Friday, March 4, 2011

Story Time (*edited)

It's Friday. There is sun shining. I'm wearing pink with strips and a nice little flower....

Which means it's story time!

Actually it means that I'm trying to trick myself into being cheerful and not dwell on the fact that it's still so very cold out and I'm starting to have the transparent, death walking skin tone. But, since no one wants to hear me whine about winter another second, I shall entertain you, as well as myself, with some tales of old.

(* My maiden name was Stidd. Because I realized the story doesn't make sense unless you know that, but that probably means you don't actually know me in which case most of what I say doesn't make sense.)

A Case of the Flaming Stidds

It was the eve of my second trimester of chiropractic school and I was settling into a new house rented with several of my classmates. There was a welcome dinner on campus for the incoming class and I had volunteered to be mentor to help guide a new student through the strange and unusual path they had chosen. The house was very close to campus and a group of fellow mentors had gathered ahead of time to catch up on happenings over break and relax before heading over to the dinner. Laughter and chattered filled the living room.

I leaned forward over the pink pedestal sink brushing my teeth vigorously. My short mushroom cut curls hair tousled lightly over my face. I leaned further forward to move it away from my eyes. Spit, rinse, tap the brush over the edge of the sink in a routine pattern. A strange scent started to filtrate my nostrils. Standing erect, now staring directly into the mirror with flames bursting from the crown of my head. Screams developed from my gut before I even realized what was really happening. A crowd quickly gathered with hands and shirt sleeves covering their mouths to avoid inhaling the terrible smell of burning hair. Tears were streaming down my face as a patted away at the scorch area and chunks of curly, seared locks fell to the floor.

There had been a candle lit by my roommate on the ledge of the sink. As I was leaning forward my hair had fallen just enough to catch the edge of the flame. As luck would have it, the small bald and fire seared patch was easily covered by the rest of my thick, crazy curls. Expression of shock, terror, and disgust quickly transformed to grins of laughter.

Dinner came and went. The trimester instantly in full swing. An intense course schedule that allowed for no warm up period. The days consumed with hour after hour of lecture. Lectures filled with all the same classmates. The same faces that you survived the tortures of the previous trimester. The same people that you study with, each lunch with, and spend Thursday nights drinking $2 beers with at the one local bar. A crowd that clearly knows your business, like it or not. As class president, my business seemed even more available to the public, if that was possible.

As luck would further have it, several weeks into the trimester I was noted to be exiting classes on a frequent and urgent basis. Urgency that lead me to bounds of blood work, dietary changes, a gastroenterologist with a funny accent, stool samples, a colonoscopy, and a large group of people taking note of it all. Somewhere along the line a clever friend and fellow classmate recalled the night, only a few months before, when he stood at the doorway of the pink tile bathroom, gagging over the smell of burning hair. And it was born. An urgent need to relieve ones bowels otherwise known as 'a case of the Flaming Stidds'

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