Friday, June 26, 2009

Dark Night of the Soul #3: Mein Kampf

This seems to have been a popular subject on several of our blogs recently, so here goes... Everyone has their own personal struggle; Adolf Hitler’s – if only he’d left it at that - was with farting, and to stop it his quack doctor prescribed little black pills containing dangerous substances like strychnine and antropine. The Führer's over use of these probably accounted for his increased irascibility and losing the war. When I first arrived in Romania I had my own gastric struggle; the food here is very heavy - “peasant cuisine” makes it sound more glamorous than it is – and my mother-in-law is a woman who doesn’t understand “no”. I was in hell. After 3 days I phoned the Guinness Book of Records*:

Me: Hello, can I speak to Ross McWhirter, please?
Girl: I’m afraid he’s no longer with us, sir
Me: What, you mean he’s gone off and formed a rival Book of Records??
Girl: No, I mean he’s dead.
Me: How old was he?
Girl: He was 50
Me: Well, that’s not much of a rec…
Girl: He was assassinated by the IRA
Me: Oh I see, sorry. What about the other…
Girl: Mr Norris is also no longer with us – maybe I can help you?
Me: Yes, maybe you can, you see I’ve been constipated for three days now and I was wondering if this is a record
Girl: Have you been eating Romanian food, sir?
Me: Yes of course I have! My mother-in-law keeps shovelling it down me and I can’t get it out again!
Girl: We get this a lot. Well, the record for being constipated whilst eating Romanian food is very long; in fact the McWhirters thought it would probably never be broken.
Me: How long?
Girl: 3 weeks, 2 days, 24 minutes and 49 seconds
Me: What?? Oh good grief! I must go to toilet sooner than that, I must I must I must….
Girl: Sorry
Me: Tell you what though, I’ve stopped eating food altogether now as I can’t get any more in – what’s the record for not having a dump whilst eating nothing at all?
Girl: Probably 94 days: Cork Prison hunger strike, 1920. The Irish republican movement had the last word on that as well.
Me: (gulp)
Girl: Might I suggest you see a doctor, sir?
Me: They’d laugh at me
Girl: Well, you seem to be an intelligent person, perhaps you could find a scientific answer yourself; you could start by sitting down and working it out with a pencil.
Me: Yes, well, you’re right of course, I’ll go and get a pencil and some paper and…. Oh, I see, ha ha, very funny

So, that was a waste of a phone call. But I’m happy to report that time and Turd-Purge Plus** eventually worked their special magic, and the situation has since then largely been avoided by feigning sleep/death/madness when the fourth course is plonked in front of me. I’ve still no idea how the IRA got so involved in all this though. To finish, here’s the best - possibly the only – song ever written about constipation; Screamin’ Jay Hawkins telling it like it is, accompanied (for some bizarre reason) by Serge Gainsbourg:

* I couldn't find a clip of the BBC programme Record Breakers with them on, but here from American TV (1:20 minutes in) are The McWhirters.

** New improved formula with plutonium sulphate. (I also tried Recto-Rout and Shit Shifter but frankly they just weren’t up to the job.)


Gorilla Bananas said...

So not much fruit in the Romanian diet then? The other natural way of getting the bowels moving is to scare the shit out of yourself. In Africa there are lions. In Romania, there are wolves, vampires, mothers-in-law etc. You just have to get them to chase you up a tree.

Gaw said...

Gadj, what exactly is Romanian food? It's a European cuisine that seems to have made no impact on us. I imagine garlic features quite highly, what with vampires and that, and this is a well known aid to digestion...

GB, if there's one thing sure to annoy a vampire it's shitting on his head.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

I once went 3 weeks without a movement. The bowel is about five miles long, it can take an awful lot of stuff before your back teeth start swimming. Mind you, when someone said "You're full of shit," it struck a chord.

Olive oil is the key. I swear by it.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I had this problem while recovering from an op in hospital. The nurses shoved ineffective suppositories up my neighbours and I got my sister to nip out and get me a quintuple expresso, then we had a smoke in the garden - worked for me.

Scarlet-Blue said...

Olive Oil AND Smoking.
Smokers are generally regular no matter what... no need to fiddle around with a pencil... but if you do, remember not to chew it after.

inkspot said...

Hilter's problem was vegetarianism, wasn't it?

