Helter Belcher

In 2002 I lived by myself and Banky. She was my bitch. My original girl. She was much too jealous of Laura when we started dating. She would make sure if we were watching a movie that she was in between us. Laura and I watched Zoolander holding hands, while scratching Banky’s back. Laura and I started dating in 2003 so we’ll save that for another day.

I had a one bedroom apartment near campus, near the bars. All the apartments in my complex were one bedrooms with the exception of one. The one above me. It was converted to be two bedrooms with a balcony overlooking the hillside and trees. It was a rickety ass balcony. This was the time that balconies were falling out of the sky in Chicago, so I always stood near the door.

It was the end of the year and my upstairs neighbors were having a party. This was the perfect party apartment. The entire upstairs was open and led to the balcony. Smokers could smoke. Drinkers could drink. Tweekers could tweek. Banky was allowed up there. My neighbors were solid guys. The following year, the girls moved in. Again, a later story, but this one involves Nick (Last name sounds like son-of-a-bitch).

We were having a great time. The keg was getting murdered and we were in the midst of a foosball tournament. I was playing with Phil Tanner. We were playing Nick and one of his friends. Ericsen and Steve were there. I always played goalie. I was adequate at stopping the goals, but I could score from goal more times than not. One hand smash.

As I recall the game was close and somewhat intense. The night was pretty young and Outkast had only played once. The ball bounced back and forth, Nick rolls his wrist. GOAL! He got it past me. God dammit! We enter the ball, it gets to me, I pass to Phil, he shoots. Blocked! He belches. Beer makes people belch. The ball bounces back and I get it, one handed smash, bounces out and Phil one times it in. Nice. Nick grabs the ball from the return. He is about to put it in play. He stops. Looks around. Looks at me. Looks at Phil. Looks at Steve. Looks at his partner.

“What the fuck smells like dirty diapers?!”

No one answered we looked around. I didn’t fart. Steve didn’t. Phil didn’t. Nick’s partner didn’t fart. Who farted? We look around. Nothing is obvious. He plays the ball and we continue. A score here. A score there. I drink. Nick drinks. Everyone drinks. Phil burps. I burp. Someone else burps. The ball is in play. Nick stops.

“Seriously, what the fuck smells like dirty diapers?!”

Nothing. The game ends. We go outside afterward. Phil, Steve and I are talking. Steve and Phil light a cigarette. Phil looks guilty. “Hey guys.” He says. Yeah, we answer. “I have a confession. It was my burps. My burps smell like literal shit.”

And so it was Phil. Phil Tanner. He had burps that smelled exactly like human shit. That is the best way to describe what it was. It left a taste in your mouth. A taste that stuck. He drink a sip of beer and the taste and smell would be in your mouth, nose and lungs.

He’s married now. I’m married. Steve is married. We are older and perhaps a little smarter. But, when I reflect back and choose to remember my memories, fart burps will always be hilarious. Thanks, Phil. Thanks for always being a party pooper.

Please to enjoy.

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