Right In The Old Bread Basket

I’m no stranger to the dinner table.  In fact, I’ve got over five decades of anecdotes of my over-eating.  There’s the time I gobbled so much food at my grandmother’s Thanksgiving table that I fell asleep with my face in the plate.  Were it not for the tryptophan, I might have eaten myself to death that fateful turkey day.  In college, the local Mexican joint suffered mightily during my attendance at their all-you-can eat taco night.  The same thing went for the place in Colorado with the all-you-can-eat steak dinners.  A note on that last one, swimming isn’t the only thing you should avoid doing immediately after eating; driving a truck loaded with all your possessions in the dark of night while the majority of your blood flow is busy trying to digest the better part of a cow is also to be avoided.

Given my rich history of gluttony, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the recent news story of the woman who was found by customs inspectors in the Dominican Republic to be smuggling seventy thousand dollars in her stomach.  She had another sixty-nine thousand found hidden in her suitcase.  I’m guessing they found the suitcase loot first, and then noticed her bloated belly.  Typically, airline passengers have a tough time filling up too much on the palm sized portions of pretzels they give out these days.  Even if she bought one of the sixteen buck turkey sandwiches and washed it down with with a couple of splits of champagne, her tummy would still have appeared relatively normal.

Of course the news outlet which carried the story helped to make it all the more amazing by using an illustration featuring a file photo of stacks of crisp hundreds bound with red rubber bands.  The size of a stack of hundreds is rather substantial when juxtaposed with the opening  of a standard pie hole.  I whipped out several number two pencils and some scratch paper and did a little math.  After a half hour of cyphering, I can say with a degree of confidence that she would have had to swallow seven hundred of those c-notes to come up to the total listed in the story.

I'd think the corners of those stacks would be especially tough to swallow.  Not to mention the fact that money is dirty, any one of those bills could have been touched by a politician.  (Image from picsbox dot biz)
I’d think the corners of those stacks would be especially tough to swallow. Not to mention the fact that money is dirty, many one of those bills could have been touched by politicians. (Image from picsbox dot biz)

I didn’t have a hundred dollar bill laying around, but if memory serves, they’re pretty much the same size as a twenty, which I did (miraculously) have handy.  I folded it as small and tight as I could, then took a pic of it next to one my allergy pills.  Since these pills have no effect whatsoever on the molds, stink bug droppings and various other things which make autumn as fun as spring for me, it’s nice to finally have a use for them.

Since snapping this pic, I've squandered the twenty smackers on a cup of coffee and a handful of magic beans.  My wife scolded me about the beans and threw them out the window.  On an unrelated note, it occurs to me that swallowing a human thumb would be even more difficult than a rolled up bill.
Since snapping this pic, I’ve squandered the twenty smackers on a cup of coffee and a handful of magic beans. My wife scolded me about the beans and threw them out the window. On an unrelated note, it occurs to me that swallowing a human thumb would be even more difficult than a rolled up bill – hats off to you cannibals!

I suppose that someone will point out that she could have gulped down a mere seventy one-thousand dollar bills or the tiny paper currency of the island nation of Tonga* to minimize the gut bulk.  Even so, seventy thousand clams adds up to a whole lot of swallowing.  Perhaps she dipped them in butter or possibly apple sauce to help get them down.

I’m no expert in human physiology, but the “harvesting” of the cash poses a few lovely options.  Perhaps her colleagues had planned on an ipecac syrup cocktail and a few reruns of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” with a well placed bucket.  Another choice would have been the colonoscopy prep approach, which would have run the risk of partially digested c-notes and a new high bar setting for the term “dirty money”.  Lastly, there was the possibility of some motel room surgery, which is usually performed for more cosmetic purposes, such as silicone-caulk buttock enhancement.

I looked for photos of actual squatters, but felt the ones I found were demeaning.  This woman chose to dress this way to perform squats, and as such, she demeans only herself.  By the way, honey, love the shoes!  (Image from thegreatfitnessexperiment dot com)
If motel surgery was really an option, then the smugglers might have considered hiding the “wampum in dee bumbum” in the first place.  Though eagle-eyed customs inspectors who are twerking aficionados might spot tell-tale cash-stack lumps amid the curvy splendor of the booty.   (Image from thegreatfitnessexperiment dot com and/or dudelol dot com)


Irrespective of how the money was to be rescued from this woman’s digestive system, swallowing that much money is pretty impressive  If I have more than five bills in my wallet, my sitting posture gets all catty-wampus and I end up having to spend that cash on chiropractic adjustments.  How ironic is that?  I recently took a short flight to Florida and spent the entire two hours squirming around like a meth addict with ADHD.  Every time the seat belt light came on, I surrendered any fleeting hopes of comfort.  I can’t help but wonder how anyone could sit in one of those seats with seventy large in their breadbasket.  Maybe on the way to the airport, she decided to treat herself and burped up enough cash to upgrade to first class.

