If you don't eat you don't poop. If you don't poop...you die!

I am not dead. Just famous. I am not dead. Just retired. I am not dead. Just retreated back into the back room for a break from the break room which is still under construction in spite of itself. It never could be anything else. As long as I have known it at least. At least we all got a chance to pretend to be something other than something we are not. Not that anyone ever said anything else. Say what? What?

Months pass and I am neither seen nor heard from. Do not worry mother and father. Your boy is all right. Your boy is right where you left him. Your boy has survived a banana overdose and heat stroke, from the oppressive Montreal heat, but only minor heat stroke. He is fine now. He has a fan in his bedroom. And a fan in Anjou. A 53-year old divorcee who finds the ho-hum hum-drum rick ‘em rack ‘em of a gong show your boy put together with a few others enough to make her laugh out loud several times. Or maybe she, like the half-dozen musicians who played before hand, had been drinking warm draught all day in the warm sun and was ripe for the picking when Super Dave Schultz made a fruit salad for the ladies.

Yes, yes, your boy is all right. All right? Sure he builds coffins in parks and on streets and then carries them past cars in black suits on hot days and suffers greatly for it, but suffers later. For now he gleams with sheens and gleams and high beam sunbeam burst or black and white. Black and white. Like an oreo cookie turned on its side and given a tie. A thoroughly skinny tie. A half-brown-half-black skinny tie. A fashion faux pas leading a fashionable chap in a hat by the coffin down Clark on Grand Prix weekend in the hot sun.

Did I mention the oppressive Montreal heat?

Given as I am to fitful fruit fly-sized fits of delirium allow me to spare you the frilly dilly-dalies and give it to you straight. Straight up, straight out, straight in, straight through, straight from the heart, from the hip, to the lip to the ear to the mid brain, left brain, right brain, wrong brain, “look at the big brain on Brad.”

A couple of weeks ago the debacle I had a hand in preparing was staged out-of-doors as part of the Montreal Fringe Festival. Words and images travel fast this day in age, and of course there are videos of the shenanigans all over the internet. To save me from having to go though the ardour of embedding each of the 12 clips (the shit show lasted over 1 hour. To the point where Mr. Organizerpants was ready to cut our mikes to get us the hell out of there. I was shocked he didn’t do so part way through the fruit salad bit.) I will just link you to someplace where a co-star has already done it.

Thanks to my pet chemical imbalance I find the Theatre of the Absurd to be absolutely hilarious-slash-brilliant. It was with this attitude that I rallied, lobbied, urged, prompted, pounded my finger firmly into faux wood table tops, asserted, and pressed to have a rather lengthy segment of a man eating two bananas with not a lot going on at the get go other than some run of the mill shoe theft. It took me 3-hours (or less) to convince my co-conspirators that this was a good idea. It worked. My convincing that is. Whether or not the actual eating of bananas worked will be left to the critics and the academics, and you, the audience.

The one thing I know for certain. Eating 2 bananas in 5 minutes and then reading a 5 minute poem is silly, but insisting to stay on stage eating bananas throughout the duration of the festivities is the dumbest thing I ever did do. 10 bananas in 1 hour in 35 degree heat whilst wearing a black suit is ill-advised, at best. If you want to feel like a sack of packed assholes try that experiment at home.

The absolute worst part of eating that quantity of bananas under those circumstances is the psychological damage. I had no ideas what 10 bananas would do to a person. I was expecting sea-sickness worthy vomiting grand finales. That would have at least been in-line with the gong show we were putting on. However there was no spew to be spewed or sprayed or spread over the first 4 rows of innocent bystanders who were wondering how the hell they came to be here on this particular day watching this particular spectacle when there was so many other more interesting and presumably sane things to partake in on that day. But they escaped unscathed, and I escaped lethargic, like the cat who chewed the squeak and entrails out of a common squirrel in a few mighty gulps on an equally hot afternoon a few days later only to be found lolling on the front porch in the same spot for several days afterwards.

I was worried that didn’t puke. I had abused my gullet with enough potassium to keep the Spanish Light Brigade in marching time and out of shin-splints and calf-cramps for a campaign of Napoleon-sacks-Rome proportions. I had no idea what it would do. I knew many fruits gave you the runs. So I braced myself for that. It never came. Much like in life, I only run when absolutely necessary and never when I think I should because it would do me some good.

