In order to weave my terrible tale I need to take you back a little further...back to last century, the year is 1999. I would come to think of this year in my life as...The Year of Farting Dangerously..
By 1999 I knew that I had an extraordinary ability to fart. As a baby I was very sick with gastric. I firmly believe that such an experience along with average 1970's Newcastle Hospital medical care and medication changed me forever. I began to wonder how far I could take my farting. I studied chemistry and learnt that the best farts were the product of long chain esters and methane compounds. The only difference between an average fart and a guaranteed room clearer was often no more than an extra benzenoate strand. I began to wonder if it was possible to manipulate the chemistry of ones own farts to achieve such superior results. I commenced a journal on the project immediately.
As a long term fan of Frank Herbert's novel Dune, I was fascinated by the ability of the Benne Geserit's to control their own body chemistry to neutralise poisons. I adopted a similar mental training program that would bring me closer to beginning to take my digestive process out of 'auto' and to start playing an active role into deciding when certain chemicals would be released by my digestive organs to produce effects optimised for farting.
I evaluated certain foods and techniques such as holding in your shit or 'baking' ones stool as well as swallowing air. The results were formidable but I began to plateau. I needed to break through to the next level somehow. The answer to my prayers came soon after when it was announced that my submarine would be doing a six month deployment to Hawaii and Alaska. I began packing immediately.
The Perth to Hawaii leg passed largely without incident, I did perfect my technique however. The control room of a submarine can have as many as 20 people in it at any one time, all are on watch and are not permitted to leave the compartment - the perfect environment in which to ply my trade.
My standard 'go to move' was the 'dump and burn'. So I would dump my guts right behind someone and then walk to the other side of the room and pretend to check some guage or instrument. Seconds later the screams of panic and the cry of "Who whipped em?"would become a chorus. Many would assume however that the first person to have registered the stench was the guilty party and hence he would be blamed as the entire compartment filled with an almost visible haze. I even developed my own trademark variation on this attack which I termed 'The Sickly Gazelle'. The technique called for someone to be isolated and occupied in reading. I would circle them dropping precision packages at every point of the compass. I would pause to randomly check instruments and guages to divert any suspicion. Once my circle was complete I would cease delivery and the return to my part of the control room. My circular movement would create a temporary vortex around the victim which would circulate the oxidising stench to the victim alone. The victim would protest uncontrollably but no one else would even register the impending doom "what are you talking about, no ones farted?" a good 15-20 seconds later the vortex effect would breakdown and the creeping doom would diperse itself. Secondary victims were of course now even more sure that the target was the offender and was trying to pass off the responsibility.
It was during the 2 week maintenance period in Hawaii that I made some extraordinary discoveries that were to lead to frightening results. As Navigator, I had no responsibilities alongside for maintenance and so was able to run my own routine. I spent most of the time surfing at Waikiki and started drinking at Dukes around 5 every night. I found that Gordon Birsh beers produced the most pungent effects due to the high floral notes of the beer. The best strip club was right next to McDonalds. This was in the heady days prior to Super size me and so products hitherto unknown to the Australian market were suddenly available to me such as quadruple cheeseburgers. The combination was devestating, my hotel room smelt like an abatoir, yet after a week - again I was levelling out. The next day would change all that.
I got down early to Hans Heidermans surf school to hire the best glassed board again before the noobs got them all. It looked pretty small out there so I took out the 10 foot Yater Spoon he had available. The guy warned me that there was a 6 foot swell due later that morning and I might want to go a bit shorter. I couldnt see it getting any bigger so just went out on the spoon. I got a few nice clean rides around Queens but noticed that every time I was paddling out it was definetly picking up. I didnt get a wave for 20 minutes at one stage and when I did get one it had easily jacked from a 2 foot to a six foot face from when I paddled out earlier. Managed to grab some awesome rides but on my last one it was big eneough for the wave to jack up and get super hollow at Queens. I didnt read it at all and nosedived horribly on the Yater. After a good 30 second hold down I took in a fair bit of water and wore the rest of the sets on my head. Dusted myself off and took the board back in. No harm done - or so I though. Later that night it was like one half of my stomach was bloated or distended. I began massaging it and almost immediately felt the desire to fart. I cautiously peeled one off and wafted it towards my face - almost immediately I was reeling. I can only describe the smell as a blend of rancid beef dripping and rotting seaweed. The rancid saltwater I had swallowed had enhanced the stench beyond my wildest expectations. Around that time I noticed that periods of incredible stench often proceeded very strange or vivid dreams. I summised that the dreams were an effect of the many excess chemicals being released by my system as it atempted to break down the excesive levels of offal and meat. It gave me an idea though. Would the process work in reverse? Would vivid dreams caused by some exteral means add the mising keyote to my farts I was seeking? I began field trials during my last week in Hawaii. For lunch and dinner I would eat huge plates of Spagetti Vongole. The clams contained small traces of marine toxins that in large concentrations would create the most fantastic dreams. I would have strange visions of travelling underwater in a train at great speeds. In the dream, to calm people down I announced that everything would be fine. When it became clear that it was not the mob started to turn on me, I remember feeling very angry that I was being blamed for this when I had nothing to do with it. Often I would wake from these dreams with my hotel room awash in asmell akin to primordial sea slime. I was so close to the secret but we were due to sail the next day to Alaska and I knew I would not be able to sustain this level of fart intensity - little did I know that this statement was to be very untrue.
