Socratic Illumination At Soggy Bottom

The Soggy Bottom boys got stormed on two week ago. They’d only shot as far as target 12 when a thunderstorm hit, causing them to sprint for their trucks. This week, there was a 60% chance of rain. The rain held and the entire course was played. During the competition conversation floated over the group as it moved through the maze of targets and ticks.

I’d missed the week of the rainout. I was putting my sailboat in the water. It didn’t storm where the boat was being launched. Back at Soggy Bottom, having taken refuge from the storm, the boys speculated that I would rather launch a sailboat during a lightening storm than return to the swamp to practice 3D archery. They were unaware of the nearly perfect weather 60 miles away.

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Launching the sailboat

For the boat, we had a crew ready to compliment the weather. Once launched the sailors set about their tasks. When underway there time to talk. The topics that afternoon were human breathing function, respiratory acidosis and two cases of medical interest.

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Not yet under sail

The following Tuesday, despite the Weather Channel’s prediction of Armageddon, it didn’t rain at Soggy Bottom. There was a quorum of archers ready to shoot and the assembly headed into the swamp.

Once everyone was focused and the competition underway, conversation aired as people progressed into their flow of shooting, moving and talking. The primary dialogue among this group, like the sailors of last week, revolved around human body function. However, the system of concentration was south of the diaphragm.

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Come on in boys the weather is fine

The deliberated topic related to digestion of a sugar-free snack. Apparently, the product wreaks havoc on the gastrointestinal system. In a prior experience, one of the shooters had consumed an entire pack of the foodstuff. Within minutes his gaseous build up and its subsequent voluminous release caused him a degree of embarrassment since it was happening during work.

Following his olfactory offensive episodes of gas discharge rapid peristalsis ensued. Fortunately, for the impacted shooter, his work now completed, he was able to station himself within feet of a toilet for the remainder of the evening. The cause and effect of the offending foodstuff was compared to the experiences associated with a variety of nutritional products and the outcome for each shooter’s GI system. In turn, the archers proudly relayed their physiologically explosive experiences, the magnitude of their audible releases of gas followed by the amount of solid matter excreted, along with the circumstances when sharting* is most problematic.

We had another great shoot at Soggy Bottom. Each target was a challenge and the weather did not hamper the day. It is curious that both sailors and archers enjoy Socratic inquiry of human physiology. It must be pointed out, however, that when debating bodily functions, it is tough to beat a good fart story told among friends.

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Norman, Lee, John and Paul

* Shart – a small, unintended defecation that occurs when one relaxes the anal sphincter to far.

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