gut muffler

So I had my kidney stone removed last Friday, and since then I’ve spent a lot of time recovering in bed — partially because of the pain, and partially because of the pain killers. Which is why there hasn’t been a lot of GO GO BLOGGING ACTION! And for that I apologize.

The good news is that being confined to bed has given me ample time to catch up on my television. Which honestly? Is a huge relief. That shit was starting to become a serious issue. Whole seasons of television shows were accumulating on my computer like stinkbugs on a window screen. Watching TV was beginning to feel a lot like work – overwhelming, stressful, and bullshit.

Thankfully, after a week in bed, my television workload is now a lot more manageable. Thanks, impossibly painful kidney stone!

The bad news, however, was that watching billions of hours of television in a row revealed to me that something was off about my laptop’s speakers. The sound just didn’t seem as crisp as normal, the audio coming out muffled and low.

At first, I thought I was just having problems processing things because I was out of my tits on painkillers. But that wasn’t the issue.

Then I surmised that I was just having some trouble hearing the audio over things like my son’s never-ending chatter and the constantly running furnace. But that wasn’t the issue either.

After a series of experiments I also ruled out: poor quality downloads, software compatibility problems, messed-up system settings, and a few other possibilities. At the end of it all I was forced to conclude that something had to be wrong with the machine itself.

To which I had the overall response of “God damn it.”

But I was too tired and in too much discomfort from the kidney stone surgery to deal with it. So I just suffered. Until one afternoon about midway through the week, when I shifted a little bit in bed and suddenly THE VOLUME SHOT UP SO HIGH THAT MY EARDRUMS EXPLODED AND I BLED FROM MY EAR CANALS AND MY HAIR FELL OUT AND OTHER SPECTACULAR UNTRUTHS.

Yeah, none of that stuff happened. But what *did* happen was that for a brief, wonderful moment my laptop’s audio did return to its normal levels of volume and clarity, and you can imagine mama’s excitement at once again being able to hurr the teevee. Sadly, that excitement was short-lived, because when I adjusted my laptop to find a more comfortable position in which to enjoy my improved television experience, the speakers went right back to sounding like they were stuffed with used diapers.

I collapsed into a pile, defeated. And when I did… the volume returned.


I sat up a little. The sound went to shit again.


I was onto something. I could FEEL it! So I did some more experiments.

I moved left. I moved right. I shifted in this direction. I shifted in that direction. I sat up. I lay down. I moved the bedclothes around. I did some other weirdo maneuvers. And after about ten minutes of flailing around in my bed like a moron, I finally figured out what the problem was.


Yup. That’s right. The whole time. The particular position in which I’d been laying had been crushing the front speaker of my laptop against the pasty white flesh of my ample belly. Don’t ask me how I went four days without figuring this out. It might have had something to do with Percoset.

Right now I’m of two minds about the whole thing. Should I celebrate that my computer isn’t broken after all? Or should I crawl into a sad, forgotten hole somewhere and yearn for the days when my gargantuan stomach was not so large that it could INADVERTENTLY MUFFLE SOUNDS with its girth?

Once you incorporate the fact that my gut also consistently presses against my laptop’s track pad and sends the cursor off into Nowhere Land, I think you’ll agree that crawling into that sad, forgotten hole sounds mighty tempting.

kidney stone