I've never had a gastro-tour of Romania and it seems I don't need one, I can visit my in-laws instead. OK, they're Polish, but eastern Europe is eastern Europe. [Ducks behind parapet.]

Anonymous said...

With each hole its ankle!!

This is why the Schtroumpf are blue...:)

To be well nourished avoids having the cheeks like the buttocks of a poor man!

Against the constipation, water and "pruneau of Agen" !
Otherwise, to unmould a cake...To take a little margarine or butter in a paper, butter the mould Or to take a wet and cold sponge, and with you rub behind still hot. that falls apart all alone!!

Madame DeFarge said...

I am regular in this as in so many of my habits. You can set your watch by me. This may be more than you need to know, but I feel we're more than passing acquaintances.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Mr Bananas and Mr Gaw, there's lots of lovely fruit and veg here but one rarely gets served it; when a guest one's served "the best": a pile of fried meat atop another pile of something, e.g. mashed potatoes, with pork fat drizzled over the ensemble. Yes, garlic does feature, but any half-decent vampire could tough it out. My mother-in-law scares most people witless but makes a point of being very nice to me - so please send me a lion, I enclose a stamped adressed envelope.

Daphers, 3 weeks?!! You poor dear lady, and there was me paniking after 3 days, I feel such a wuss now. However did you cope? Please don't tell my mum-in-law that my colon's 5 miles long - she'll feel she's been given carte blanche.

Lulu, yep, it'd be a quintuple expresso for me as well. Nobody shoves anything up me without my say so. Ooh, I gave up 3 years ago, but a smoke in the garden also sounds rather pleasent.

Scarley, that's right, that's one of the basic rules of life; also never kiss an Indian person on the left hand for similar reasons. I didn't know about smokers always being regular though.

Inky, yes, Hitler's basic problem (and therefore Germany's, if we're to believe Dr. Goebbels) was vegetarianism: he believed an all-veg diet would cure his farting though in fact it made it worse, and this really made him mean. I thought your wife was Irish, no??

Monsieur Crabbers, "with each hole its ankle" indeed, Proust couldn't have put it better. I like the sound of "pruneau of Agen", but I'm afraid you've totally lost me with the cake thing!

Madame, regularity is a much under-rated virtue in this new "Me Generation" where individuality is so highly prized. We are indeed more than passing acquaintances, we're passing everything with a little help from those quintuple expressos.

Anonymous said...

I recognize that the expression employed “unmould has cake” leaves has to wish! But I have worse!!
To have the mole in top of the toboggan, which pushes with the hole.

The olive oil is excellent, yes, but for the Kitchen!
Against the constipation “MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE”! that also goes to lose weight, yes, yes!

Kevin Musgrove said...

And eventually one must fall to the struggle og The Strain...

Gadjo Dilo said...

Monsieur Crabstick, yes yes yes, now it all makes sense! Mole, cake, toboggan, magnesium chloride... Next time I won't feed the mole the cake and then swallow it whole. And I'll take the magnesium and the chloride as a combined substance rather than as the two separate elements - ooooh.

Kevin, excellent, I knew we could rely on you to provide the other song about constipation. I think a special post dedicated to the Bonzos is called for at some point.

Jimmy Bastard said...

Should ever the occasion occur where I feel slightly frowsty in the oul back bottom area, I turn to my plan B... the humble Sag-aloo.

One should always consume several mouthfuls of the afore mentioned Sag, and be ready to negotiate ones way quickly to the smallest room forthwith.

For the best results, one should always consume the Sag-aloo after eleven pints of chilled porter.

For the love of all things holy... NEVER forget to crack a window after completing the inevitable swift delivery.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ah yes, Jimmy, the powerful combination of mustard greens and strong malted barley. If that doesn't move you you've a career in balloonautics ahead of you.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Welcome Mr Bastard, I've admired your feisty Glasginess only from afar 'til now; I'm happy to finally meet you without getting my heed kicked in. But sadly I can barely get a packet of curry powder here let alone the aforementioned sag aloo.

Kevin, are you building that library branch Zeppelin or what?

Brit said...

