Friday, September 12, 2008

World Class Pukes


Not too long ago I threw up. This is never an enjoyable experience for me, mostly because when I throw up, it's a violent, gut wrenching, excruciatingly painful experience that lasts for at least 15 minutes. Earlier today I had a brilliant idea: why not write a blog about the ten most memorable pukes of my life? So here they are in top ten list fashion.

10. When I was a little kid I remember going over to my cousins house for a family gathering on Easter. I was probably around four or five years old because I remember I wasn't old enough to be in school yet. In the back yard there was a wooden, factory made swing set painted brown. At the top of the slide there was a brown guard rail to keep kids from falling off. I was tall enough to see over the top of the guard rail and while waiting for one of my cousins to go down the slide, I noticed something that resembled a butterscotch candy piece melting in the spring sun to the wooden beam. It had melted quite a bit, so it only barely looked like a butterscotch candy. I smelled it to see if my estimate was correct. It smelled like butterscotch. For those who know me well, let me just say that this next part was prior to my developing a mild touch of germophobia. I licked the butterscotch candy. Of course it was delicious, but also probably tainted. Throughout the remainder of the day, I ate whatever barbecue foods were present at the party. The only one of these foods I recall eating is the generous portion of sour cream and onion chips because that night when I got home and ralphed, it was all I could taste. I haven't eaten sour cream and onion chips since then.

9. Several of the memorable pukes were memorable not because they were mine, but because I was witness to the event. Number 9 is one of those. I have a cousin named Max. He is perhaps one of the coolest guys I know. He is by far my coolest cousin. Right now he is on a mission in Hong Kong China, so he won't be able to defend himself on this one. Max is about six years younger than me and when I was in the fifth grade, our families took a road trip to Oregon. This would have put Max at about 4-5 years old. A sixteen hour road trip one way is no way to keep a four year old's lunch in his stomach. Somewhere just after we re-entered the state of Utah, Max put his hand over his mouth and mumbled something to my mom who was driving. "Max, honey you need to take your hand away from your mouth so I can hear you," my mom said. "Aunt Kaye Kaye, I have to blaaauuugh," he almost got the whole sentence out, but ended up ralphing all over inside the car.

8. Checking in at number eight is also not my specific puke, but is hilarious nonetheless. On my mission I knew a guy named Elder Phillips. Gabe Phillips was an outside of the box thinker. When his new mountain bike was stolen, instead of buying a new bike he purchased an old beach cruiser and rode it very care freely. He is just a different cat, but in a good way. So when the missionaries in our zone didn't gel all that well, he proposed the solution that was a bit unorthodox. The whole zone got together at his apartment and went out into the grass area of his complex per his request. All he told us was that there was something cool to see at his apartment. When the whole zone had arrived, he stood in front of everybody and put his finger down his throat. I'm not sure what he ate for breakfast, but he must have planned his meal around the puking because the colors were spectacular. Needless to say that twelve guys from the age range of 19-21 years old devoid of the normal 19-21 year old influences of girls, sports, TV, music and video games thought that the puke show was pretty awesome.

7. Number seven, number six and number five have common threads. Number seven was in the hospital when I was sixteen years old. I had diagnosed myself with appendicitis and my mom had driven me to the hospital. After a quick white blood cell test and some waiting, I was set to go into surgery... or so I thought. In a waiting room at the emergency room, I was told my bursting appendix would need to wait because a heart attack patient was being airlifted in. Waiting in an emergency room with a bloated appendix for five hours is a sure fire recipe for the pukes. Puking with appendicitis is not recommended if it can at all be avoided. The puke was straight stomach acid and a nasty green/yellow in color because I had puked all the food in my stomach earlier that day.

6. This leads me to number six, which was still on the day of the aforementioned appendicitis. That morning I woke up with an awful pain in my stomach. It was a Saturday morning and I thought that I had a really bad case of gas. I kept telling myself that I was going to fart and that it would be really long and forceful and that it would smell worse than any fart in the history of mankind because it had been held in so long. I woke up at seven o' clock that morning and I had a church basketball game that began at eleven. I ate some sausage and hash browns for breakfast that morning even though I didn't feel like eating anything because I knew I needed some energy for the game. I got to the church early for a little shoot-around and warm up time. With every layup and jump shot I winced in pain upon hitting the floor after my weak jump. Needless to say, the coach could tell there was something wrong with me and I was benched to start the game. I didn't even make it past the end of the first quarter when I made up my mind to go home. Immediately upon stepping outside, I had to hurl. I stepped over to the flower bed and leaned over into the bushes. Chunks of breakfast sausage and hash brown made their way into my nose because my mouth could not keep up with the sheer volume and rate of content expulsion from my stomach. Several people walked in and out of the church during my spectacle and I'm sure they gave me some crusty looks because I was desecrating church grounds.

5. Number six wasn't my first time tossing my cookies into the bushes at the church. The first time I threw up in the church bushes was about three years earlier than that when I was thirteen. For mutual (that's an LDS youth group activity on Tuesday or Wednesday nights), we were going to some type of scouting merit badge thing in another stake. I've never been particularly big on scouting so the hurl couldn't have come at a better time. While there amongst the hardcore scouters, my stomach felt like a raging sea. I wasn't sure if it was something I ate, or just being around that much enthusiasm for the lame merit badge that was pretty much being forced on me that made me nauseous, but whatever it was, one thing was sure. I wasn't going to make it through the night without ralphing all over the place. I talked to my leaders and one of them had to leave early anyway, so I just went home with him. He dropped me off at the church where my bike was chained to the lamp post just next to the flower bed and bushes near the front doors. I had potatoes au gratin that night for dinner and when you're sick, there's just no way to keep those down. So three years later when I puked the sausage and hash mentioned in number six, it was deja vu all over again.

