Silhouetted in smoke, she beckons me to her backroom where she offers me tantalizing sensations and thrilling delights. Nobody can know what I’ve done because the shame and insult would be too great. I want to stop but there is nothing is better than getting my mouth around her. I feel invincible until my world comes crashing to a halt and I get thrown back into reality.
What is that reality? It’s a bathroom stall where I find myself vomiting out of both ends. The girl I was talking about was actually an old baloney sandwich that I found in the back of the fridge but I assume you knew that.
I got food poisoning on Easter Sunday around 11pm. I thought it was funny on the day of resurrection I found myself driving a toilet bowl and begging God to kill me. I would describe my diet as the characters in an Agatha Christie novel: everyone is a suspect. When you’re cradling your head while naked on the pot rocking back in forth wondering if you’ll be fishing out your lower and upper intestine from the bowl, it’s hard not to think that you might have hit rock bottom with your diet.
Putting on my Detective Poirot hat and girdle, I analyzed my food intake from the previous 24-hours trying to find the culprit. Was it the sushi I bought at Whole Foods? Could it have been the turkey sandwich from Jimmy Johns? The wings from the club? The seafood dip from the Easter party? The homebrew I drank at Matt’s? The list went on and on. My police line-up was looking more like a collection of take-out menus and I was no closer to finding the bugger. The only thing I knew was that I was being taken for a GI rollercoaster ride.
My experience with food poisoning usually starts off with me putting something into my mouth and commenting, “Hmm, that doesn’t taste right.” Because of my weird relationship with food, I usually just chew it down and get back to work. Smash cut to 8-hous later and I am sweating bullets and think I might be the next guest on the TLC show, “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.”
My reptilian nature usually kicks in because I find myself crawling to the bathroom trying not to make a mess in my pants. I really don’t want to be gross but in order to talk about food-borne illness we’re going to have to talk about diarrhea. Instead of using the D-word, I am going to substitute anything that comes out of me as confetti. I think confetti is a lot more pleasant than diarrhea, don’t you?
I finally get to the bathroom, drop my drawers and let out a loud, violent blast of confetti. It feels like its New Year’s Eve in Times Square as streamers, balloons and shreds of multi-colored confetti spray everywhere in the toilet. The confetti finds its way to all corners of the toilet. I am gasping for breath as the celebration continues. Yards and yards of confetti leave my body until I think it might be over when the unthinkable happens: the party finds its way to my mouth.
I spin around and face a bowl filled with confetti and painfully heave a huge watery chunk of confetti. My head is pounding, my body is riddled with cramps and can’t see anything because my eyes are filled with tears. The smell of confetti makes more confetti shoot out of my bottom until I realized I made a leaky clown boom. It is the definition of a nightmare. I want to cry but more than anything, I just want everything to stop. I am done negotiating with God to kill me as I expand my death wish to Allah and Joseph Smith.
Over the course of the next five hours, I alternate between spitting and spraying confetti and jumping into the shower to rinse off any lingering pieces of confetti that might have found my butt, thighs, hands, arms and belly. The confetti made a mess in the bathroom that required a gallon of bleach and liberal use of Lysol. After cleaning myself up, I weakly crawl back into bed and whimper myself to sleep wondering when Erin was coming home. The dogs are confused because not only because they are not getting their walk but because I am muttering to myself that I will never eat again.
I slept as best as I could until I went to work on Monday. I had a meeting at the club and a pitch meeting at the Tribune. I put on my bravest face, washed down a handful of Imodium AD with a gallon of Pedialyte and forced myself to downtown SLC. Both meetings were a blur. The only thing that I remember was that I wanted to go home and die in bed. Miraculously, the torture ended when I got home, made what I thought was the last confetti blast and went to bed. I slept for 12-hours.
Being sick is horrible. With hangovers, I usually can blame the bottle of Canadian Club or my Irish heritage. With food-borne illness, I have to blame my reckless nature regarding food. I might be a wuss when it comes to adventurous activities but I have played Russian roulette with my stomach more times than I can count. I usually come away from the experience unscathed but on occasion I find out there is a bullet in the chamber when I pull the trigger.
I only have so many nights off with Erin and spending them cramped over in bed leaking confetti doesn’t make for a nice evening together. Moreover, I had to cover a game on Tuesday and I didn’t want to be sick at Rio Tinto watching Murray take on Skyline in boys’ soccer. I somehow made it to the game on Tuesday and was able to file my story before deadline. Give it a read: Boys’ Soccer: Murray shuts out Skyline at Rio Tinto.
By the time I filed my story, I was feeling on the mend. Erin and I haven’t had food in the house in two weeks so we went to Fiddler’s Elbow to get dinner. You’d think after blasting confetti for over 24-hours that I would have found a teachable moment. Well,I didn’t. Somehow I found the strength to wolf down a steak sandwich and a couple of Guinness. Momma didn’t raise no quitter.
Ben Raskin bartends at Keys On Main Wednesday through Saturday. Follow him on Twitter @BennyRaskin. Check out his podcast, SLC PubCast on itTune. For the record, he thinks “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” is the funniest show on television.