The OTHER Rumination (was: How to Speak English in Eleven Different Languages)

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I’d like to share a disturbing trend that threatens to undermine the very fabric of our society.  A growing number of people are being afflicted with Rumination Syndrome, and to be honest with you, it’s making me sick to even think about it.  Rumination is the act of bringing food from the stomach back up into the mouth to rechew it.  Cows do it on a regular basis, and we all know it as ‘chewing their cud’.  How it got started in humans is still a mystery, but I would imagine somewhere in ancient history some guy got shitfaced and had to throw up in a public place but didn’t want anyone to know, so he vomited in his closed mouth, decided it wasn’t so bad and proceeded to gnaw on whatever it was some more before swallowing it again.  Disgusting, right?  Honestly, I’d rather do that on a regular basis than wait until it came out the other end.  But get this: a 17th century medical student said that ruminated food is “sweeter than honey and accompanied by a more delightful relish”.  I feel sorry for his wife.

I read that about 10% of institutionalized mental patients ruminate.  I would, too, if I had to eat the food they serve in those places.  If you think about it – and I know you’re thanking me right now for making you think about it at all – rumination can’t be good for the teeth, what with all the stomach acid rolling around in your mouth.  If you become one of the lucky few that develop a liking for re-eating your own partially digested food, you won’t have to worry about those pesky teeth for very long.  Stomach acid is stronger than Coca cola, and Coca cola is used by mechanics everywhere to wash excess acid off of batteries.  I guarantee that if you engage in tummy leftovers at least once a week, in six months you won’t have to worry about toothaches any more.

I never knew that rumination was something that was even remotely studied.  I always thought rumination was what happens in your head when you get an idea.  I mean, I’ve always known that most of us have in our life have had a stomach full of food and burped, only to have some of that pumpkin pie jump back into our mouth.  I’ve always called it ‘verping’.  In my vast experience on the subject, it never did taste any better the second time around.  Perhaps if I mix a few pieces of lettuce or a black olive with it, it might take the edge off.

The scientific paper that told me all about Rumination Syndrome states that there is a general lack of awareness of the condition by patients, doctors and the general public.  Wow.  That’s a shocker.  How often have you ever been to a fancy party and overheard someone talk about their rechewed steak?  That’s like saying there is a general lack of awareness of the amount of sweat that rolls off an illegal alien’s back as he crosses the desert. (For your information, it balances out to around two quarts, give or take half a pint depending if he travels at night)  Now that I’ve decided to expose the threat of Rumination Syndrome, those eggheads in their porcelain towers can’t complain that no one knows about it.  Now that I’ve brought this unsavory issue to light, the scientific community can begin doing studies to see just how widespread the problem is.  There will no doubt be obstacles in their way, though.  Who’s going to admit to blowing cookies in their mouth, chewing it up and swallowing it again?  Also, will the researchers require their test subjects to throw up and masticate their vomit before spitting it into a cup for analysis?

I just had a brilliant idea.  Let’s turn this lemon around and make lemonade out of it!  Here goes: If only one day a year everybody in the rich countries of the world ate a big meal, stuck their fingers down their throat and then ate their meal again before putting it in a Tupperware bowl, we could combine our resources and feed all the hungry people!  It would be the ultimate in recycling!  Ok, I need to stop right here so I can draft a letter to the U.N. and get the ball rolling on this revolutionary plan.  I could come up with a trademarked ‘Gagbag’ so the ‘haves’ could give to the ‘have nots’.  I’ll call it “Retching for the Wretched”.  Yes, we can turn Rumination Syndrome into a worldwide movement!  I wonder who from the Hollywood elite will be the first to hand over their Gagbag . . . oh, the future has suddenly turned bright!

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