Beware Girls Bearing Gifts
A recent reference to laxative use elsewhere on the site triggered a grade school trip down Memory Lane. I was in the fourth grade at the time, and there was this particular girl -- whom I'll call Dotty because she was often just that: dotty -- who had a crush on me. I ignored her all the time, and she didn't like it one bit. (For the record, it wasn't because I am same-sex oriented, either. She had a very obnoxious personality, and though she wasn't unattractive physically, she wasn't particularly popular with anyone else.) So enter the old adage: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Dotty began plotting her revenge, and I barely escaped her wrath.
One morning during homeroom, about fifteen minutes before class started, she came up to me and said she had a treat she wanted to share. It's a universal truth that little boys love chocolate in almost any form, and I was no exception. Dotty held out her hand and said she had brought me some candy -- she said it was a piece of chocolate -- and that it was really delicious, and she hoped I liked it. This seemed like a reasonable proposition to me at first because I knew she was sweet on me. I still had no intention of returning her ardor, but I didn't see any harm in having a piece of candy at her expense, even if I'd recently left home with a good breakfast under my belt.
I accepted her offering, all wrapped up in foil.
I'd never had any experience with laxatives at that point in my life, even though I knew they existed. I'd heard my grandfather mention them once when I was visiting him. He informed me that he'd had to take a dose or something or other so he could go sit on the pot. That's all I knew. So with all innocence I began chewing the piece of chocolate, and although it wasn't the tastiest thing I'd ever sampled, I didn't spit it out.
Dotty, however, couldn't hold back her delight that I had fallen for her nasty little trick. She made the mistake of spilling the beans before my body could commit to doing the same down the line. I will never forget the wicked gleam in her eye as she exclaimed: "Haha! You just put a laxative in your mouth -- that's Ex-Lax!"
Why she didn't wait until I'd swallowed most of it, I don't know. (Unless, subconsciously, she really did like me so much that she didn't want to see any chance at a friendship with me go splat.) Panicked, I rushed over to the trashcan, spit out most of the liquid, and then asked the teacher if I could go to the boys' room. She granted me permission, and I hurried off to the crapper, where I continued to rinse out my mouth at the sink as if I'd swilled battery acid. I knew that I had swallowed a little of the chocolaty mixture, but I hoped that it hadn't been enough to exile me to a morning of moan and groans.
I took my time in the bathroom, waiting around to see if anything was going to happen. Every time I heard something gurgling in my gut, there was a spurt of adrenalin in the middle of my chest. "Oh, no!" I thought. "Is this the way it starts?" I was torn between having to get back to class, which was going to start soon, and making sure that what laxative I'd swallowed wasn't going to hit me right in the middle of our discussion of the exports of Tierra Del Fuego. (I loved geography, and that was our first period subject.)
Fortunately for me, Dotty had warned me in the nick of time; the most I had to endure was a mild fart or two. Gathering up my courage, I returned to class, walking rather gingerly. I monitored every sound my body produced over the next hour or so. Throughout the morning I remained paranoid about what might still happen -- you haven't experienced paranoia until you've had to sweat out an inadvertent dose of laxative. But by lunchtime, I considered that I was home free. No brown rain in my forecast that day.
My take is that this was truly a matter of seconds. Had Dotty waited any longer and allowed me to swallow any more of what I had in my mouth, I likely would have spent most of first period not raising my IQ in class but rather raising the temperature of the porcelain upon which I would have been perched.
Dotty and I remained distant throughout the rest of middle school, junior high, and high school. But she made it clear on several occasions that she still liked me, and in the eleventh grade even asked me out on a date, which I turned down. But at least she wasn't trying to sabotage my bowels any longer. This was both the romance and the ass explosion that was never to be.