I may have mentioned in the ‘About’ section of this blog that I count an episode of projectile vomiting among my greatest accomplishments?
Okay, that’s gross right? Yeah, but it’s not going to stop me from giving you a long-winded and over-dramatic account of the whole thing. Best leave this post now if you have any sense whatsoever!
I dabbled in Speech and debate a little when I first got into college. My school had a great debate team at the time, all owing to the coach, but that coach was the absolute worst driver you ever met in your life. It was really amazing. If he wasn’t speeding up, he was slowing down (I mean foot on the break, because by then we were closing rapidly in on somebody’s rear bumper) and if he wasn’t drifting steadily left he was drifting steadily right. To make matters worse, the man had a very small vehicle, and he would often engage in serious discussion or coaching as he drove. So, while riding along you had to concentrate WHILE holding down your lunch and praying to the gods that you would make it to your actual destination.
It was awful!
One day I had agreed to help in the tab room for a High School Debate Tournament. I caught a ride down to campus that Saturday morning and waited to get picked up for the trip out to the high school. I had some time to kill, so I ate breakfast, …well the sort of breakfast I ate back then. It was a Super Big Gulp of Pepsi and a row of donut gems from a 7-11. I horked them down in no time because I was suddenly very hungry. Along comes the coach and stuffs me in the back seat of his vehicle, then shoves a pile of paperwork into my lap and tells me to read names to another student in the front seat. The coach hadn’t done his preparation yet, and so he was trying to get things in order as we drove over to the tournament. …yes, reading in the car will normally do me in. Reading with that driver was bound to be REALLY BAD. And then it dawns on me that slamming a Super Big Gulp and a row of donut gems might have been a mistake.
…definitely was a mistake.
The Coach was in rare form. He read documents of his own while double checking the other student’s paperwork as he drove. We veered toward this wall and that car, screeched to a halt just before hitting that bumper, all the while checking paperwork.
And of course, the donut gems want to come back up pretty much whole at this point.
Then we started to smell gas. It was overwhelming! Turns out the guy directly ahead of us on the Freeway had some sort of a leak, so the coach decides to catch up to warn him. Now, his worse-than-usual driving was compounded by his impression of Starsky and Hutch, and the man still expected me to read names to the other student. The other driver seemed to be in a hurry, so the effort to catch him involved a lot of weaving through traffic. …with gas fumes coming into the vehicle, me turning very green, and “…uh, Jeremy Ditweiler, yeah that’s with an e i.”
(Okay, I made up the name, but you get the idea.)
About half way there I realize with absolute certainty that everything I slammed before getting picked up IS coming back up sooner or later, probably sooner. The donut gems are so determined that I feel sure they will find their way back to the wrapper and replace themselves on the shelf at the 7-11. All with the prospect of a full day’s work ahead of me.
We never do catch the gas-spilling driver. It takes about 30 minutes total time on the road before we pull into the High School parking lot. It takes a couple more minutes to get out because we aren’t done yet with the paperwork. I could have killed to breathe fresh air, and the coach insisted we finish whatever the Hell task it was we were doing. The other student weighed at least 400 pounds (though I believe it was closer to 600, …honestly), and it took him forever to get out of the tiny car. Then we fumble with the broken seat and finally push it forward, all just so I could scramble out in a state of panic. For some reason I didn’t mention this to anyone, …but I was in my own little private Hell at that point.
(The story is just going to get worse from here folks, you really might want to click on one of those links in my Blogroll and go find an author with better taste than I have.)
So, I finally stepped out into the fresh air, and I got about 2 steps before the urge to purge overtook me. It wasn’t much. I was very discreet and I don’t think any of the many folks around us realized just why I leaned down next to that little bush.
(Note how I brag about my discretion at the time as if I had any credibility on the subject while telling THIS story. That’s called ‘irony’ folks. Can you say; ‘Irony’?)
I knew that little mini-purge was just a taste of things to come, …literally. I could feel the misery building within me as I debated what to do next. Out here would be better than on the floor in the building, but best of all would be in a garbage can or a bathroom stall. I stood there for a moment and assessed the situation. “It’s not coming yet,” I thought, “I may have a chance…”
I power-walked into the High School, trying to hit that perfect balance that enhances speed without jarring things too much. I thought I was going to lose it with every fricking step. Every single step seemed to court disaster, and with enough witnesses to make it a truly humiliating experience. The walk seemed to take forever.
And then did it! I actually made it into the High School. I grew very nervous at this point because I didn’t want the upcoming event to occur on the carpet. But at least a final resting place for the donut gems ought to be on the horizon.I just kept dreaming about a trash can or a toilet stall.
So, why was this bathroom locked? That one too? And where are the others?
It turns out that all the bathrooms were locked AND all the garbage cans had been hauled off somewhere. That’s right; it was a Saturday, and someone forgot to tell the cleaning staff that there would be hundreds of people in the building this weekend. So, NONE of the bathrooms were open and the garbage cans were all GONE. I walked/ran from one bathroom to the other, and one after another they all proved to be locked. ALL OF THEM!
At this point I felt like I was dying, because I knew the food was coming back up any moment. I will never get back outside in time; the donut gems are coming back and they are bringing Hell with them.
Then I got lucky.
I tried the teacher’s bathroom door for the second time, and (praise be!) this time it was open. With an immense sigh of relief, I walked/ran into it. At last I could find a place to let go of my burdens. My ever so heavy burdens! Sweet Jesus, I have never been so happy to find a bathroom in all my life. I think I actually prayed for the damn thing, and at the time I must have counted it as proof positive that there is indeed a God in Heaven, because He had just provided me a bathroom in my moment of need.
With one foot in the door I experienced a violent spasm. It felt like my stomach had just lowered its shoulders and launched into my heart and lungs like the biggest lineman on your favorite football team. (I don’t do sports metaphors often so you have to cut me some slack with the imagery here.) Anyway, the point is that bad things were happening in my belly and I wasn’t going to get another step before seeing those donut gems one more time. The bathroom was empty, so I was okay there, but the obvious targets were closed to me. A single toilet rested behind a closed stall door to my left, and the garbage can was covered a few steps off to the right. No time to open it. Disappointment gripped my soul. All that effort and I was going to fail within sight of my goal. But then…
A sink stood on the other side of the bathroom. Nothing between me and that beautiful, sparkling clean receptacle. One last chance to send my meal somewhere besides the floor, and believe me, I took it. I aimed the upcoming surge toward the sink, and I ran up on the back end of it as I went.
The launch literally began in the doorway across the room, but I’m telling you not one drop spilled on the floor. I got it all in the sink. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t done it myself. Right there on that very day!
Yeah that’s right. I am the projectile vomiting king of the world I tell ya! I could not have been more proud.
That was still a miserable day, cause I had the worst headache after that, and I remained dizzy for several hours. I do recall hearing gossip about the filthy sink in the teacher’s bathroom, but I saw no reason to enlighten anyone. I couldn’t even look at the debate coach, because that would have fallen far short of killing him, which is what the bastard deserved. Oh, but that one moment was glorious. I so narrowly avoided disaster and somehow managed the impossible. Heck a part of me wanted to go back and measure the distance as I felt quite certain it was some sort of record, an athletic accomplishment of sorts. It may have been a disgusting glory, but some days you just take what you can get.
My dear reader, did you actually stick with me through this entire abomination? That’s disgusting! You should be ashamed of yourself.