How Pepto Bismol Saved the Day

My day on June 10, 2014 started of like any other day, just an hour earlier than normal. My alarm went off at 4:40 am, and I had to get ready to go do some work. I had to give a paleontological training lecture in San Ramon, a town in the Bay Area of San Francisco, about 100 miles away.

I got out of bed, tried (and failed) to get the dog to stay upstairs, and then went downstairs to get ready for the day. I got water boiling for tea, filled up some water bottles, made tea, and then went to get dressed. It was about this time when the dog started to lose her mind.

See, I was going to get to the job site almost two hours early. I figured I could leave at 5am and get to the site two hours early, or I could leave at 6am and get stuck in rush hour commuter traffic and swear at people for three hours and get to the job site on time, maybe. Because I was going get there so early, I figured I might as well get in a run. So, when I got dressed, I put on my running clothes instead of my field clothes.

If I was putting on running clothes, then I was going to go running, obviously. And if I am going running, why wouldn’t I take the dog, right? Well, not this time. But the Dashing Dog is prancing around, rubbing her back on my shoes, and basically going berserk with her, “We’re going running, YAY! My favorite!” I kenneled her so she could be let out 45 minutes later when the rest of the family woke up.

So, I pour my tea, gather my crap, and get in the car.

Great. Low fuel light. So, instead of getting right on the road, I have to go fill up the car. I get the car filled up, and get on the road. I get to the job site about 6:50, and it is a gated community. I tried to talk my way in, but the guard lady said that they can’t let me in until 7:15. Once the gates open, I find out that there are some huge hills where I am working. I mean, massive! (400 foot rise in 0.75 miles.) My dinky car could barely make it up the hills. I drive around the 2.1 mile loop, find a place to park midway up the hill, and get ready for my run.

I decide to start uphill. My thought was, if I start uphill, then I will finish downhill. Well, when you are a Dashing Dumbass and park in the middle of the hill, you have to run up the hill to get back to where you started.

After stretching, I ran for 2 minutes followed by 1 min walking for the first half mile, which actually brought me to the top of the hill. Then a nice jog back down the hill for 1.35 miles. I tried my 2:1 ratio to go back up the hill the second time, and my legs are having nothing to do with that. I end up with 90:90s up the 0.75 miles and 400 foot climb. I get back to the bottom of the hill with 4 miles on my Garmin. I have 0.25 miles back to my starting point.

I ran up these hills

I ran up these hills

I try 60:60s up the hill, and while I am sucking wind, trying to lift my legs of lead (to go with my buns of pewter) up that damn hill, I realize I can get a 10k if I do one more lap. I also realize that if I run along one of the cultisacs (one that was mostly flat), I wouldn’t have to run that 0.25 mile back up the hill. Halfway up the hill, I found a culti-sac that was flat, and ran 0.25 miles on that.

I get to the top of the hill, then fly back down the hill, pushing myself to get my 10k time under 54 minutes. (Total distance 6.25 miles with about 1300 feet of climbing and 1350 feet of decent).

I trudge back up the hill to my car, I try to cool off as best I can, use some baby wipes that were stashed in the car at some point to clean up, and get changed. And by “changed” I mean switch shirts and pull a pair of pants over my running shorts. I was in full view of everybody, and wasn’t going to change in a port-o-potty.

I head over to the construction trailer to give my training lecture.

They have no idea who I am, why I am there, or really what paleontological means (fossils – like dinosaurs bones and stuff). I try to call my contact and he isn’t answering his phone. Neither is my supervisor. I end up driving all over the job site, trying to find out where this guy was. After about 45 minutes, I went back to the trailer and found a guy who had a clue.

He called my contact (on speaker phone), who proceeded to admit that he forgot to tell my company that he wasn’t ready for the training. So, yeah, I drove all the way there for no reason.

I got some more information about the project and then drove home. On the drive, I finished my breakfast of grapes and dried apricots. I got home around 12:30pm and went and took a shower. In my shower my stomach started to grumble. Nothing too bad, just a little rumbly in the tummy. I chocked it up to too many apricots, which always make me a bit gassy.

I started working on some reports that I need to write, and I got a call from a place where I had submitted a job application. I talked to the guy for about 15 minutes and they wanted me to come in for an interview. Since I had time that afternoon, they asked if I could come in to for an interview at 3:30, it was 2pm. I immediately agreed.

However, during the phone conversation, whatever demon that had possessed my bowels started to rise up. A gurgle here, a rumble there. Like distant thunder from a storm way out in the distance, but you can tell it is rapidly getting closer.

I called the Dashing Wife to warn her that I may not be home to have dinner waiting for her when she and the kids got home. I run upstairs to shave and change into some nice clothes. As I was shaving, the T-rex started howling in my stomach.

About a minute later, things got… well….. explosive.

During the next 30 minutes, I went to the bathroom about five times. And each time was an emergency. And not just a, “Officer, I saw some crazy guy banging his head against an ATM” emergency. I am talking “DEFCON 5, scramble the bombers, head for the bunkers” type of emergency.

I was sorting out which of my work clothes had the least amount of wrinkles in between sprints to the bathroom. After trip four, I grabbed some Pepto Bismol. Not just any Pepto, Children’s Chewable Pepto. Why did I choose that? Because that is all I had.

During the 30 minutes before I left the house, I only went to the bathroom a couple more times, but it still felt like I had an Alien vs. Predator fight going on in my gut. I couldn’t back out of my interview. Things are getting tight in the Dashing household.

It was quickly approaching 3pm, so I took one more trip to the restroom to do my best to exorcise the demons, I got dressed (I didn’t want any more wrinkles in my clothes than I already had), and drove to my interview. The rumbling had died down a bit more, down to large dump truck level. But I was still letting out farts like that scene in Blazing Saddles. The smell was not pleasant.

"More beans Mr. Taggart?"

“More beans Mr. Taggart?”

I showed up to the office, let one last one go, and used all of my will to retain as much methane in my system as possible. I went through the interview with no audible or scent based stomach issues, but I could still feel the bubbling cauldron boiling away in my belly.

The interview lasted about an hour, and when it was done, I walked out of the office, out of the building, took about eight steps away as I waited for the door to close, made sure nobody was around, and then…. I released the Kraken.

I had been riding a bucking bronco for an hour, and then finished it with an eight second ride. It sounded like I stepped on a goose. Boy did it feel good.

The weird thing was that it was the last issue of the day. My stomach had no more rumblings, there was no more explosiveness, and no more gas.

Apparently, my gastric distress served me well. I ended up getting hired, and I started last Monday.

So, thank you Pepto Bismol for getting me a job.

2 thoughts on “How Pepto Bismol Saved the Day

  1. […] bit, I need to tell you about my time leading up to the race. First, as you may have read in the post right before this one (which was three weeks ago), I now have a full time job as an archaeologist. It has been going […]

  2. […] I would be working full time, other weeks I would not work at all. But back in June of 2014, I got a full time job. After a couple months at my new job, there are some things that I enjoy about working full time […]

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