So yesterday was our annual Coast Guard COI inspection, where the CG looks ever the vessel and safety systems and gives us a certificate to show that we're doing what we're supposed to be doing.
It was hell. Oh, not the inspection. That went really well, other than two light bulbs on the alarm display (what we call the Christmas Tree) that chose that moment to die. No surprise there. They're always shitting the bed when it's pouring rain and blowing 40, as they're 15 feet in the air.
No, the reason it was hell was all internal. I thought I was going to die, or at the least, explode.
Grocery store had fiber-laced granola bars for sale. Calorie count was excellent, and I had a sweet tooth. I'm not going to lose ground now, with the 100-lb mark in sight, so I did what seemed right.
Horrible, horrible idea. Those fucking granola bars should come with a warning label. Not for me, so much, but anyone within a 50-yard radius. They really do have some sort of fiber. Tannerite, or C4, maybe, based on the constant series of pops and explosions going on in my digestive system... which I could feel quite distinctly, thank you, as they moved from kind of funny-feeling to sharp pains and a full-on sprint to the head every now and again.
OK, that happens to everyone now and again. But my God, they don't make Lysol in the kind of concentration that could touch that. I was so bloated up that I had to let my belt out two notches. And I totally crop dusted my poor tankerman. Like every 30 seconds for about 3 hours. He was ready to call the Vatican for an exorcism.
At any rate, the Coast Guard showed up, thankfully after I had the foresight to switch the ventilation system to "Always On" and open all the hatches, despite the rain.
And all was well... for a little while. Then that feeling, you know, like the air bubbles rising in the office water cooler... then the pain. Throughout, I was clenching fabric tight enough to taste the naugahyde of my office chair. I was sweating, it was so bad. I could feel my belt getting tight.
Finally, after a while, we had to all go outside, and I got to put on my full, winter-weight foul weather gear, which is now 3 sizes too big, and I could relax a little, but ended up marinating in my own exhaust for far too long, sufficient that I wanted to change my clothes after we finished.
On the upside, that was the fastest COI renewal I've ever been through. I'm passing this on as a service to my fellow mariners who also get impatient when suffering through vettings, inspections and terminal staff who won't get off your goddamned boat. Fiber One bars. They might kill you, but on the upside, by the time they're partially digested, no one will ever want to speak to you again, and you will no longer fear death, but rather, welcome it as a release from the pain.