Vomit is immediate—most of the time—you eat your 10 chilli dogs, puke, go back to work refreshed and invigorated. And even if it is a long time coming, nausea is only slightly disquieting. Inconvenient and uncomfortable, sure, but rather calm relatively speaking. Diarrhoea is a little more anxious and tumultuous. Like stormy waters, like The Perfect Storm, with a better ending, with an Armageddon ending (the explosive part, not the tender moment between Bruce and Ben) or a Dr. Strangelove if you are too good for your teenaged years by now. Diarrhoea suffers a bum rap for many reasons, most of all it is the shits. Puking feels like death, but only for a little while, mostly while you are doing it, diarrhoea plays mind games with you and leaves you frantically racing to the toilet from board meetings because the shits wait for no man. And I have myself been told, “if you throw up you’ll feel better.” But I have never been told, and I seriously doubt anyone has, that if you have a bout of explosive diarrhoea you’ll feel better. If there is a doctor in the house, is inducing diarrhoea a medical strategy like inducing vomiting is? As soon as bowels come into play things get markedly worse.

So when puking/nausea never happened I grew worried. I grew anxious. I grew paranoid. I went out for Indian Curry. I waited. I worried. I was a wreck. But The Perfect Storm: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the toilet never came. I thought it might be okay. I thought I might be in the clear. However, when out of the kindness of his heart my roommate of some bowel authority tells me that bananas are renowned for stopping up pipes, if you will, my heart sank.

The beauty of vomiting and diarrhoea is that they are usual just things that you can ride out, like a stormy sea. Sometimes they are extra intense and you end up dry heaving or dehydrated in the ER with tubes stuck in you, but like a bull ride, they might hurt and feel like you might die at certain points (the good ones anyway) they are violent events you can feel with your gut (and related tubes and systems thereof). The come, kick the living shit out of you, and leave you left for dead, but nonetheless alive. Constipation on the other hand, is psychological abuse.

My father, and this is the honest to god truth, ask any one who grew up in the house I did, used to say “if you don’t eat you don’t poop, if you don’t poop you die.” This is scary shit for a little kid. Poop is all fun and games and a humorous happy place you go on school buses and recesses with your friends, to connect it to death is seriously frightening. But it is also sage medical advice, that child will then know that if they ain’t poopin’ something is wrong. Now it may be that they aren’t eating enough. But the thought had never occurred to my 8-year old brain that maybe it was because I had just eaten 10 bananas because I thought it was funny and could convince others that it was “art.” Sweet Jesu Bambino! I was afraid for my life.

It just isn’t the threat of imminent poop-deprived death that fucks with your head while awaiting the next scheduled BM that may or may not ever come that makes contending with constipation unbearable. It makes you sick. And the only way to fix it varies from extremely (see: diarrhoea) to EXTREMELY (see: enema, and I am not talking the Gene Hackman and Will Smith conspiracy thriller) unpleasant. Any digestive malady that cannot be treated by delicious Pepto-Bismol or tasty Tums (both could be ice cream flavours, were they not stricken with the poopin’ n’ pukin’ stigma) is something to be extraordinarily weary off. Especially when it is something that old people subject themselves to tortures like fibre supplement drinks, bran muffins, bran flakes, prunes, prune juice, and having vacuum tubes stuck into places where the sun don’t shine to suck out any remaining sunshine and/or red meat.

A quick rule of thumb is the more harsh the treatment the more harsh the malady. If the medicine tastes like cotton candy you are likely a wuss and could have gone with out, if the treatment tastes like cardboard and/or involves a camera taking extreme close-ups of your rectum that is really too bad, and all the way up to extremely hazardous heavy metals that make your hair fall out. A colonoscopy or enema is no chemo therapy, but it certainly isn’t any pink walk in the park either. If spewing sucks and diarrhoea is the shits, then constipation is something else all together.

So I waited. And waited. And checked my watch. And my brow became more furrowed with each second that passed. And I thought fondly of the days when vomiting was to be a hilarious denouement and diarrhoea was to be an unfortunate consequence/precursor to a great story. Yes, I was wishing for a kind fate like the spews or the runs. If only I were a lucky man.


Saturday dragged into Sunday.


Sunday dragged on and on and on into Monday.


My friends (and dad), you will relieved to know that I have not died, that like clock-work, the next train pulled into station right on schedule at work Monday morning. I will spare you all details on what state the train arrives in the station after being delayed by a banana storm. Just be glad it arrived and everyone survived.

Aren’t you glad you waited over a month for this update?

…upon further review that whole ordeal I just wrote and you just presumable read is totally disgusting. Many apologies…

For your patience here is an alternative angle of me eating the first 2 of 10 train delaying bananas and reading a pretty sub-par...er, great...poem.

Banana Man from morganeliasmurray on Vimeo


Anonymous said...


Tam said...

LMAO...now THERE is a post to make Dad proud! LMAO OK, seriously, I have not laughed that hard in many moons, and it is a precarious situation what with the lactose fairy visiting. Thanks for that. Mom has GOT to read this...but maybe give her a few days.

Miss you Poopslinger.