Chinese Gas

Posted: December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

“Basically, my life is so boring, it’s embarrassing. “~ Hugh Grant
 
Not as embarrassing as the story that I am about to write about in this blog!!
 
At least it was embarrassing then. Many, many years later it is rather hilarious once you get to hear it all.
 
It will be given in great detail as I still can recall it just as vividly as it had happened. This post will be long, but I think well worth the time.
 
The unfortunate thing about this story is that it is going to be missing an audio component that would make it SO worth while to tell, as well as for the reader to hear about. So I will do the best that I can because it might have been embarrassing back then, but it is probably one of the funniest stories that I can tell, and that you will know about in many years to come.
 
I am reminded of this story since I took a little time this afternoon to get out of my home and just spend time with my thoughts and take in some unusual scenery as well as eat at a local and nearby Chinese food restaurant. This story takes place at ANOTHER Chinese food restaurant many, many years ago in the community of Garden City, Kansas.
 
It was called “Golden Dragon”. I looked it up on the Internet and happy to say that it still is there. But at the time, it was brand new. It had not even been there for a full year before I took my debut adventure into the restaurant.
 
It was winter in Kansas. The sun was down early and I was unusually hungry that evening. But I didn’t want to cook and the only thing that I knew that would deliver was pizza and I just wasn’t feeling up to having pizza. And then I remembered, “Golden Dragon”.
 
So I gathered my winter clothing and dressed up like ‘Randy’ from “A Christmas Story” and went out into the cold crisp Kansas evening air. It had been snowing for days, but on that day there was a break.
 
There were no curb cuts, so I had to push myself in my wheelchair just shy of one mile in the middle of the street, just taking my time as I carried on. The sounds of snow crackling under my wheels as I pushed. Tiny mounds of snow up to about an inch and a half accumulation on the streets causing my winter gloves to get very wet and soak through to the fingers before I even arrived.
 
I was probably very fortunate that the street that I went on had little to no traffic at all. But then again, who in their right mind would be out on the streets like that if they didn’t have to be? …… that would be me!!!
 
When I arrived, I began a small state of undress. Hat, gloves, and so on. I remember it being a very cozy and family friendly atmosphere with all of the traditional decorations of a simple and similar Chinese restaurant.
 
I also remember feeling very relaxed once I was seated at a table which was towards the back. There were these partitions with absolutely beautiful designs in the glass, probably about three and a half feet tall. From my vantage point, I could only see the top of people’s heads. Or their entire heads, if they were tall.
 
So there I sat at a table, probably 3 ft. by 3 ft. Very small, very intimate. And then a waitress came to give me their menu.
 
Sad to say that there was no Dr Pepper so I instead had to choose something else to drink. And that was Wild Cherry Pepsi.
 
The waitress was very nice and pleasant. In fact she was actually quite attractive. So I recall drinking down the first round of Wild Cherry Pepsi, just so she could come by and take my glass to refill it and come back to give it to me again.
 
Now, I wasn’t too much of a Chinese food fanatic. I’m still not today. If I am eating Chinese food, it’s very simple. That night I had ordered Shrimp Fried Rice.
 
And that was my meal. Just the drink and the rice. Nothing more. (At that time, I couldn’t afford more!)
 
So I sat there in my little area all to myself, drinking and drinking and drinking until this enormous bowl of food was presented to me. This bowl was so large, that you could probably cook a baby in it. But I’m not saying that I would. It was actually THAT BIG!
 
And depth? Forget it! But I then realized why it was costing so much to order because they were giving so much food in one solitary bowl.
 
I had stopped to survey it all. I knew then that once I started eating, that I was not going to be permitted to stop until I was absolutely certain that I was either full OR had an empty bowl.
 
Once you begin eating large portions of food and then you stop? It’s all over. You won’t be able to eat much more after that. The body will begin to tell your brain that it is full and so: Game Over.
 
Pausing is one thing. Stopping for several minutes, even if it’s just two or three is your doom.
 
So the waitress asked, “Cherry Pepsi??”. Ugh! I can still hear the sweet sounds of her voice in my head even after all these years. I was too shy back then to ask her name, much less ask her out. Which is something I should have done.
 
And throughout the rest of my visit at that restaurant, that is all that she would say to me. Over and over again, asking if I wanted more to drink.
 
I began to eat. This also, I should add, was the first time that I had ever had SHRIMP Fried Rice. So I ate and ate. I took my time and knew that I shouldn’t rush it. Even though I had thought in the back of my mind that I was never going to finish it. I wanted to at least eat half of it. That was my goal.
 
Several minutes later, bite after bite I felt my stomach begin to dance. It pushed whatever it was in there up into my chest. I knew that I was about to burp.
 
Or so I thought. I put the fork into the bowl and grabbed my napkin and placed it to cover my mouth and politely expel what was coming. But nothing happened.
 
Whatever it was, subsided. So I continued to eat. I continued to drink. And then it came back. That burning sensation in the middle of my chest. Again, I dropped my fork and picked up my napkin for an attempt of couth of what was about to happen, or at least as much as I could muster.
 
