By Dave Carnie
The day after our return from Peru my friend Mark invited me out for food and drinks. “I’d love to,” I texted back, “but I’ve been puking and pooping, pooping and puking, since I got back from Peru last night.”
Tony made no announcement that he was going to be in Peru, yet the Lima skate scene was well aware through social media that there was a Hawk in their country. So when we visited the Converse skate park in Lima for a session, Tony took a selfie in the bottom of the bowl and posted it with a caption that simply said, “I’m here.” Post it and they will come. And come they did.
My tummy rumbled the second I stepped off the plane at LAX. Oh, a welcome home turd? I thought. Just what America needs, more shit. By the time I got to customs, the rumbling had grown a little louder. My internal investigation was delayed, however, by an old woman in line behind me.
“Excuse me?” she said. “Who was that person you were traveling with that everyone was taking pictures with?”
“Tony Hawk,” I said. She made Golden Retriever face—HUH? “He’s a pro skateboarder,” I offered.
“Well, I don’t skateboard,” the old lady said laughing, “so I wouldn’t have any idea who that is.”
While Tony enjoyed Global Entry status and zoomed right through customs (not without the requisite fan photos—more on that in a moment), I had to wait in line with all the other peasants and field their stupid questions. There was hardly anyone in line, but it was moving at a snail’s pace. The lone customs officer was spending a very long time with a trio of Japanese girls. Muslims? Probably not, but you never know with Japanese girls. What are they always giggling about? They took forever. Maybe the customs officer was trying to decide whether to send them to camp—I understand the Dingbat Twit administration has been dabbling with the idea of resurrecting WW2-era internment camps?
“What were you guys doing in Peru?” the man behind the old lady asked after eavesdropping on our conversation.
“Oh, we were, uh, shooting a pilot for a possible show Tony wants to do,” I said. “Sort of a food/travel/skate show thing.”
The man nodded like he knew what I was talking about. I didn’t.
This is the food part of the food/travel/sate show thing: lunch at Lucho’s house prepared by yet another ex-Peruvian skater turned world-renowned chef, Diego Muñoz. “How do all the skaters in Peru become superstar chefs?” Tony joked. From left to right: Chef Virgilio Martinez, Tony, Chef Diego Muñoz, and Lucho. At one point during lunch our cameraman, aptly named Cameron, noted that we were eating papas—potatoes—under a mural of Notorious B.I.G.. “Big papas with Big Poppa?” he quipped.
While Tony signed autographs and posed for photos with fans in Peru, I usually stood off to the side and answered questions. The most popular being, “What are you doing here?” Well, apparently signing autographs and posing for photos, because that was pretty much all we did from morning to night in Peru. I’ve known Tony a long time, and I realize he’s a celebrity, but I was surprised by how often he was recognized on the streets in Lima. Every morning there was a group of kids waiting for us to emerge from our hotel, every night they were waiting when we returned, and in between we entertained a seemingly endless stream of admirers.
In one instance, while Tony and I were waiting on the sidewalk for a light to change, a man in a car yelled at us. “HOLY SHIT! IT’S TONY HAWK!” And then he asked if he could have a photo with Tony.
Tony looked at the busy intersection and the three lanes of brisk traffic between him and the car and said, “Sure, but I don’t know how we’re going to do this?”
The dude didn’t even blink. He slammed his car into PARK, yanked the e-brake, ran through oncoming traffic, almost got hit, and then handed me his phone. “Here! Take our picture!” As he put his arm around Tony and began mumbling the usual story about how he used to play Pro-Skater while growing up, I flipped his phone’s lens around so that my stupid face filled the frame, and said, “1-2-3… ” Click. He thanked Tony, grabbed his phone, ran back to his car, and drove off.
Despite it being late and tired from filming and skating all day, Tony would graciously take the time to sign stuff and pose for pictures on the sidewalk outside our hotel with the small groups that awaited us every night. Tony would diligently repeat the ritual the next morning for the next group that was out there waiting.
Tony handled the throngs of people like a gentleman with grace and patience. I was impressed because I would have lost my shit if I were in his position. I’m not exaggerating when I say: the barrage of admirers was CONSTANT. “I could never do that,” I thought to myself. Fortunately no one is offering me fame and fortune so that’s a problem I’ll probably never have to worry about. All I have to worry about is making sure my poop goes in the right place. The pressure in my ass was growing dangerously high when the customs officer waved me to his window.
“How long were you in Peru?” the customs officer asked me.
“Four days,” I replied.
“Would you go back to Peru?” he asked. Odd question for customs?
“Yeah,” I said, thinking about it for a moment, “I would.”
“Good. So you like Peru.” Then he stamped my passport. “Welcome home.”
Free of customs, I devoted my full attention to the bomb that was ticking in my butt. I had a choice to make: I could use the bathroom at the airport, or wait 45 minutes to get home. My situation wasn’t dire yet, but I couldn’t be sure about the next 45 minutes, so I decided to play it safe and use the airport bathroom. It was late at LAX, no one was around, so I figured it wouldn’t be a total horror show.
I crammed myself and my luggage into the tiny stall, sat down on the toilet, loosened my bowels, and was surprised when a massive jet of hot shit shot out of my ass and filled the bowl below me. It sounded like someone pointed a hose at the toilet and turned it on full blast. For like five minutes.
Speaking of cramming myself into small places, these little Peruvian tuk-tuk taxis were too small for two large American mammals, so Tony and I rode on the outside. (I’m the fat one.)
“Diarrhea,” I said contemplating the bowl of black soup I had just created. “Hm. That’s weird.”