Never been a problem for me - one cup of instant coffeee does the trick in a jiffy. My lavatorial problem tends to be Great Wakering though I did once write a little poem about haemorrhoids called 'The Problem of Pain'. It went like this:

Thank you, O piles,
For helping me see
That God is a Bastard,
Or at least,
He is to me.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Mr Brit, you and your purgatorial piles are most warmly welcomed! "Wakering" is a new one on me, though I've suffered from it several times. But I must point out that your poem, fine though it be, doesn't quite scan properly: try moving the "O" in the first line to the beginning of the line and combining the last two lines into "At least, to me". Bingo, you've got a quatrain in almost perfect iambic tetrametra. We have to maintain certain standards here...

Gadjo Dilo said...

I mean dimeter. Bollocks.

Brit said...

Everyone's a critic, eh.

Gaw said...

As this subject is rightly inspiring of poetry, I feel moved, so to speak, to compose some of my own:

'There was a young man from Moldova
Whose shits were just always rolled-over.
He was told curry and cold stout
would be sure to get it all out.
The result: a right supernova'.

inkspot said...

Mme Inkspot Irish? No. Those of her relatives who got off the boat by mistake did so in London, not Dublin.

Kevin's zeppelin plan is stalled by a shortage of rentboys. The right kind of rentboys anyway, the Mancunian lot are sulky in the wrong way. Are the Romanians more obliging?

Gadjo Dilo said...

'Fraid so, Mr Brit ;-)

Mr Gaw, I see a limerick in the making here, if we can only pare lines 3 and 4 down and standardise the scansion a bit. How about:

'There was a young man from Moldova
Whose shits were just always rolled-over.
He was told that a curry
Gets it out in a hurry:
The result was a right supernova'.

Anapestic, with a couple of starting iambs at the beginning to get you rolling.

Inky, sorry mate, I could have sworn you said your wife is a colleen - I must have got confused with somebody else. I fear Kevin's Zeppellin plan will never get of the ground. Romanian rentboys are quite famous.

Gaw said...

Gadjo, you may have the beginnings of a web-business here. Online poetry editing. I'm sure it would be huge.

Brit said...

The piles poem is a bathetic homage to JP Donleavy's chapter-closing ditties. The strict quatrain form lacks the sad pause before the punchline. In summary, form is overrated. I know this from bitter experience.

Kevin Musgrove said...

The rentboys are only needed if Mrs. P. is making a state appearance on board. Somebody has to service the make-up artists who draw the seam of her stocking up her leg in Bisto.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Mr. Gaw, a web business in on-line poetry editing sounds like a job dropped from heaven - I've always fancied dicking about a bit with T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland :-)

Brit, excellent, old chap; I can see you're a fellow enthusiast, and if you modestly describe yourself as a "poor man’s Richard Stilgoe" then I must be a "poor man's Pam Ayres", which is really quite poor!

Ah, Kevin, if only girls still did that - or do they still in your part of the world? And if only Mrs Pouncer came by here a bit more often - but I bet she's never suffered from constipation and this post would be over her head.

Ron Combo said...

I once had a medical condition that required treatment by industrial quantities of morphine. Nothing wrong with that. Morphine is man's best friend, after my labrador of course. A rather unfortunate side-effect of morphine can be constipation. To remedy this, the hospital gave me an Italian pharmaceutical version of a Chicken Jalfrezi whizzed up with a catering sized can of borlotti beans and about ten pints of Bass. "Only take this if you really have problems" the nurse said, looking me straight in the eye. "This is extremely effective, but acts very quickly." I left hospital (sorry, this is going on a bit) and four days later, I still hadn't been to the lavatory. So, I took a deep draught of the hospital's finest and sat on the bowl and waited...and waited. Nothing. Another deep draught. Nothing, apart from the most sensational, exquisite pain, as if Mr Bottom was being stretched apart by a pair of pneumatic bottom stretchers. In desperation Mrs Combo went to a local chemist who returned to the counter, most gravely, with a syringe the size of a shopping centre fire extinguisher. Shove this up, squeeze the trigger, and stand well back he advised. Which the poor woman did. Shortly afterwards, bobbing around in the lavatory, was a smooth, shiny, compacted ball of solid human waste, about the size of a cricket ball. I only needed 14 stitches.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Mr Combo, sir, welcome, and, oh my good lord what a dump that was!! It's the waiting that the worst bit. Maybe it's effective, but 2 days later when you're out having a afternoon stroll with Lady Mountback - yeah, and there's not a bog in sight!

"Only take this if you really have problems" - she should have added or, like, when you're able to lock yourself in a toilet with 3 days food and several copies of Exchange and Mart.

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