Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TMI: The Three Alarm Fire

Note to the reader: This story is a bit detailed in unsightly ways. If you have issues with poo or my butt, then I recommend not reading it. In fact, I recommend not reading any of this blog. This story is possibly my longest ever, but as my friend Adam reminded me, these are the "long winded stories of your average nerd". So suck it up.

On Saturday I had a date. That's right. Go back and read it again if you want. Double check the spelling. I didn't stutter. Even more amazing is that it was in fact the second date. Oddly enough, the forecast in hell for this week was still "Hot, with a chance of hot"

Longtime readers of the blog should put this day down on their calendar, or at the very least bookmark this post. It wasn't a pretend girlfriend. It wasn't some neighbor twin randomly crawling in to my bed. It wasn't some weird Chilean girl stringing me along. It was an honest to goodness date. And before you ask, yes she even knew it was a date, and no I didn't have to tip her afterwards.

I met Roseann a few months ago when we were both swimming with the dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. She told me she was there on vacation. I was on a Top Secret mission for CONTROL, a government agency dedicated to stopping KAOS from world domination. It turned out she was actually a KAOS agent, but we realized too late... far too late for our hearts.

Okay, that might not be entirely accurate.

I met Roseann where all good nerds meet, on the Internet. She had a profile picture of herself dressed up as a zombie. What nerd can resist a girl who dresses up as a zombie? We exchanged a few messages and hit it off pretty quickly.


When Hollywood buys the rights to this story and makes a movie, the tag line will read, "She was a zombie and he was a brain. It was love at first bite."

Roseann lives in Tucson which is about a hundred miles from Phoenix. She met me for gelato one Friday while she was on her way to Cali, and then dinner the following Monday on her way back.

She's short, cute, and possibly even nerdier than I am(Read: Awesome, Awesome, Awesome). Things progressed well, and after a few meetings and one official "date", it was my turn to go down to Tucson this past weekend.

When I was 17 I was having some serious stomach issues. Almost every day, first period study hall was spent with a trip to the restroom. It was bad enough that I finally visited the doctor who told me it was stress. I protested the diagnosis and demanded pills, but he stood firm, unlike my stool.

I would later find that two things set it off. First was lack of sleep, and second was being nervous.

I woke up early on Saturday. I hadn't slept well the previous night due to the fact that I was a bit nervous/excited, and also because the guy 2 floors down was having a party until about 4am. I packed a change of clothes and some other things, and set out. 2 hours later I arrived in Tucson, and that's when my stomach fired the first warning shot. It grumbled loudly as if to say, "You got me out of bed at 8am for Tucson? For Tucson?"

After silent pact with God, Allah, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, and a stop off at the CVS restroom, I was back on the road.

Roseann and I had planned to "hike" a trail near her house. I use the quotes because I don't really consider it a hike. It was a paved path, and clocked in at just under 2 miles. She had spent the previous week making fun of me for being a nerd who wouldn't exercise or be in the sun, and I had been playing in to it by complaining about the possibility of a hike and anything that would involve me sweating (Mind out of the gutter, Mom). Due to her incessant teasing I was determined to not show an ounce of weakness, to tackle the hike like a champ.

The hike was quite easy and we soon found ourselves at the end. We relaxed for a moment on a bench before the second warning shot was fired. Like a woman 8 months pregnant my stomach kicked again, "You got me out of bed at 8 am on a Saturday, and made me hike?"

At this point I took a moment to use the restroom that was conveniently located near the bench. Everything again went fairly well, but it was the beginning of the end.

I was a few steps back down the path when I realized I had contracted fire ass.

I've done an opinion survey of several of my friends to discuss this phenomenon in preparation for this story. Over 90% of men surveyed immediately knew what fire ass was. "Oh yeah.... like when you feel like your stomach acid is somehow burning your ass from the outside in? But you know you wiped. You double wiped," one anonymous reader named Sean said. The number of women who were familiar with this term, however, was significantly less.

For those not familiar, and thank your stars that you aren't, The Journal of the American Medical Association describes fire ass as:

An affliction, most often found in men, which arises after a particularly rough trip to the restroom(See Also: Assplosion). Common symptoms include an ass that feels as though it's on fire. There is no known cure for fire ass although some preliminary experimental Australian research has shown a positive reaction to ice cream. No further details are available at this time and it is important to note that this research is still considered highly experimental. If you or someone you know suffers from fire ass, it is best to limit walking as friction is known to aggravate the issue.

