E@L's intestinal ethanol absorption seems to have resulted in a bout of stomach problems that you probably don't really want to hear much about. But gentle and faithful readers, tough, you're getting the details anyway.
The effective parts of the day began at 4:40pm at an Irish pub near Boat Quay (working from home again) when the first Guinness was ordered. Due to some confusion thanks to a certain person's (not E@L) impenetrable Aussie accent and ferociously fast delivery - "Twoaneruffpines" - was what E@L heard. Play-back half speed - two and a half pints. Geddit? Sure enough the Singaporean waitress didn't geddit. She looked like a deer in the headlights even when he repeated the order. And, bless her Singlish heart, she placed two half-pints down for the three of us.
Two HALF pints, geddit?
We drank them anyway.
Then we drank the real pints, correctly ordered over the bar eschewing the waitress who might have been a bit miffed that we passed her by, when they arrived. After that lot went down, another pint arrived. When that was finished, another pint was in order (it was the moral thing to do, as one of the Bruce's always says). Perhaps another pint? It would be insulting not to. When three more friends showed up, yet another round of pints for all came through, according to plan. It was then their turn to order a shout in sequence so, sequentially, pint after pint after pint was consumed. There were some french fries involved at some point. As the late comers were several pints behind, we had to allow them order us more pints. Then we ordered some pints for them. It was a merry and generous occasion.
Food. Who needs a curry? E@L fancies a curry. Indian/Punjab place around the corner, up on the flaming roof. Great view, scads of food, bottle of plonk, how's you father. Problems of the world solved - anyone write those down?
Downstairs, where did everybody go? There's just E@L and one of the Bruces (there are many who are Bruce, he contains multitudes) and we're at what used to be a Man U bar. Bruce the Mancunian shakes EVERYBODY'S hands, unless he kisses their cheeks because they're ladies, as the girls all are, bloody lovely ladies too.
Amazingly, hey, this is Singapore, we get a Guinness on the house! What, where? FREE!
But that is not helping E@L. The curry, way too much, the Guinness, how bloody many? Can't go on... Free or not, it's just not going to sink. He goes on, tries to at least. Nah, no way: Bruce, I'm off. E@L leaves half a pint of Guinness - well that evens it up for the night, symmetry is good. Like a woman's symmetry, mystery, beauty, like no, not 4FoW, like taxi man take me home...
E@L wakes up at 5am, after maybe 2hrs of blissful rest in the grip of his anti-erotic CPAP machine. No, no-one is next to him. He DID go directly home last night.
But his gut feels like a hand-grenade has gone off inside. Oh St Patrick, help me, he cries. This is wrong. Something is decidedly wrong. In the toilet he pisses, takes a swig from the tap, rinses out the dead rodents, hand-cups half a glass of rehydration but it doesn't go down easy, water - fish fuck in it - and it's back to bed. His belly is hard as a Guinness barrel and about the same, no bigger, size. He is sweating - the air-con was off, that's why. The pillow is drenched, the straps on the CPAP also wet, now coldly damp and repulsive to the touch.
Awakened at 8am with the phone screaming "Spoonman" at him, full volume. It is his alarm, and the scrolling massage reads, allegedly, he can't put his head in a place where he can get it into focus, "Take your fucking tablets". He silences the shaking of the world with a swipe across its Guinness sticky surface. There are several txts from Bruce wanting to know, at 2am, at 3am, at 4am, if he is in Brix or the 4FoWs. Oh St Patrick, save me.
He was in shorts, green shorts, last night, there they are on the computer monitor. They wouldn't have let him into Brix in shorts, it's a classy joint (unless he was with Bruce who would once again have kissed all the female staff and shaken the manager's hand - who would waives the dress restrictions for Bruce and his mate with the other, probably get us a free drink too) with classy hookers.
He feels like shit. Bloated, stretched, tight across the gut, uneasy and sick. Hangover, he reasons, not unexpected. Gut full of Guinness and curry, gonna take a while to get over it. He showers, takes his fucking tablets. Got into his work clothes. Felt sick and distended still. Maybe if he did the bulimia thing - hey no, he's just swallowed $30 of medication, don't want to waste it. But he felt like he would be so much better if he could take this awful pressure away from his stomach. He took off his work-clothes again. He looked down into the toilet bowl. We wondered if this feeling was really in his stomach, like the actual stomach sac, not just the metonymical stomach. He didn't throw up, even with a quick finger-test of his gag reflex.