4. Number four is another one that wasn't me. In fact, I never got the name of the kid who puked. I had just driven four hours to Rexburg, ID from Salt Lake City so that I could attend the wedding reception of one of my missionary companions, Scotty Fellows. Adam Larson, another missionary friend, was with me as he had been companions with Fellows too. We went through the line, said hello to Scotty and his wife Mignon, then grabbed some grub and sat down. No sooner had we taken our seats than this little kid, who was running across the gymnasium, stopped, put his head toward the ground, then made a floor rainbow with the refreshments he just finished eating. He promptly resumed his run across the gym and started to cry hysterically. It was classic.

3. The last three entries are all worthy of a number one, so it took quite a bit of deliberation to determine which incident is the best. I hope you, the reader, will agree with the order in which these are placed. Number three took place at a restaurant called La Paisa Grill in West Valley Utah. I had some time to kill before work and my brother and sister-in-law told me about this authentic Mexican restaurant near where I was working at the time. I decided to get some lunch. Upon the recommendation of my brother I ordered the Molcajete Supreme. A molcajete is an Aztec bowl made of volcanic rock. They are used as salsa bowls in some restaurants. At La Paisa Grill you can order your meals in a molcajete. The Molcajete Supreme contains carne asada, pollo asado, shrimp and jalapenos in an authentic Mexican cheese blend and is served with fresh hot corn tortillas. It's really enough food for two and I tried to eat as much of it as I could so that the to go box wouldn't contain so much leftovers. Well about the time that I asked for a to go box, I was feeling a bit queasy. As I was putting the leftovers into the to go box, the smell of the cheese blend wafted up into the air and invaded my nostrils. Try as I might, I couldn't keep all that food down. I managed to keep the first wave all in my mouth instead of leaving it all over the table for a lunch crowd to see, and it's probably a good thing I was dining alone. I ran to the bathroom and spit a mouth full of puke into the toilet. The remaining contents of that molcajete soon followed and I found that the spicy jalapenos burned as badly coming up as they did going down. I'm sure other patrons were wondering what was going on as I wrenched my guts out for fifteen minutes. When I was done, I wiped my mouth, and due to my fear of public bathrooms, I wasn't even able to rinse my mouth to rid it of the puke taste.

2. Number two was also directly after a meal, but at least for this meal, I didn't have to shell out 20 bucks only to leave it in the restaurant toilet. This meal was a dinner appointment on my mission. The people who had invited us to dinner were really happy to have the elders over for dinner because they didn't get the chance to do it that often. When we arrived at their house, the wife said, "Hey elders, we're having burgers tonight! I got a great deal. Four boxes of burgers for five dollars!" I remember thinking to myself, "I don't know what kind of meat these burgers are, but they certainly aren't beef." To put it simply, the whole meal was four boxes for five dollar caliber. I don't mean to seem ungrateful because I got fed every night of my mission and I'm sure that the family who fed us went to great lengths to prepare a meal for us. However, in addition to the two burgers that were put on each of our plates, there was some mushy corn on the cob, an undercooked bake potato, and two slabs of nasty carne asada. To top it all off, no water was provided to drink. They had two flavors of punch with the brand name "belly washers" on the table and that was all I could use to crush this monstrous plate of food down my stomach. As soon as we left, I turned to my companion and said, "I forgot something back at the apartment." We went home and I told him that I really had to puke because I knew if I didn't I was sure to have food poisoning the next day. He opted not to throw up because we were already running late. I went into the bathroom and stuck my finger down my throat. The sweet relief of vomit was bliss compared to donkey burgers and belly washers. The next day, he was sitting on the toilet and holding the garbage can in his hand spewing out both ends.

1. My number one puke of all time is unique. I've never heard of anybody experiencing the same thing for as long as I've recounted this story. When I was about ten, I was really thirsty. I drank a tall glass of water, but when I was done, I was still thirsty. I drank another tall glass of water but I was still thirsty. I must have drank ten glasses before I was feeling water logged and sick to my stomach. I resolved to lay down on the couch and maybe I would feel better. I started to get fidgety and began flexing my stomach muscles to see my stomach bounce up and down to pass the time. I hadn't eaten anything for a while as it was just before dinner time and my mom was preparing a meal in the kitchen. All the stomach bouncing made me a little uneasy. I went to the kitchen and poured myself another glass of water. Surely the thing which had caused this great stomach disturbance would be the cure to my ills. About halfway through my eleventh glass, my stomach said "NO MORE" and I puked ten and half glasses of water right into the sink with my mom standing over the stove right next to me. She wasn't too happy about my unsanitary antics as I contaminated some of the area in which she was preparing dinner. I'm not sure if she remembers it. It's the only time I've ever drank enough water to make me hurl. Who knew?

So there you have it. My top ten pukes of all time. As I was writing the last three, I remembered one that should make the honorable mention list. I thought of putting it in the list, but it just isn't strong enough to replace any in my top ten. The long and short of it is that on a road trip to visit my brother, who was working at the Grand Canyon, I had purchased a 44 oz cherry Pepsi at a gas station. I didn't even make it 45 miles, or to the bottom of the cup, when about 36 oz came right back up. We were on the freeway and there was no place for my mom to pull over, so it all just had to go into the cup. I was careful not to get any of it on the upholstery of my dad's new truck. He would have killed me.