1976...A Strange Year for Ice Cream

1976, Pretoria, South Africa.  Recently married, Deb and I were saving like mad for our impending trip to Denton TX, to inaugurate my studies at UNT.

At the time, I was an unwilling guest of the South African Defense Force and was scraping out a meager salary posing as a gifted trombone player in the South African Army’s newly formed Entertainment Unit. In order to save enough money for our impending trip, I spent many evenings raising extra cash by playing private gigs as well as performing as a pit musician for various Broadway Musicals that were currently being staged in Johannesburg.

One warm evening, shortly before my nightly excursion to Johannesburg, I played a practical joke on my wife by dousing her with a bucket of ice-cold water while she relaxed in a luxurious bubble filled bathtub. This incident my friends, would be the prelude to a devastating event that stole not only my youthful innocence, but also many of Johannesburg’s finest as well.

A week or so later, while preparing to leave on my short excursion to Joburg for a performance of the show, “Chicago” Deb served me a generous portion of my favorite chocolate ice cream. “What a lovely and thoughtful young woman” I thought to myself. “Wow, I sure am a lucky man”! Arriving at the “Coliseum” downtown Johannesburg, I carefully assembled my trombone and prepared myself for the evening’s performance. Having played this mindless crap for at least two weeks, I was not looking forward to yet another two and a half hours of that mind numbing experience watching “Roxy and all that friggin’ Jazz”!

Now folks, unlike all the other musicals I had played during my young life, this one was different. Instead of the musicians performing from the total anonymity of the “pit”, this show had the musicians all on stage with the set comprising a simple jail cell and the orchestra situated on the roof of the cell, totally visible at all times to the impassioned audience. This meant that any “potty” or “weed” break during the performance was not possible as one could not leave the stage till intermission for obvious reasons.

Slowly we all climbed the ladder to our seats above the set and prepared for the overture.  Soon we were underway and all seemed well. After about two songs, I started noticing an uncomfortable sensation in my “fundament” and wondered what was going on. An overwhelming desire to “PUSH” was starting to manifest itself in my lower regions not unlike what I imagined a woman in the midst intense labor might experience. Each time I blew a note on my instrument I seemed to detect a small discharge emanating discreetly from my “exhaust pipe” and I could feel the slimy residue snaking its way slowly down my legs, through my shiny gig pants and into my well polished shoes!

Soon my friends, what had started as a simple tributary, was now rapidly overflowing into what appeared to be an exciting day at Wet and Wild complete with the Lazy River and the death defying “Kamikaze Tower of Death” water slide! I was a veritable walking Mississippi Delta and the tide was rising at a fast pace. By now the festering horror that was emanating from my ass was so pungent that my fellow performers were all in a state of shock and awe and staring at me in disbelief. “Oh shit” I remember thinking, “here comes another high G”! By this time I had lost all control of my delicate sphincter and as I blew each note, all hell would break loose! The other musicians were now starting to lose their places in the music and even the actors on stage had started to notice the unwelcome aroma of rotting Snoek and half digested Guavas! Talk about shock and awe!

Intermission could not come soon enough and I gingerly clenched my way to the men’s room leaving a festering trail of that night’s dinner along the way! This scene repeated itself for a few more terrifying nights and needless to say, cost me many a good friend along the way.

Turns out that the charming and gregarious Deb had spiked my chocolate ice cream with a generous helping of Ex Lax without my knowledge as payback for my original prank a few days before! As Sammy would have said…”Ouch babe”!