It wasn’t weird. I had been traveling all day, eating unusual South American food, and drinking shitty red wine on the plane. My body was a little upside down. I was actually quite pleased to have taken care of that disagreeable issue in someone else’s toilet, an industrial strength airport toilet at that. At least at the time I thought I had taken care of it, because when I got home it happened again: the second I sat on my own toilet another thick jet of hot black shit filled the bowl. I was going to take a shower anyway, but after that second blast it was mandatory. My undercarriage was a mess.
As I stood in my tiny glass shower under a glorious stream of hot water, there was some more grumbling in my nether regions. I was too busy enjoying my first shower at home to give much thought to the little fart that wanted out of my butt. So I just farted like I’ve done a million times before. “Go ahead little fart, be free!”
Almost immediately the water around my feet turned black. It wasn’t a fart at all, but another shit storm that exploded out of my buttocks and cascaded down the glass shower door. Technically we call this a “shart,” but “shart” is too cute of a word to describe the torrent of feces that flew out of my ass and pooled around my feet. “AAAAAAAGH!” I squealed, trying not to stand in my own waste. It was the first time in my life that I’d shat in a shower. I don’t even like to pee in the shower. But for a brief second there was something nice about shitting in the shower. I felt like a little baby again, just evacuating wherever and whenever I liked, lalala.
This is not an image of my accident. I present it here, though, because it’s an excellent example of what it looks like when someone has diarrhea on a glass wall. My shit had a much wetter consistency, it was nearly black in color, it didn’t contain as many blueberries (flies), and my shitstorm occurred inside my home and not all over a sidewalk in DTLA.
But it was not nice. I was unable to enjoy the primeval experience because the water was so black I couldn’t even see my feet and it was painfully clear that something was very wrong. In the space of only a couple of hours I had experienced three explosive diarrhea events and my ass still wasn’t done talking. It had a lot to say because I spent the rest of the night in the bathroom on the toilet alternating between puking and pooping. When I wasn’t puking, or pooping, or puking and pooping, I tried to clean the shower. But to no avail. I’ve tried to clean that shower many times since, but my shower will never be clean again because I will always remember that one time I returned from Peru and sprayed dung all over it.
By morning my suffering was displaying all the telltale signs of possession by a South American doo-doo demon. This wasn’t the first time. An evil spirit from Xibalba , the Mayan Underworld, invaded my rear end via a greasy chicken lunch before we went spelunking in Belize a few years before. I’m not sure which one of the 12 Lords Of Xibalba hijacked my body deep in the dark recesses of that evil cave, but one of them took my anus hostage and demanded I deliver him to America immediately. I managed to keep my butt cheeks clenched long enough to swim out of the cave, get to a jungle toilet, perform an anal exorcism, and flush the demon back to Xibalba where he belonged.
Since Peru is Inca territory, this possession was most likely orchestrated by the Incan Lord Of The Underworld, a fellow who goes by the name of Supay. (Is it a coincidence that “Supay” sort of sounds like “soupy?” You know what else is soupy? Diarrhea. Exactly.) Unlike the Xibalba demon and his funky chicken, Supay penetrated my rear defenses using a very unusual strategy.
This is an artist’s rendering of, Supay, the Incan god of Death and the Underworld. I mean, yeah, I guess that’s sort of what I envisioned the little doo-doo demon in my asshole to look like, kinda?
During lunch on our last day in Lima, I picked up a jar of spice from the middle of the table. I poured some into the palm of my hand to test the heat level. Normally I sample flavors with the tip of a finger, but I had recently seen three celebrity chefs on TV, completely independent of each other, tasting out of the palm of their hand. Must be a chef thing, I thought. So I, too, licked the spice off my paw like a cat. Mmm, spicy.
I was in the midst of lick number two when I remembered the skate demo we had just come from. While Tony stood on the outskirts of the skatepark in the middle of a massive rugby scrum and appeased the masses as best he could by signing everything put before him, I entertained the spill-off from his mob of admirers. “He’s white. He’s with Tony. Therefore he must be famous too. Let’s get him!” At first I resisted their advances, but that just made things worse. The more I protested, the more desirable a photo with me became. It was easier, I learned, to oblige Tony’s fans, put my arm around their shoulders, rest my palm on their warm, brown backs, and smile. I must have posed with dozens of dirty, sweaty, skater kids that afternoon.
And guess who didn’t wash their hands before lunch? That’s right: me.
Only a few dozen people showed up for Tony’s impromptu demo at the Converse Park in Lima (great park, btw), but they were one of the most enthusiastic crowds I’ve ever experienced. They would go bonkers for Tony’s setup tricks—“I didn’t realize tuck-knee inverts were so popular in Peru,” Tony said after his first run—but they completely lost their minds when Tony spun a 540.
Supay had hitched a ride on the backs of his own constituents and then tricked me into inviting him into my system. Sneaky devil. Then the stowaway hid quietly deep within my bowels until I set foot on American soil where he escaped out my back door and slid into our public water works. Who knows what horrors this wily demon plans to visit upon our country? The first cases of Covid-19 were identified in China, but maybe it originally came from Peru?
“What’s the Peruvian version of Montezuma’s Revenge called?” Mark texted after I explained my possession story to him.
Good question, I thought. It took me a moment before it came to me: “Macchu Poopoo!” I wrote. I was very proud of myself.
“Did you mean, ‘Mucho?’” Mark replied a few moments later.
“Oh, yeah,” I wrote. “Right. Much better: Muccho Poopoo. Thank you.”
I suppose I could just as easily call my bout with Peruvian diarrhea, “The Curse Of Lake Shiticaca,” but I think I prefer “Muccho Poopoo” better. Because Peru gave me Muccho Poopoo.
And, yes, I would still definitely go back.
1. If you’re like me and thought that “Xibalba” would be a good name for a metal band, you’re right because it is: Xibalba—straight outta Pomona. They’re actually pretty good.