Saturday, December 09, 2006

Memoires of a Belcher

I didn't learn how to burp until grad school.

I remember in middle school and high school, everyone I knew could belch on cue. I never could. Neither could my mother or sister. We stayed away from carbonated beverages.

In high school, when I went swimming, sometimes the gas would build up. I could feel it in my chest, but I could also feel that it was locked in. I would swim to the side of the pool and force myself to cough, and after a minute or so, the violent coughing would knock something loose, and the gas would erupt out of my throat, so loud that it echoed. It hurt.

Finally, in grad school, I found my burp. It was a glorious moment, I was sitting on the porch at the place on Ann street, talking on the phone to S. Burp! I was thrilled, she tried to be enthusiastic. Burp!

And so finally, I joined all my friends in the wonderful world of belching. By this time, of course, my friends were sophisticated graduate students, so it was unseemly just to 'cut'em loose.' Instead, we tried to burp uplifting things, like "freedom," which usually ended up sounding like "rita." Our goal was to one day burp "equitable health care" but we usually couldn't make it through "equitable."

I was so glad when I was able to pass on this world knowledge to my sister. We were in the car and she said she felt bloated, and wished she could burp.

I said, just relax and breathe deeply.

She said, no! I'm gonna puke!

You're not gonna puke, just sit up straight and breathe deeply.

But it feels like I'm gonna puke!

That's what it feels like, and then you learn to control it.

BREHHP. Oh tanksgad.


I puked a little.

Don't worry, now that you know how to do it, you'll learn to just burp gas, and not puke.

My sister was so grateful, and so was I, to have such a sweet family burping moment.

1 comment:

Micaela said...


T says that when I came back from Spain I stopped burping like a baby. (aaaaaaaaagggghp)

Come to think of it, that coincides with me discovering that I can't drink more than 1 beer without puking. Not drunk puking - burp puking.

I don't really know how those two stories are related.