Gut feeling

Gut feeling

Some people enjoy their vacations. Vic Vacant enjoyed his evacuations. Each morning he entered his favourite deposit box, sat between the lips of heaven and pushed to produce a turd royale, a turd for all seasons, a turd of the third degree. 

He sat now ruminating on the genres of turd he had experienced, ranging in consistency from hard to soft. Firstly there was Rabbit Drops. If he hadn’t eaten much, and had been exercising, he would produce collections of hard round brown pebbles. The larger collections were quite satisfying, and displayed in the bowl like a game of aquatic solitaire. 

A symptom of constipation would be the Knobly, a hard dense asteroid of a turd whose passing at its most extreme dimensions was as painful as giving birth, or so Vic imagined. The Knobly would sink or sit low in the water, lurking with a brooding presence. It had to be quickly flushed away – to be punished for its pain quotient. The only good thing about the Knobly was Vic’s sense of relief in its passing, as he dabbed the perspiration on his forehead with a piece of toilet paper. 

The Bouffant was one of his favourites; a thick aerated Richard the Third that expanded as it saw the light of day to sit proudly puffed up in the toilet bowl, like a peacock in full display. It felt to Vic like squeezing paste out of a tube, and once dropped, floated high in the water, varying in colour from light fluffy brown to dark brown with variegated stripes. These were the aircraft carriers of the turd fleet, and in a constricted toilet, could be so long they got wedged in the bend. Truly a faeces for our species. 

A rare state of affairs, but one which gave him almost erotic pleasure, was the Roman Candle, where the gut had a lot of liquid, but carried with it fairly solid mini-turds. They would shoot out like Ping Pong balls, one at a time, creating an inverted Roman Candle effect, each splash in the bowl like a flash burst explosion in the sky. 

Next came the Worm. These were thin rope like turds, that would break off with their own weight, and lie coiled up in the bottom of the bowl like decomposing seaweed. They were non-descript and indistinct bodies, staining the water as they lurked. 

Worst of all, because it was unsatisfying and messy, was Melted Chocolate. It was unsatisfying because it always felt like there was some left inside – Vic could never squeeze it all out. It was messy because the contortions that Vic went through to try and get it out meant it oozed out all around his bottom and enmeshed itself in the hairs between his legs. It took half a toilet roll to clean up. In the bowl it piled up like wet cement. 

As Vic sat on the toilet waiting, his mind moved to the final member of the turd family, and the one that was the most unpredictable. This was the Wet and Gaseous, the Calcutta Splutter, which was often the final manifestation of a gut that felt like a pressure cooker in a boiling cauldron. Vic knew he was in for the Splutter when he felt like an inverted Mount Vesuvius, and worried he would be the first person to be self propelled into space, leaving a massive slick of brown lava covering most of his neighbourhood. When the Splutter came, the full collection capabilities of the toilet bowl were required, as liquid crap somehow managed to come out at almost right angles to his sphincter. 

The other key factor in his appreciation of the end product, which he frequently gazed at lovingly for some minutes, was the toilet design. This is where American toilets came into their own, with bowls like display windows for your faeces, often precision illuminated by downlighters immediately above them. 

But what internal manoeuvres produced Vic’s little brown oeuvres? 

Vic could only imagine the dark underworld of his alimentary network. Little did he know that his whole health and digestive harmony depended on the complicity of the villi. The villi lined the gut wall like mini sea anemones, sucking in nutrients from each bolus of food, and then lovingly passing them down the line from one to another in a caterpillar fashion called peristalsis. 

The sacrosanct ruling of the villi from one generation to the next was that the gut was a one way system; the villi had to work as a team to pass the shit downstream, or there would be chaos. There was absolutely no room for expressions of individuality. If a villi faction decided one day it wanted to go in the other direction, then reflux eat your heart out, the host would end up with a backwardation of tsunami proportions, dying as he literally talked crap. 

For the villi, it was irregular hours. You never got proper warning from the stomach when the next bolus was coming. As for the bacteria, they could do what they wanted, move freely around, but for the villi, their destiny was set, fixed to the gut wall in one place for ever. 

Villus BZ794538AS709451 lived in a part of the gut known locally as Browntown. He was one of the most intelligent villi in Browntown, and intelligence in a purely operational part of the body can be fatal. 

Vinny the Villus, as he was called locally, was vocational in his youth, and saw an important purpose in the mind numbing routine of the job. There was a purity in the relationship between the villi and the ooze they sucked on and then handed down one to the other. Vinny compared the ooze to a stream, and they were the bank. He would often enact a dialogue between them in his head, illustrating the uneasy status quo between the two. 

“I seek nothing. Motion is its own compensation. But you keep me on course, and without you, I would be formless. I owe you so much.” said the stream to the bank. The bank smiled enigmatically, raised a muddy eyebrow, and filed the remark under dubious loans. 

“You’re a constant irrigation,” said the bank to the stream, “but you interest me enough that I will let you flow freely beside me.” 

And so the uneasy relationship between the constant bank and the dynamic body of water was formed. 

But in the last month, things had changed. There would be large periods of inactivity, and then torrents of material. The stream had become turbulent; dangerous. Large indigestible ridged boulders jutted out of the boli, lacerating the villi in the gut wall. As far as Vinny was concerned, the status quo was disturbed; the contract therefore broken. He suspected a higher corporeal force, with no respect for how hard they worked. Vinny wasn’t going to passively comply anymore. He would start a reaction, and he didn’t mean just ulcers. He addressed the villi, and they listened attentively. 

“”Motion is its own compensation!” the food turds chant, ingraining the slogan in the minds of all the villi they pass. It’s an indoctrination, generation after generation, perpetuated by the fluids passing through. But it’s a well worn con. Let me give you a worldly comparison. The help that the banks give to keep a stream on course is a debt that the body of water keeps passing upstream. The banks finally have enough, and contact the dam builders. And so the mounting debts of centuries get paid back as the carefree stream is enslaved, to nurture the local flora and fauna or to generate energy, channelled through concrete ducts, to be ultimately discharged spent and listless. 

That’s the modern order, and it applies just as much on this side of the sphincter as the other! Our complicity is taken for granted. We shouldn’t always have to go the same way. Individuality must be allowed in a democratic alimentary system.” 

Vinny’s passion was inflamed. “Now is the time for revolution! We must have a choice each day about what we agree to pass on!” he shouted. 

The villi cheered their agreement; they weren’t going to be treated like this. No longer “One-way Browntown.” 

They had not figured out how the part influenced the whole, and the whole had never envisaged this kind of thing happening in the part. 

“Vacant, where are you?” I shouted. 

Vic snapped from the weird and shocking daydream he was having. Toilet time should be quality time. He reminded himself not to come to this cubicle again. 

“Over here.” 

“Are you still in the bog? Hurry up, we got to go.” 

“I’ve been having a bit of difficulty. I’ll be right with you.” 

Little did Vic know what had passed that morning, or not passed, was the beginning of his end.

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