We departed Pearl Harbour without incident. I recall coming down off the bridge to a lot of laughing. After inquiring what had happened I discovered that during the maintenance period, we had left the electrical breakers that operate the boats only oven back in Pearl Harbour. Additionally, the Cook had forgotten to pick up the order of milk, bread, eggs and fresh food prior to departure. The concensus was that it was too embarising to turn back and rectify both problems so we pushed on for the 3 week voyage across the Pacific to Alaska. What became swiftly apparent was that for the next three weeks we were only able to eat into the vast amounts of frozen meat held onboard, canned vegetables and dehydrated foods. with the lack of an oven, all of these foods would have to be either boiled or stir fryed. Anyone with any experience in fart artistry knows that there is no greater combination of food and cooking methods to ensure maximum effect; the prospect excited yet scared me at the same time as I sat down to my breakfast of stir fryed beef with canned potatoes and brussel sprouts.
After about two weeks at sea, something extraordinary happened. I shared a 5 berth cabin that was adjacent to the Wardroom. I woke up to hear that there was a meeting going on in the wardroom, I really needed to do a crap but decided to just bake it until the meting was over. I feel back to sleep only to awake about 10 minutes later with what felt like an inflated baloon in my colon. I tensed my anus to focus the blast and magnify the noise. After 5 seconds I realised that something was wrong, already the compartment was filling with a vile acrid odour yet I still had a solid 7 seconds of air time remaining - had I gone too far? The reassuring warmth around my anus that often accompanied especially pungent farts rose to a painful level and I was about to yell out just as it ceased. I relaxed immediately and the swamp gas settled around me like a shroud. Unexpecedly, a few seconds alter I heard the meeting cease. There were a few awkward pauses and then some laughter. I heard the Engineer yell, "No it's Nav, he was doing those all last night on watch as well" the door burst open, "Nav, go to the toilet and do a shit" the meeting broke up in laughter but suddenly a dark realsiation dawned on me. Not only had I progressed from clearing the room I was in but seemingly I had now managed to clear adjacent rooms. Had I managed to project the fart through the wall? The door itself had the finest of gaps at the base, had I instead created enough of a positive presure in the cabin to force the stench through that gap? Either option was stunning in its realisation. That remains the greatest fart of my life and it ensured my legacy. The benzene / methane chain was now complete, the last keynote in place..quite simply, it was the perfect fart.
Over the coming days before we got into Ketchikan, Alaska I noticed that something had changed, word of my accomplishment had travelled quickly onboard. I heard nicknames such as 'The Spleen' being whispered about me. People avoided me in passageways and as a joke, men put on their flask masks to cover their noses when I went on watch - I had arrived.
As we arrived in port I was eager to try out my perfected powers against an unwitting public. When we arrived, the local Sheriff listed the main bars we should avoid due to alcohol related violence. Once leave was piped we proceeded directly to them.
The scene of my finest achievement but ultimate doom was to be an establishment known as 'Pete's Pit'. It was by now late October and we were well into the dark winter of the north. It was 3:30 in the afternoon and already the town was cast in a gloomy twilight which would be pitch black by 4 in the afternoon. Pete's Pit was located on the fishermans wharf. Alaskan King Crab, Salmon and Halibut were the main catch in the region and Ketchikan maintained a massive fleet. As we entered the bar I caught site of a newly arrived ship processing their catch on the docks. Poor quality salmon were being thrown gut, scales and all into what I can only describe as a converted woodchipper - similar to the one that Steve Buscemi's character was stuffed into in Fargo. A 30 pound fish would be thrown in, there was a horrible grating noise and the residual pulp was being barrowed into the canning facility down the wharf. Rough looking fishos with blood spattered dungarees that went up to their chests smoked out the front as the smokestacks billowed behind them. Sight of these proceedings made entering Pete's Pit a harrowing experience.
