Apu & the Push-Up Bra
Unless you’re a tub of yoghurt this is not a story for the cultured among you. It is not an incident I’m particularly proud of, but it makes me laugh with guilty glee just to think about it. You will undoubtedly think less of me after reading it but I’ll try not to lose too much sleep over that.
A few years ago I was working in retail. Quelle surprise, I am a writer, you know. Anyway, every year we took a truckload or two of stock and set up in a huge showroom kind of affair bringing our wares to the country masses. It was always a couple of days of hoards of colourful locals haggling over already greatly reduced prices to be followed each day by a couple of hundred beers to unwind. There is many a tale of debauchery not to be relayed here, mostly because I’m a little fuzzy on the details. However, I do recall serving one customer who jumped back three feet when my stale alcohol and cigarette breath reached out and punched her in the face.
One year I was driving back from Wagga in a three tonne truck with a gut full of stale alcohol and, judging by the way it was sitting, a whole boiled bandicoot. My passenger was a pretty, eighteen-year-old blonde Christian lass. I wanted to think she was an innocent little thing but, now that I think about it, she really did know how to use a push-up bra to great advantage. Hmm… ok, not so innocent. All the same, I didn’t want her to know that the old chap (at least in her eyes) next to her had a turbulent gaseous combat zone going on internally threatening to explode into the external realm at every bump. For five hours, my sphincter muscles performed their duty with honour but I’m here to tell you, small talk was pretty monosyllabic as the beads of perspiration dampened my brow.
Yeah, yeah… it’s a fart story.
Anyhoo, we stopped at a petrol station. Interestingly, I felt fine. All systems normal. I was feeling pretty manly pumping my $50 of petrol until I looked across at the guy filling his eighteen-wheeler. $900, ay? “Well,” I thought to myself, “lost that dick measuring contest. Time for a wee.”
Feeling so fine, I practically skipped to the miniscule toilet – one cubicle, one sink that one had to squeeze past to get to the urinal. Here’s where it gets exciting. Remember when I mentioned five hours of explosion resistance? I was no longer resisting.
I once stayed in a caravan next to a horse paddock housing a gelding who had eaten thirteen tonnes of cabbages. He sounded like the mothership in Close Encounters but he had nothing on what happened to me next. Have you seen the movie Brassed Off? About the Colliery Brass Band? Ewan McGregor? No? Doesn’t matter. What does matter is the film’s climax is the band’s rendition of the William Tell Overture. It’s loud, it’s powerful, it’s triumphant! And I was paying it homage in volume, enthusiasm and duration. It went on for so long, in fact, that I had time to get the giggles, that morphed into chuckles with an escalation to full blown guffaws.
And then… it finished. That’s it. End of story. Me relieved, face damp with laughter tears and happy with the knowledge I had avoided subjecting a nice young Hillsonger to a cabin full of Odeur de Roadkill.
Not so fast.
When I turned from the urinal, I looked straight into the eyes of a chap who was washing his hands behind me.
Picture a short Apu from the Simpsons in pinkish pants pulled up a little too high and a shiny purple shirt stretched over a beer belly. This poor chap was looking at me like… well… like an unfortunately dressed little man in a tiny toilet standing behind a big ginger, flatulent rhino who’d just farted all over him laughing maniacally while he did it. OK, I’m disgusting – and I’m laughing as I type this.
What did I do next? What would you do? I was hungover and I was more than a little embarrassed, understandably, but I consider myself somewhat of a wordsmith so was sure I could smooth this over. “Whoops.” I said, as eloquently as I could manage and I left.
And the girl? I never told her. I’m not sure why, I suspect it had something to do with the mystical, hypnotic qualities of the push-up bra. I’m not usually so easily manipulated… perhaps God had created the thing for recruitment purposes.