Then it went away again. I continued to eat.
 
Right about that time there was a bunch of voices that were rather loud for the quiet atmosphere that I was enjoying. A family had come in to eat. A family… with children.
 
I looked up but could see nothing but a cowboy hat floating along the top edge of the partition that separated me and my table from the rest of the establishment. The voices that carried throughout the building were best described as “redneck”. That stammering, loud drawl of an accent. Not to mention the subtle obscenities that one would find in an American comedy that had been rated PG-13. But since I couldn’t see them, I continued to eat. I could hear them though!!
 
This family, whomever it was, was so excited to be there. So I imagine that it must’ve felt like (for them) that they were visiting Disneyland.
 
I continued to eat once more. And sure enough that burning, building pressure just shot up into my chest again, and I dropped and covered one more time. And still there was no result.
 
The waitress came by with her repetitious question, and I agreed. She came back quickly with yet another full glass of Wild Cherry Pepsi and placed it on the far left corner away from me on this small 3 ft by 3 ft table.
 
I nodded, smiled, and thanked her as I had been doing all evening long.
 
I focused more on what I was doing. I could see that I was making progress as there was a hole in the center of this giant pile of rice. I began to wonder just how much deeper in the center of the bowl I was going to have to eat before I saw the bottom.
 
I reached over, took a sip of my beverage and placed it back into its corner. With the other hand, I took my fork and began to eat more.
 
Suddenly that feeling came back. I went through it again and I just felt so frustrated that there was no result at all.
 
I put my napkin down on the table and grabbed my fork yet again. This time wondering what was going on, trying to figure out why I wasn’t burping.
 
And then….. out of nowhere…..!!
 
I was lifting my fork to my mouth with a small amount of rice on it when all of a sudden this noise carried from my stomach, up through my esophagus and out of my mouth.
 
[this is where the audible portion of the story would take place.]
 
Let me try to describe to you what this burp sounded like:
 
It was a cross between a train, a fog horn, and an elephant having sex with a grizzly bear that is having sex with a rhinoceros that is having sex with a tortoise all at the same time. It was a minimum of 25 seconds in length. And it started out low with a booming crescendo from my young bass voice.
 
I looked down and saw that the blast of gas was actually blowing the food completely off of the fork that was just mere inches from my mouth. The hellacious winds of gastrointestinal havoc blew so hard that it was blowing into the bowl of rice and began to move it around until the cone separated everything to the side and I saw the bottom of the bowl for just those moments.
 
Meanwhile, the table shook violently and the ice cubes in my glass rattled like it was experiencing an 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
 
And then it was over. Silence came from my throat. The fork trembling in my hand was empty. The rice had congealed back into its former state prior to being blown apart by air. No longer able to see the bottom of the bowl. The glass on the far corner stopped shaking and all I could see was the tiny carbonation bubbles rising to the top. My napkin had been blown to the floor.
 
I was frozen in fear. The world had stopped for those seconds and nothing else mattered but the ferocious sounds of my stomach expelling gas through my mouth.

'What happened next, was a thing only told in history books...'.

 
And then again, the silence had been broken. Somewhere inside the restaurant that same type of southern, “redneck” voice rang out with an expression that I will never forget for as long as I live.

“What … in the fuck … was THAT?!?!?!?”.

 
The children were giggling softly. One of the little girls said, “Mommy, somebody burp-ed!”. And then I could hear a stern warning from one of the parents as the children were actually shushed.
 
I could feel my body began to warm over. I knew that I was blushing with great embarrassment. And in just a fraction of a second after that outburst from someone else, the waitress came back.
 
I felt like I was about to “have a talk” with her about what I had done. All she said to me was: “More Cherry Pepsi??”.
 
I escaped further damage with that innocent offer.
 
Throughout the rest of the night, I did the best that I could in eating what I could. And it too, was an embarrassment. Instead of taking more drink I opted for the check. Minutes later, I paid and I got dress again to face the winter weather at night.
 
I took home the leftovers but never ate them as I continued to look at the container in the refrigerator and my mind would remember the explosive belch I had let out in public.
 
A few hours later, I called my best friends on the telephone and told them the story of the Great Belch of Garden City. They laughed so hard that they admitted to me that snot came out of their noses.
 
When I saw them again in person, they wanted me to tell them the story. I ended up having to tell that story every day for about seven weeks. Many times I just told the story over and over to the same people because they thought it was THAT funny!
 
I never went back to the Golden Dragon. I didn’t fear anything. I just never thought about it again. But I would be reminded when someone would come up to me and ask me to tell the tale again. And usually I will think of what happened whenever I enter another Chinese restaurant. But since it happened in another state, nobody around here knows about it. But now, the Internet does know.
 
And as I open the fortune cookie from today’s adventure, I smile as I wonder which one of my friends are actually going to read about this experience and perhaps ask me about it later. Which one of my friends are going to crack up laughing because this story is so funny to them?
 
Today’s fortune cookie: Your greatest fortune is the large number of friends that you have.
 
 

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