The problem for me at this point was that I was still roughly 2 miles from the car, and on a second date. The Emily Post Etiquette guide states that Fire Ass is to be discussed no sooner than the third date, so at this point my hands were tied.

Necessity is the mother of invention, so more accurately, my hands were placed firmly in the back pockets of my pants providing a slight lift and separation that was hopefully unnoticed by my date. I was quite pleased with myself for this maneuver, but more pleased with the relief that it gave. We made it back to the car without too much effort and I was relieved to be heading back to her place.

After we showered (We took turns! I don't give up my flower that easily, Mom), we set off to "Hotel Congress". It's one of Roseann's favorite places to eat, and a nice sit down restaurant seemed like a great idea to me at the time.

The meal was fantastic, and the company better. We soon found ourselves walking around downtown Tucson. I did my best to ignore my ailment and focus on the lovely night, but I must admit that by the time we returned to my car the friction had worked the small burning in to a full blown fire. Luckily it was late and we were returning to her house. I hoped the end of the night would involve hanging out on her couch and some light "conversation". I use quotes because I don't mean conversation.

Just as we sat down and began to talk, her dog Reina threw her toy across the room. "Oh, she probably needs to go out" Roseann told me. "If we take her for a walk she'll leave us alone for the rest of the night." Reina is a lovely little Terrier, but she's also 11 years old. She's none too active, so I assumed a short walk around the block would be easy. Besides, the conversation had rejuvenated me, and I was still trying not to show any weakness.

"So how long of a walk do you normally take her for?" I asked nonchalantly as if I didn't really care.
"About a mile or so through the neighborhood" she replied.
"Oh, that's nice" I said, but deep inside my stomach was laughing, "Ha! I told you not to screw with me. Guess we're getting up at 10 next Saturday, aren't we? AREN'T WE?"

By the time we returned I was doing my best to just walk straight. Things were not going well, and my stomach had made it's point. It had won.

Luckily we spent the remainder of the evening inside, and I had a great time.

A few hours and a hundred mile drive later I was back at my condo. Without the date time nerves deadening the pain, the walk from the elevator to my door was very difficult. "I've got to do something about this" I thought as I searched my bathroom for something, anything to help relieve the issue. I then spotted the bottle of lotion. My very naive and tired mind imagined the cool cool lotion and the light bulb went off.

It's worth noting at this point that I told this story to my friend Sarah over lunch today. Sarah is my sounding board for a lot of things, and I was curious if she thought the story was inappropriate for my blog. It was at this exact moment in the story that she covered her mouth and gasped , "Oh... no". She's a nurse, and apparently knew what was coming. Unfortunately, I did not.

I mused for a moment as I oiled up my buttocks that I was finally fitting in at my condo building which sits right in the middle of the gay section of Phoenix.. There was a moment of cool relief that was everything I thought it could be. It was heaven. It was joyous. This was replaced quickly by some form of chemical reaction that, much like the Sarlacc Pit gave me a new definition for pain.

When I was 20 I had a kidney stone. The doctor asked me to measure my pain from 1 to 10. "I don't know. I've never felt this bad, but I've got a feeling it could be worse, so I'm going to give it a 7." He responded with a snort, "7? I would think that if it was a 7 you wouldn't be able to talk"

I had found 8.

I stumbled to the shower and threw the water on full blast. In my haste I had forgotten one important piece of information about living in a condo. The position that you set the dial for "warm" water in the morning, when I and most of the tenants normally shower, is quite different from the position of "warm" at 3am.


I kicked the water off with my left foot and jumped out of the shower in pain. I had now achieved 3 very distinct levels of burning, and at this point gave up and went to bed. I laid in silence in the fetal position for a good while before finally sleeping.

Yes, there's a Johnny Cash joke in there somewhere, but like a sixteen year old nerd after prom, I just couldn't figure out where to put it in.


  1. I just threw up in my mouth...oo I had fruit loops for breakfast! (also file this in the category of 'TMI')

  2. i now have the image of you lubing up your brown eye with lotion engraved forever in the walls of my memory.

    and i will be saving that image for later, when i have my OWN bottle of lotion.

    and "paved hiking"?? as mory would say, really? REALLY?? you've already had bootcamp for that deployment.

  3. Hi. I'm Sara, and I too experience fire ass quite frequently.

  4. I never get too old to learn something new, but, fire ass???? Really? Keep the info coming so I too can become informed. Brenda