(It felt like the time when he had eaten bad prawns or something, maybe it was the salmon mousse, that time in Phuket. Bloated, tender, food sitting in his stomach all night, he did throw up then, and through the night felt the tenderness move through his intestine, jejunum, ileum, into the colon, tenderness and unwellness all the way. That took 12 hours or so to work the length of his GIT. Then came the explosive diarrhoea.)
He went out of the bathroom again, lay on his bed. His stomach was tender, it hurt to touch. He pressed it in, here, there, ouch. It was actually sore, tender, like he had been hit, kicked, fallen off the rook of the Indian/Punjab place. After a few presses into the painful spots, he quickly decided to go back the bathroom, he had stirred things up with his prodding. He lent over the toilet and ...
Once more ...
Oh St Patrick! ...
Mop and bucket to aisle E@L!
His felt way less bloated now, but still unwell, somewhat glazed. Still pain when he prodded, well don't fucking prod you idiot... He went back to bed. He lay for a minute, felt clammy and unhealthy but no longer nauseous, until he had a sensation of urgency from the specific vicinity of his arse. Don't forget me, his arse said. I'm not waiting 12 hours! I have a message for you, and it's coming through Express Post!
Quick, out, Egyptian cotton sheets, 1200tpi!
Just made it to the bathroom, lucky he had cleaned the bowl just before! Who wants to sit on a toilet seat covered in half digested rogan josh, aloo paneer, murgh masala, dahl saag (oooh the dahl saag, so yellow, so runny!) garlic nan and let's not forget those french fries.
OH St Pat - WHOOSH!...
Oh Saint Jesus, he said looking back as he waddled to the shower, it's pure Guinness, gone straight through.
He showered for the second time that morning, cleaned the bowl for the second time that morning. Slowly he moved to the bedroom, pulled out his gym shorts (yes he has gym shorts, cotton ones like tracksuit material - what a struggle to find they were, - try getting anything except polyester in this day and age! Ha good luck. OK, 4th floor at Meritus Mandarin shopping centre, whatever it's called) to protect the sheets (Egyptian, etc) and went back to ... the toilet!
Surely there couldn't be any - WHOOSH!...
Flush, 3rd shower, fuck the towel is saturated - get another one, back to bed.
Later that day, some ginger and lemon tea. Ow, the mere thought of anything in his stomach hurt. The tea hurt. But he felt better with some fluid. Need more rehydration. Some salt replacement - only have Berrocca - that'll have do, in some warm water.
Later that day, no whooshes for a while, he had to go to the office (he had emailed in sick, maybe food poisoning) and pick up his laptop for another trip to BKK on Sunday.
Boss-san said to get back to bed and, laughing, you look so skinny!
Ha bloody ha.
On the way home, he dropped in to see his GP and told her the story (a precise of this) and she shook her head,: alcoholic not a virus, not food poisoning. Looks 100% like St Patrick's Day gastritis to me, she smiled grimly.
Double the dose of Omeprazole, zero dose of alcohol. A month on the wagon would be good, please stop with the binges. Last time was Rugby 7s in Hong Kong, she recalled. (That one resulted in a gastroscopy!) Just take it easy, take it steady. I know you don't drink much most of the times (E@L blushes, the lies he has told).
E@L, look after yourself, we all love you. No, she didn't say that, but shit, wouldn't it be nice - she IS gorgeous.
That was yesterday. E@L continues his unwellness today, the tenderness, the pain whenever food goes in and the stomach is asked to do something destructively sulphuric. He missed two invitations tonight - for teppanyaki at Chjimes, for something spicy at Arab St.
Cannot eat, he replied to both txts. Cannot drink, cannot come.
Still, he will go to Thailand tomorrow, has already packed in fact. He have to be in Intensive Care before he'd miss a trip there.
Managed some Vegemite on toast for dinner, carbs, fat (butter) and that hit of VitB and salt! How can you go wrong with that?
After midnight. Time for some more lemon and ginger tea. Remind me to get a fresh packet.