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The Goldfish Story


Back in the late-90s, I was introduced to the concept of CostCo, ne PriceClub, where you can buy more than you need in bulk, saving money per product unit, but ultimately very little money because you end up throwing away half of the product.

One of the first products I was enamoured of was the GINORMOUS (read: gallon sized) box of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers. The Kleins often had those crackers, we rarely did, so they were like little buddles of orange happiness. How could I resist a FULL GALLON of these delightful crackers?

Answer? I couldn't.

I brought a box to work to work the day after I purchased my first one, tucked it under my arm, and proceeded to munch on them all day. I shared with my coworkers, I played with them, I ate them. At one point, I had a trail of Goldfish crackers down the hallway and around a corner so that my co-workers could follow the trail to the office I was in.

I mean, with a gallon of goldfish, why not?

Several days later, I was having health problems: unbearable chest pains. Deep breathes were difficult, lying down almost impossible. My visit to the doctor wasn't very encouraging either. When they heard the problems I was having, I was rushed into the various examination rooms for many tests.

After the immediate fears were eliminated, I was scheduled for a chest X-ray. Great. Can't say I particularly wanted to have my body blasted with high-energy radiation, but I needed help, and I needed help now, so I agreed.

X-rays are fascinating pictures. Most of the features are shadows, but objects can be discerned. The thought of these shadowy objects being my insides is just fascinating.

So, when I looked at the x-ray of my chest, the first thing I did was try to determine what each shadow was. "These are my shoulder bones (those were "d'uh!" objects), this is my heart, these shadows are my lungs, this is my stomach. Hey, what's this?" I asked, pointing to two light shadows in the bottom middle of the x-ray.

The radiologist leaned in, and looked at the film carefully. He turned to look at me, and asked, "You're fairly young right?"

"Uh, yeah."

"Those are your breasts."

I turned bright red.


"Yeah, you have dense breasts."

"I excel in breast density."

"So, I see."

Eventually, the radiologist shuffled me off to another room, so that he could consult with my doctor. After a while, my doctor came in to talk with me. Holding up the x-ray, he pointed to a line that ran up along edge of my right side, across my middle, and back down my left side, then said, "Here's your problem."

"Looks like my intestines," I responded.

"It is. When's the last time you went to the bathroom?"

I thought about it for a moment. "Um...." It took me a bit, "Uh... um..." For someone who is ridiculously regular, this was a remarkably difficult question. "Maybe a couple days ago?"

"Yeah, so, your intestines are packed. Something you ate before you started having chest pains?"

"Maybe half of a gallon of Goldfish crackers?"

"Yeah, that would do it."

The fix? Try eating a lot of prunes, maybe a dozen or two. If that failed, try a dose of milk of magnesia. I tried the prunes with no success, so I drank the milk of magnesia. With great success.

Guy and I had been having interesting toliet bowl content competitions up until this point, but, well, after the Goldfish Story™, as it will forever be known as, I was crowned Ultimate Champion of the Known Universe.

The whole episode taught me to watch my fiber intake.

More importantly, it taught me that no matter how competitive two people are, they can always find one more area to challenge each other in.