point, I was off...

Let me remind everybody that pretty much everything was closed. Oh, did I mention I am a tad bit phobic about cleanliness... So I came across a restaurant and waddled in. After asking where the restroom was I made a small dash toward me pot of gold. I didn't want to run too hard or too fast, fearing that I might have to call Pepper and have him find me a new pair of pants. The door opened into a hallway and at the end opened into the bathroom. I opened the door and guess what? There were 3 homeless guys taking numbers to enter the ONE and ONLY stall. WHICH WAS OCCUPIED....

Now at this point I started to get the sweats, to which the three homeless men huddled. The finally break off and the leader of the homeless crew slowly walks up to me. Fearing that I had somehow invaded their bathroom turf, the leader spoke,

"Hey man, me and the boys were talking and it looks like you really need to go. So please when the guy gets out you can go in ahead of us."

I couldn't tell you how thankful I was. Who said all homeless people are useless, degenerate bums who become a tax payers burden? I was so thankful at that moment that I actually contemplated changing my political affiliation and register as a Democrat when I got back to Boston. Lets just say I was under a lot of stress....

Finally the stall door opens. It's yet another homeless man. For a quick second there seemed to be a bit of static in the air between him and the others, but I didn't care. I rushed by my new brethren with a thankful nod and caught the stalls door before it closed. What I'm about to describe to you will never ever paint a true picture of what I saw...

Let's just say it looked liked the homeless man bathed in his own filth. The toilet was overflowing, there were indescribable items floating on the floor along with others items I haven't a clue about. I've tried for years to forget. It didn't take me long to make my way out of there....

Now I'm standing, actually bent over still on Venice Beach with the same problem I've been trying to deal with for the past 15 minutes. There is no where to go. The public bathrooms are all locked. Gee, after my last experience I couldn't imagine why... More stores have closed and there isn't another friggin restaurant in sight. It is getting dangerously close to D-Day. At this point I was ready to dig a hole on the beach. Then out of the corner of my eye I see it...

Down a side street around a corner I catch a glimpse of a neon light. BAR!!!!! I make my way down towards it, noticing the long line of Harleys out front. I open the door and.....

At this moment, I'm about to relive my days as a messy baby as the WHOLE bar stops and turns to look at me. It was one of those movie moments when you walk into a place you know you don't belong and the music stops and everyone STARES... We'll, that was me on that day.

At this point I really didn't care. I moved as fast as I could toward the bar. All eyes are upon me. The bartender comes up to me with a menacing glare. I looked him right in the eye and said one word...

"Bathroom?"

Even the toughest man in the world knows the pain I am going through. He looked me over real quick. My shirt is soaked, my legs can barely move, my gluts are tight and I'm as white as a ghost. He raises his head and motions toward the back of the bar. I'm approved. I could only thank him with my eyes. Any new movement would have finished me.

Let me remind you that every biker in the bar is still looking at me like I'm a narc. I didn't care anymore. Even if they decided to jump me it would be their worst nightmare. Letting the deuce go would have absorbed any pain they could have afflicted upon me.

As I slug on by, I quickly realized that I would have to play a mini game of frogger with the dozen or so cats running around the back of the bar. Yes, there were stray cats everywhere!!! Un-freaking-believable..... I finally get to the bathroom and guess what? There are no doors on any of the stalls. You've got to be kidding me!!! Obviously they didn't want any illegal activities to take place in them. Or the biker psychic predicted that one day a white boy with a Boston accent would one day use their bathroom and cleanse their souls....

I didn't care anymore. I was going in. After carefully screening each one for the cleanest seat, unclogged bowl, and a plethora of toilet paper, I took the last stall toward the sinks. At this point I didn't even care... My phobic ass just sat down.

I'll spare you the intimate details that followed, but let me just say that the whole time I was in there... Every biker in that bar made it a point to come in and pretend to wash their hands. Yes, they stared at me pooping. Even the cats knew better than to come in. These were tough men who didn't mind the toxic fumes that helped create Agent Orange. I think they were just making sure I wasn't a narc, but instinct tells me that they just wanted to mess with me. No pun intended...

I finally finished and I seem to be skipping my way past the bar. I nod toward the bartender and I really feel like I am floating. Incredible, just incredible. AAAAAHHH!!!!

Pepper finally finds me and the story telling begins...

You might be wondering why I am talking about this and who my new friend might be. Well, it took me 9 years to finally wise up and take control of my life. With the ever convincing help of Catdoggg, I've finally found the cure for all my problems. Simpler than I thought. Don't knock it until you try it, but let me introduce you to my new friend....

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I give you licence to publish my photo or video. really......

I always positive thinking.
" maybe I can be famoust like Richard Gere Blue " so I get royality from you.
Deal ?

ThePapaDog said...

no deal sfb... i would think that if these were really your images you'd know that they weren't copyrighted... in fact The Clearinghouse encourages users of this fact sheet to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.