By Voyager

I was hoping that Jeff would be true to his ‘eat to grow’ philosophy and wolf down everything on his plate. I was not mistaken. Making some random comment about him not eating the pattern on the plate as well, I got up in a gesture that indicated I was anxious to get the day started. Well, I was…to see if this joke was going to actually work. Jeff gave me another type of gesture, which other diners would have found offensive, but it was just another day for Jeff and myself.

I think the one thing that always made Jeff a bit resentful was that he never grew taller than me. We were the same height, and somehow I think he thought that because of his build, he should be towering over me. I smiled inwardly at that, told him to get his ass out of the booth, and we walked to his apartment to settle down for videos and insults.

As we walked out the door, a squeaker escaped from him, causing him to turn slightly red and walk a little bit faster. I, of course, being the paragon of tact and decorum, said loudly, “Wow, did you just fart?”, leading me to get yet another punch in the arm.

All through the walk back to his apartment, Jeff was letting one go after another. I was desperately trying to keep my composure so as to not let gag go, though I did say the word ‘gag’ a few times in response to his…um….gaseous anomalies. Jeff was turning wonder shades of scarlet and using his inner strength to try to block to emissions, but was losing the battle as the Gassium was building up…and letting go.

We got to the front door of his apartment and paused as he fumbled for his keys. Usually he would just fish in his pants pocket, but seemed to have some trouble this time in pulling the keys out. Not wanting to lose this opportunity for an insult, I looked him square in the eye and was about to say something, when I noticed something. I wasn’t looking him in the eye. I was looking Jeff in the nose. I quickly scanned the situation…I was standing straight up, as was he, and he was not standing on his tip toes. Ut oh.

This was broken by Jeff trying to preempt me by saying, “No stupid ass remarks by you now about my motor skills or something, tubby. These pants must have shrunk in the wash, since they are tighter than normal. Just having trouble pulling out the keys.”

“Fine”, I replied, “from what I hear this isn’t the first time you have had trouble pulling it out” Hey, it was tailor made for an insult.

With the free hand he gave me a punch, with wincing results. His punches usually stung. This one was more painful and nearly set me back a step or two. Jeff noticed this and snorted. “What, I displace fat there and it swung back to put you off balance?” Finally he pulled out his keys and we walked into the apartment and settled both into our familiar places on his couch and with the insult-o-thon.

The winds continued to blow in the apartment. And, though I had some nagging concerns about what was happening, I was not giving up a chance to exploit this ultimate joke. Well, it was hysterical, at least to me. I would see him try to suppress his gas, while trying to pretend that nothing was happening. At first it was easy enough for him to try to mask his concentration. As the Gassium went about its business, though, Jeff found himself having to screw up his face in concentration in order to try to prevent the visitors from leaving. Most of the time, he couldn’t.

And the Gassium was not only producing sound, but also fury. It wasn’t long before I walked over to the window and flung it open, loudly proclaiming to anyone on the street that we needed to call the Environmental Protection Agency and soon. I soon pushed any other thoughts out of my mind in an attempt to keep the insults coming as fast as his winds.

After a particularly noxious one, I asked him if something had crawled up in him and died. After another I asked him if he wanted to go and see if he could get a job as a human exterminator. A while later, I was gasping for air. I told him it was because of what he was doing, but it truly was because I was laughing so hard I simply could not breathe.

Jeff knew the rules. A punch or so was acceptable as a comeback, but he had to do verbal comebacks and nothing physical. He couldn’t. He was too busy trying to stop the hurricane coming out of his posterior. As soon as he would try to make a comeback and break his concentration, another onslaught would come, leading to more cracks by me and another round of laughter that would cause me to collapse on the couch in more hysterics. When Jeff would try to do both…concentrate and try to make a comeback…his voice would sound like a cheesy Saturday morning cartoon where the hero would say something like, “Just one….chance…left”. I, of course, told him this as well.

He was getting angry. Truly angry. He usually was in such control of his life and his body, and now he was helpless to control either. I could see it in his eyes, and to my credit I did try to calm him down. Of course, it probably would have been better if I stopped the insults, but that is nitpicking. Who ever said I learned my lesson?

It all came to a head about two hours into the session. I was collapsed on the couch in fits of laughter and insults when Jeff could take it no more. He reached around with his arm, intent on pulling me toward him to growl at me to knock it off. He reached around with his arm, causing the shoulder seam to spit open wide. That stopped him for a few seconds, but only added to his anger. “Shit, now I have to buy a new sweater. You are going to pay for this Ben”. As if I were a puppet, he grabbed my shirt and pulled me toward him. In one swift motion he was up on his feet, pulling me up with him, grabbing me with his other hand as well.

Looking me eye to eye, he said in no uncertain terms to stop the joke and to stop the laughter. A look of panic ran across my face. Jeff saw this and softened his tone, saying, “Look man, it’s a good joke, but enough is enough. Now STOP this” The look, however, did not pass from my face.

Jeff continued, “Okay, I’m sorry, but this is getting out of hand!”

“Yeah, you could say that”, I croaked out, gesturing with my eyes for Jeff to look down. He then saw what was the matter.

Looking down, he saw that part of his six pack was showing as his shirt was not only riding up, but looking more like a mid-drift shirt than a regular t-shirt. He could also hear small tears beginning around his shoulders and on the back of his shirt as well, as the cloth was giving way. Finally, looking fully down, he saw what was causing me the most concern. My feet were a full four to five inches off the ground. Slowly, he let me down, with my eyes now barely looking at his chin. Almost in synch, we looked over his body, which had grown considerably not just in height, but in size. Timidly, he flexed a bicep and saw his sleeve now straining to contain softballs. His shirt was straining against most of his upper body and his pants were swelling with his thighs.

“Ben”, Jeff said quietly, “what the hell have you done to me?” •

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