May 05, 2009

Why We Hurl

I was in the grocery store yesterday afternoon, picking up a few things for dinner, and had the opportunity to watch two people vomit on the floor, which I'm sure was good for business.  I don't know about you, but the sight of people puking always puts me in the mood to buy more food.  Or in my sister Cyndi's case, it makes her want to consume more food, but more about that later.  Now in defense of these poor individuals, the store was having its parking lot paved, and the smell of asphalt was a touch strong inside.  The smell of steaming asphalt has been known to upset certain people's stomachs and besides the two stricken individuals, there were a number of other people inside the store who appeared a bit green in the gills.  Personally, I don't find the smell of asphalt unpleasant, in fact I think it has a certain piquancy to it.

The dictionary defines vomiting as "the act of ejecting matter from the stomach through the mouth."  Pretty straight forward.  There are different kinds of vomiting, including cyclic, winter, defensive, Jamaican, coffee ground and blood.  Of these, "defensive" sounds the most interesting and I'll have to read up on that when I get the time. There is even a website devoted to vomiting affectionados, but I wouldn't recommend visiting it before you eat.

In my observations, bystanders have varying reactions to seeing someone barf in public, but they basically boil down to two; Freeze or Flee.  The "Freezer" is basically trapped by the event and is too polite to hurt the hurlers feelings by scrambling away in horror.  I think this person also has a secret desire to see what's in the ejecta, although they would never admit it.  The "Fleer" has no interest in manners. He immediately leaves the scene in the quickest manner possible.  You can sometimes be a "Freezer/Fleer", but never a "Fleer/Freezer".

Good examples of "Freezers" are mommies and people confined in moving vehicles.  I was on a date once with a young lady who had to vomit after consuming roughly 43 tequila shots.  While I was driving her home (and had given up any hope of getting "lucky"), she asked me to stop the car because she was going to hurl.  I was in fast moving traffic and couldn't do it, so I told her to puke out the window.   So, she did, but she didn't roll down the window. What fun for me the next day as I hosed out the inside of my car.

Public vomiters are a repentant bunch, and will often never allow themselves to return to the place of their shame for fear of being recognized and stoned.  I can relate to this in a similar fashion.  I was on a road trip once and had just consumed a 20 ounce Big Gulp.  Forty miles out of Albuquerque, I had an urgent need to piss, but there were no rest areas, or anything else for that matter, for another 50 miles or so.  Desperate, I stopped the car and looked for the nearest tree or bush.  But, being in the middle of the fucking desert, there was nothing to hide me.  Fearing snakes and scorpions, I just stood by the side of the car and let fly.  And of course, a string of cars chose that moment to drive by and I was serenaded with car horns and catcalls.  I thought to myself, "well, at least I'll never see these people again", but for the next 3 fucking days, I saw these same people through Arizona and up into California.  They would point at me and snicker.  Assholes.

Oh, and I almost forgot my sister Cyndi.  When we were kids, my parents took us out for lunch one Sunday.  We sat down at the table and started looking at our menus.  Cyndi took this opportunity to vomit on the table.  The waitress came around and cleaned up the mess, but my parents actually sat there and ordered food!  And my sister ..... she ordered a cheeseburger and fries!  I was mortified and went out to the car while they ate.  I guess they were really, really hungry.  Weirdos.

Bon Apetit!

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