* A quick Google search revealed that the people of Tonga do not actually use paper money at all, and in fact used to pay for everything with plastic.  Sadly, the huge amount of plastic which washes ashore there on a daily basis nearly ruined their fragile economy.  They have addressed the problem by changing their monetary system back to the original forms of currency which consisted of puka shells and human teeth.  An online calculator estimated that seventy thousand US dollars would convert to roughly 1237 pounds of shells and enough bicuspids to outfit every player in the NHL with a flawless smile.


By this time tomorrow, this wallet will be the same damn size. (Photo of author's wallet, by the author)

I was standing on line this morning on my way to work waiting to buy a lottery ticket.  Actually, several lottery tickets.  When the jackpot gets insanely high, it’s hard for even the mathematically savvy to avoid the temptation of buying a few tickets.

There was a woman at the counter, and from the look of her, you could tell she was no fair weather friend to the lottery.  On the contrary, she appeared to have had a long love affair with playing the numbers.  As I patiently waited my turn, glancing at my watch, she played the Pick 3, the Pick 4, the Cash 5 and the Mega Millions.  She was playing numbers boxed and squared and speaking to the man behind the counter in a lottery-dialect which the rest of us could not begin to comprehend.  I glanced at the sheaf of papers in her hand and began to worry that she might be standing at the counter for another hour.

I distracted myself from the potential of my being late to work for the first time in…well..ever, by looking at her attire.  She had on a purple, black, white and pink blouse which looked like something Peter Max had vomited after too many boxes of Good n Plenties.  Her pants were a shiny black and the wrong size for one of her sizeable legs, let alone both of them.  Her shoes were equally garish.  Her hair, in curlers, was covered by a scarf which looked to have been purchased several decades ago with Green Stamps.

As she left the store, my heart just sunk.  I knew that despite my pending investment of five bucks, my long shot odds had just gotten astronomically worse.  In the ridiculously highly unlikely odds that this convenience store would be selling the winning ticket to tonight’s Mega Millions, the chance it would be one of my tickets just got much worse.  The perfect  candidate for winning had just waddled past me.

I could visualize her standing there with her idiotic grin, her Peg Bundy wardrobe and family of deliriously happy hill-folk, holding a check with more zeros than she had teeth.

I thought of how the makers of hideous clothing would see a sudden jump in profits.  How her sons and daughters would soon be festooned with more gold chains than Mr. T when he was winning big at “Pretty Pretty Princess”.  The gold on their necks nearly blinding oncoming traffic as they drove past us in the Mercedes SUV’s which they had spared no expense having converted into bling-tastic monster trucks.

She’ll move out of that trailer and buy a place with some land.  Her new home will be recognizable by the multitude of fountains, bird baths, those cork-screw pine bushes, and of course the aforementioned monster truck-converted SUV’s.  Architecturally, the house will be a mess of styles, with Corinthian columns, turrets, bow windows and a wing which bears some odd resemblance to a Miami Vice drug king-pin’s penthouse lair.

Despite the massive amount of money she’ll win, the house will eventually be shuttered and abandoned when the unthinkably massive amount of money disappears, and our winner spends the last of her years unsuccessfully trying to sue the lottery for ruining her life.  She will have failed miserably at being rich.  Having as much money as the filthy rich and elite, she will have learned the hard way that it’s impossible to buy the taste, security and grace with which the truly wealthy stroll the earth.

As these thoughts bounced around in my massive bald head, I stepped to the counter and bought my tickets anyway.  I drove to work without wasting a moment thinking about the changes my life would see if I somehow won.  My neck is  safe from the weight of multiple gold chains, and the beach realtors will not see me unless I’m renting a place for a week in the summer.  On the bright side, I won’t have to worry about changing tax brackets or time zones.  I was quite pleased to note that I wouldn’t be late for work.