A Symphony of War Farts! (A Colonoscopy Story)

It’s been roughly two decades since I found myself surrounded by a cacophony of comedic surround sounds, all permeating from the exit holes of a room full of practical comatose humans. And I was the unsuspecting audience member of this oddly tuned and off putting orchestra of the orifices. 


A better man than myself would describe this moment as a disgusting, inharmonious, sweeping sound of fuming flatulence. But I’ve always simply referred to it as a symphony of farts! I wouldn’t say I was the proud John Williams-like maestro, standing front and center and directing these whimsical winds exploding around me like it was all being mastered in THX or Dolby Surround Sound, but I was in the middle of it and I did find myself playing an instrument. In a sense. 


Moments like this really highlight a young person’s ignorance to these types of medically momentous occasions. Here I am, smack dab into my quarter-life, a new father and husband, without even an associate’s degree to my name, yet I’m draped in the same universal blue scrubs every doctor and surgeon wears on TV, and apparently in reality as well. 


My instrument? My then-wife (Editor’s Note: Though the marriage lasted almost 15 years and made a family with 5 kids, it didn’t last. The jury is still out on whether or not this was the catalyst that caused the relationship to shit the bed (Heh!) but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that this was the first crack in the porcelain potty either). I had been instructed by the doctor, who’d followed the rolling hospital bed straight from where the colonoscopy had been performed, directly to the large waiting room where I’d also just found myself in, to rub the belly of the gassy beast. It was a waiting room where each patient was only separated by walls of colorful cotton sheets; this would be a room that I would quickly learn we were not alone in.  I was told that rubbing the stomach would help the gas travel and expel itself from the body. What wasn’t explained, but perhaps was implied, was the fact that the expelled gas would soon come forth like an angry demon; and I was now the metaphorical priest put in charge of this exorcism! 


As I began rubbing her distended belly, first clockwise and then counter clockwise, I couldn’t help but think that maybe they filled her up with concrete instead of gas. She literally had a rock hard gut. Around the time I started feeling some seismic activity rumbling from just north of her nether regions, I heard what sounded like the piercing sound of helium escaping from a balloon. First, it was a high squeak that turned into an almost 10 second long Uzi like rapid fire of asshole tearing butt vibrations! 


This wasn’t coming from within my cotton filled confines, though; this came from behind me, from some other neighboring sheeted room. Suddenly, another shotgun blast came from next door, quickly followed by three grenades going off two doors down. I, being the mature man that I was at the time, bit my lip till I tasted blood in an attempt to keep from bursting out with laughter! I began to realize that this was less a room for waiting and more of a metaphorical trench and I was surrounded by the enemy! This was D day and my instrument wasn’t so much for playing music but more for aural artillery. And that’s when the carpet bombing began. 


It was a war on all fronts. Some would say it was music to their juvenile ears while others would suffer PTSD and need years of therapy after surviving this unexplained phenomenon that happens after a colonoscopy. Again, this symphony of farts, no, this symphony of war farts, was rapid fire one second and explosive the next! For over twenty minutes I held back laughter as I became a prisoner of war! There was nothing I could do but rub the softening tummy of my patient till the battle cries faded and everyone ran out of ammo! 


At one point, I was convinced that I was being punked. How could I not? This was such a bombastic, ridiculous moment. It was so over the top and something, to me, that felt like it was pulled from a bad SNL sketch or even something that might have aired during one of the first few seasons of Family Guy. But it was none of that. It was real. Very real and something that should probably be on the first page of the brochure. It should be something discussed with the patient and their company. There should be signs posted everywhere. “Please be mindful of the varying degrees of sounds produced from the patients as they recover in this room.” Hell, they could even add something in fine print like, “The sounds are neither silent, nor deadly. While they may be an assault on some of your senses, they bear no ill will to your sense of smell. You’re welcome.”


This warning is my way of giving back to the young and the ignorant. The brave and the bold family and friends who may find themselves as the plus one to an upcoming colonoscopy. You’ve been informed. You now know what to expect if you aren’t the patient, but instead an unlicensed nurse to the colonoscopy patient… which I was and I was neither informed nor warned of such an odd occurrence… but I’m kind of glad I wasn’t. Farts are funny. No matter the age. Not for everyone obviously, but hopefully my girlfriend, because she will soon be sitting front and center in what I’ve always called The Symphony of Farts and maybe she’ll bring her AirPods and listen to a podcast and be none the wiser…. But this time I’ll be the rock gutted war torn butt bomber in need of belly rubs and a ride home and I’ll be absolutely clueless to how much shame I’ve inflicted onto her. But not for very long. Once the drugs wear off and my high powered intellect is fully back on line and my boring and responsible self is able to get to the microphone, I’ll have her share her version of my colonoscopy to me for the first time!


I don’t have a date scheduled yet. But I’ve been told to wait by the phone for the referral call that will be coming any day now. I’ll be honest, I’m not looking forward to this. This was recently discussed on The Deconstructing Dad podcast and spending the day drinking some crap that just makes you go crap till you’re no longer full of crap doesn’t sound appealing to me whatsoever. Then again, the idea of doing all of this for another funny story to share… well that is something I live for. I crap you not! 


To Be Continued… (On both the Deconstructing Dad Podcast and Blog)

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