Everyone in America knows Jacquie is gaseously challenged.
That didn’t bother me when we started dating. I mean, the asthma attacks, the burning eyes, the emergency room visits, and the flash fires, I could deal with all that. I just kept telling myself that some day I would be dead and it would all be over, and that made it all ok.
Besides, you have to put things in perspective. We lived in Greenpoint, a convenient few blocks away from New York City’s largest aggregation of excrement, the Newtown Creek Waste Treatment Facility, famous for its egg-like “digester tanks,” known to the locals as the Shit Tits.
Now how much more noxious, I used to ask myself, could Jacquie’s effluvium possibly be stacked up against those four giant Shit Tits?
A little, but that’s not the point. The point is, I held my nose and, because I wasn’t busy that Saturday, got hitched up to my special lady.
It didn’t take long, however, for the true dimensions of Jacquie’s intestinal character to manifest. One day, we were late heading to a friend’s party. As we rushed toward the turnstiles to catch an arriving subway train, Jacquie dropped her Metrocard. I got a little impatient.
“We’re going to miss the train,” I said.
“Don’t rush me,” she said. “You wouldn’t like me when I’m rushed.”
“If we’re late it’s your fault.”
She grit her teeth, snarled, and her irises turned yellow. From the sulfur. “I warned you,” she said. “I am Blastula.”
I was scared. I won’t lie. I watched Blastula bend to pick up her Metrocard. The resulting pressure in her abdominal cavity must have been too much. It squeezed out a fart that rocketed her over the turnstile and into the waiting subway train just before the doors closed behind her. The irony is, she got to the party on time, and I was late. But what I saw that day was something I never wanted to see again. Blastula is someone you don’t want to meet in a dark alley unless you have a match and you want to see a fireworks show.
So when Jacquie told me a few weeks back that we were being evicted thanks to Blastula, I didn’t want to believe her. I didn’t want Blastula back in my life, in our life. Ruining everything. If it were Blastula, we surely would be evicted, no question. But if it were something else, maybe I could convince our landlord to let us stay. So I waited for my flight to Auckland, thinking of possible alternative reasons for our landlord’s displeasure.
To be honest, Jacquie and I haven’t been the best of neighbors. Since we lived in Mt. Eden, property values have bottomed out, and we are not welcome in most shops. Because of the sulfur.
So, maybe if it were something else, some particular episode, we could apologize and make things right. I remembered:
1. The Girl Guide Episode
It was a cold, rainy afternoon, a typical summer day in New Zealand. There’s a knock at the door, and I open it and standing there are these 10-, 11-year-old girls that to my recollection looked a lot like the one in this police sketch:
I stifled my desire to scream in terror, fearing that it would only make matters worse to agitate the Girl Guides.
“Would you like to support the Girl Guides by buying some biscuits?” the leader said.
I thought the only way to get rid of these meth addicts would be to buy a couple of boxes. And thinking that the “Girl Guide” “biscuits” would be just like a Girl Scout cookies–you know, edible–I thought, everyone wins. But mostly me because I’d have a delicious cookie, and I would longer live in fear.
So I bought two boxes and sampled one of these “biscuits”.
“Oh, my god,” I said. I spat out half an uneaten cookie. “Girls, come back here a minute. Where did you make these cookies? In pottery class? I think you need to give me my money back.”
They were flummoxed, but I was able to get my money back when Jacquie threatened to fart near them.
2. The pet ducks episode
One day Jacquie wanted a pet duck.
She wouldn’t be dissuaded.
“I always had a duck growing up,” she said. “It had its own duck pond, but it liked to swim with us in the people pool and she and the hen used to clutch their eggs together and they were inseparable. We all had ducks growing up.”
So we went to Pet Stop, New Zealand’s one stop shop for all your pet needs.
“Oh, no, Jacquie, we’re too late.”
“I want a pet duck,” she said.
Her irises turned yellow. So we bought all the pet ducks that were hanging the shop window, plus a nice plastic pool for them to swim in.
Then we came home and let the ducks go free on the lawn we shared with our neighbors and their two young children who liked to play on that lawn.
But the ducks seemed unresponsive, and pretty soon, we lost interest in them, but our neighbors kept giving us looks, because every time they passed our door, Jacquie was passing gas.
3. The newspaper headline episode
One day I was sitting on the front step reading the local free newspapers, when Matt, the neighbor-husband came home from work.
“Simon, I’ve been meaning to ask what you planned to do with these, um, ducks you’ve left on the lawn.”
“Our pet ducks?”
“Yes, well, they’re not much for pets now, ever since the rats got to them. Oh, there’s one now.”
“Yes, well, um.”
“You think we should take them to the vet? They look like they might have rabies.”
Matt was speechless, probably out of respect for our poor ducks, which at that very moment were being attacked by another wave of rats.
“Hey,” I said. “Cheer up. Check out this terrible headline.”
Matt read the headline. “What’s wrong with it?”
“It’s a lie. How in the world can lepers touch anything?”
“You’re a dick.”
Just then, there was an extended, muffled rumbling from within our flat.
So, the Girl Guides hated us, our neighbors hated us, and the lepers hated us. Not to be redundant.
And remembering all those episodes, I knew there would be no pleading. Blastula, I realized, was involved in every situation.
When I returned home, Jacquie was in high spirits.
“I’ve already found us an apartment, in Parnell.”
The highest concentration of wankers in New Zealand.
“You’ll love it,” Jacquie said. “It’s got a washing machine, and it’s in a historic deco building. Called Alcázar. Like in Spain. See?”
Come back soon for the exciting epilogue to this incredibly stupid blog post.