tonight, my mind spun its huge wheel of kinks, and it landed on soda-bloated bellies. so that’s what we’ll be discussing.
i’m thinking about a belly that is absolutely filled with soda. the flavor doesn’t matter—strawberry, orange, grape—what does is the carbonation. how full it makes that belly sound. imagine your head is pressed up against a big belly that is absolutely swollen with the sticky stuff. you can hear the sounds—they’re almost industrial noises. deep gurrrgles and glorrrrks . you’d just watched all those drinks disappear down your partner’s throat. maybe it was your idea, maybe it was theirs, but regardless, that mess had now landed deep in their belly.
when you jiggle it a little, putting your comparatively small hands on their bloated belly, you can hear the liquids inside sloshing and gurgling. they start to bubble a little bit, you can feel that against your cheek. maybe at this point your partner has cupped a hand to their mouth as they try to hold in a burp. but you’re curious. and maybe a little more excited than you are willing to admit. sitting up, you place your hands on their swollen stomach, and give it a real determined jiggle, followed by another.
and you’re rewarded with a nice, acidic URRRRRRP , right in your face. it’s so potent that the smell lasts for quite a few minutes and leaves you unexpectedly flustered but even more curious.
but i’m also thinking about those solo bloaters. people who were curious about having soda by themselves. maybe they challenged themself to finish a three or four 2-liter bottles in record time. and they do! they rest a chubby hand on their chubbier belly and give it a nice, proud slosh. but what they don’t realize is that a soda bloat is effectively just liquid inflation combined with air inflation.
so as time goes on, as they think they should be okay, their belly actually isn’t. the real challenge is only just beginning. they might rest their hands on it, poke it with a bit of concern, and then shudder when their stomach is actually firm to the touch. it’s the air pressure from the bubbles. the sounds coming from there are not normal, either. they’ve never heard it make these noises before. low churrrrns and grrrrgle s. their hands might slowly splay apart as the gas bubble inside continues to swell.
in desperation, they might try to let out a few belches to clear their stomach out and prevent a catastrophe. but it’s not enough. if they’re laying down, they’re basically pinned down by their own stomach, unable to move. increasingly unable to think, either. panting and sweating, moaning and huffing. regret evident on their face. and then, of course, all hell breaks loose with an URRRRRRRP! that makes the room rattle. leaving them smacking their lips and out of breath.
now, the best sufferers of bloated bellies are the accidental ones. the ones who were innocent and yet suffered the worst consequences. i’m thinking about those people who had nothing to eat except a banana or two and some sprite, and now they’ve got to go take an exam.
it’s hard enough trying to fit into one of those tiny auditorium chairs on a regular day. but today it’s even more of a struggle. they sit down and open their test packet, but they don’t know exactly what they’re getting themselves into just yet. in their stomach, the pressure from the soda continues to grow and grow. they might shyly press a hand up against their belly, perhaps not making the connection yet. they whisper “settle down,” and hope for the best, but there’s not much they can do. the bubbling accelerates as their shirt starts to ride up on their belly. firm to the touch, they can almost see it growing in real-time. creaking and groaning, they might pull their coat over it to conceal the sound from their fellow test-takers, but it doesn't do much.
they’re so distracted by the sounds of their stomach that they hardly even pay attention to the test—their eyes are locked on their belly. they breathe shallowly, huff quietly. their attention returns to the test as they decide that if they ignore their stomach, it’ll resolve itself. but that hope fades away as soon as they burp. it’s a quiet one, into their hand, but it's only the beginning.
over the next few minutes, that swollen orb pushes their thighs apart. the desk starts to jut into it, which only serves to constrain their belly even more. they find themselves burping not only more often, but also louder . garnering the attention of their classmates. maybe their professor even glances their way. they realize, as the vibration of their stomach knocks their pencil off their desk, that sprite and bananas is not, in fact, a good combination.
by this point, it might sound like their burps are competing with their belly for attention. maybe by now the person is gently pushing their belly against the desk, trying to force the big burp out and over with.
until, finally, it all comes to a head. they barely have any time to react as a huge ball of gas races up their throat and shoots out of their mouth. they let out a ridiculously loud URRRRRRRRRP! over their test, continuing for so long that almost everyone is staring at them. their face is dark red. too embarrassed to finish the exam, they start to stand up and manage to speed-waddle for the exit.
the person darts for the bathroom, hand pressed against their swollen belly as it continues to rip itself apart. they lock themself in a stall and start to gently massage their stomach. unfortunately that big burp didn’t do nearly enough to clear out their stomach. as the next belch starts ramping up, they get the feeling they’re gonna be there for quite a while.