Inside the place was heaving. Pete's Pit was a fusion between a south Australian RSL that doesent have any money because pokies are banned and a sports bar. Plasma screens that would proudly display horse and football results back home were replaced by aging conventional tubed televisions mounted on groaning ceiling supports. There were about 50 people in the bar, all fisherman, some having returned that day from a 6 week stint at sea, all were gathered in tables named after their boats. We drew immediate attention but were soon accepted as being permitted to stay. 'The Persephone' was still out fishing so we were told it would be okay to sit at that table. Jugs of Alaskan Pale Ale flowed.
My memories become a little hazy at what happened next, perhaps it was the beer or maybe it was the bear jerky being sold at the bar. Then again, probaly it was just the sheer impetuance of youth, the lack of experience in how to control such as devestating power as the one that resided in me. In hindsight, I could have worked that bar all night, I could have moved from table to table, peeling off farts at random intervals and times that would have had the entire place tearing itself apart to identify who did it - but I didnt.
Scanning the bar I noticed an older fisherman reading a paper at a small table by himself, there were several pictures and plaques on the walls nearby - the perfect rouse for the 'sickly gazelle' technique. As I closed on my quarry something went wrong, for some reason I decided mid flight to go for a sickly gazelle / prolonged burn combo. What was I thinking? Sure there were stories of it being attempted in Indonesian nightclubs but here? It was too late to question myself. I circled the lone fishermean, stopping to read some plaque listing life time members and another which was an add for a deckhand position. I completed my 360 degree manouve with devestating precision. Immediately I made a B line for the bar, and commenced a prolonged burn manouvre and peeled a continuous fart line for a good 20 metres. I swerved and weaved behind several other tables to disguise my passage. The clawing fingers of the stench were following me but I quickly stopped at the ATM to one side of the bar and pretended my card didnt work, I deftly used this time to walk in a smal circle - thus creating a small vortex that locked the entire passage of the fart into a circle at both ends. It was the finest and boldest piece of 'fart weaving' I had ever attempted.
As I ordered the drinks I watched the reaction within the bar from the corner of my eye. Tables began looking at each other and men began smiling, conversations stopped. The lone fisherman was standing up now and waving his paper around to disipate the haze. I returned through the crowd with my beers, surrounded by chaos. As I arrived back at our table, our boats engineer walked into the bar. "Holy phuk Nav, are you still doing those?" The bar broke up but not everyone was laughing. The bartender came over to our table, he was a very wideset man with enormous fisherman hands, he towered over everyone. As is written in the town charter, bar owners in Ketchikan are allowed to wear a sidearm at all times, this man offered no diversion from the ruling and I noticed a .38 pistol holstered at his belt. He reached out and put his hand on my shoulder,
"Son, you cant do that in here, these people come here to drink. Now you go and get rid of that dead rat in your **** and you can come back, but I aint gonna let you use my heads because I'm the one that cleans it" he reached out and grabbed my beer.
"I'm gonna keep this behind the bar fer whern you get back" I felt humiliated, I asked my table if anyone had seen a hungry jack or McDonalds that had a toilet but they wouldnt stop laughing. As I trudged out of the bar I looked back to see tables of fishermen cheering.
It was bitterly cold outside, I started walking up towards the main street and mercifully saw the lights of a Burger King. I didn't care anymore, I wanted this thing out of me. I pushed open the door of the restaurant, families gathered at quiet tables. I moved towards the toilet sign, trying the door to the males I realsied that it was locked, it was one of those one shitter only Burger Kings. Fear gripped me, against hope I tried the door to the Parent Room and it swung open. I entered, pushing the nappy table out of the way and bolted the door behind him. Throwing back the lid I seated myself.
Everything was crystal clear, objects had a superfine metalic egde to them, I heard The Rolling Stones song 'Wild Horses' playing on the PA system and I unloaded. There was an initial airburst that had a little bit of blood in it - I pushed on, a great pain started descending towards my anus. Just then I heard a mother and child outside of the Parents Room. They were speaking in Spanish so I didnt know what they were saying. Suddenly a huge mass passed into the bowl, for a second I detected a faint slithering? A skittering noise almost? I leapt off the bowl and quickly wiped. As I prepared to flush I averted my eyes from what was in the bowl, my finger found the button and I started to push the metal knob down, ,my eyes peeped over the rim and the sight was to be one of the most abject scenes of horror I was ever to experience. As I flushed the bowl, I clearly saw a bubble rise from the miasma of shit and pop like something on a mud pit. Could it be that something was under there, aspirating! breathing! Was there something alive in the bowl? I would never know for sure as the offending matter passed from this world into the next - well into the Ketchikan Harbour anyway.
I gathered myself together and left, the mother and young child were talking, the kid was clearly busting for a crap. She smiled at me but as I passed, pulling the wake of unholy stench behind me she became totally silent. I left into the night and found my way back to the bar. As I entered I received a standing ovation from the bar, the bartender handed me back my beer - I jumped into the air and punched the sky.