Whenever an inappropriate story was brought up at the dinner table growing up, my father would disgustedly cut us off with a, “We’re eating here!” However, today, after a fellow employee was sick in the bathroom, seemingly everyone I saw soon after recanted their best puke/upchuck/vomit/hurl/throwing up stories. Quite the dichotomy in settings. I sat down and thought about it for a bit and came up with a list of the best puke stories in my life (most of which I was personally responsible for). Hope you’re not reading this over lunch…
1994: Trash Truck Throw Up
Ah, to be four years old again. Both of my parents worked during the day, so I was usually dropped off at my grandparents, Mimi and Pappy’s, house. I loved everything about their house and yard. And my grandparents always spoiled us much to my father’s chagrin. On one particular summer day, I was riding my big wheel (remember those? Mine was white with red racing stripes AKA cooler than yours) up and down the sidewalk that ran alongside their house.
At this point in my life, I wasn’t the picky eater that I am now, but bad smells really bothered me (and still do to this day). My grandmother would cook sauerkraut that stunk up the whole house and make me dry heave until I walked outside.
Anyways, whilst enjoying the breeze rush through my hair, the trash truck arrived at the front of the house. Unfortunately, on a hot, humid Maryland summer day, the trash was baking inside the truck, and in effect, incubating a horrible trash smell. In the midst of my laps up and down the sidewalk, I started to catch a whiff of the foul odor. In an act of fear, I parked my big wheel and made a run for the backyard, but it was too late…
Peanut butter sandwich and kool aid spewed from my mouth all over my grandparents’ white sidewalk. My sister ran out to see the after effects and yelled for Mimi and Pappy. At this point, tears streamed down my face with embarrassment. Mimi snatched me up in her arms and consoled me while Pappy laughed and patted me on the butt. “It’s alright stinkpot (my dad still uses this term of “endearment”). I’ll get the hose and wash it all off.”
You see, vomit can bring people together. Or it can utterly repulse your loved ones to no end.
1996: Cocoa Puff Chowder AKA The Couch Story
We used to shop at Superfresh, a grocery store that closed down recently, a lot during my childhood. My mom, being the deal finder that she is, refused to get name brand cereals unless they were on sale. “Look here, Rainbow Monkeys is the same thing as Fruit Loops!” Like hell it is, Mom.
The off brand cereal of the week was a knock off of Cocoa Puffs. I was pretty cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs and one evening, I decided to have a 3 course meal exclusively with my favorite chocolate cereal. I was completely fine, but I was feeling really tired. So I walked into our living room and laid down on the couch. After about a 45 minute nap, I awoke and felt a sudden pain in my stomach and immediately projectile vomited all over our 6 month old blue couch. As the brown, chunky bile seeped in the fibers of the cushions, all my mother could say was “Oh T.J….”
She hurriedly stripped me out of my puke covered clothes and got me into the bathtub. As she was standing me up to scrub me down, my second bowl of cereal crawled its way up out of my esophagus. Now, I was naked with barf running down my body and standing in bath water that was contaminated with my stomach ejections as well. A pleasant mother-son bonding moment. “Oh, T.J….”
Finally cleaned up and in my Power Ranger pajamas (also cooler than you), I went to bed. In the middle of the night, I woke up and bowl number three was trying to finish the job the first two started. I was determined to beat it this time. I jumped out of bed, made a beeline for the door, and promptly hurled all over my blue carpet. “Fuck!” I thought. Or maybe it was “Darn it!” I don’t really remember what word I was use to convey my angst toward something when I was 6. My parents woke up and walked across the hall. To my mother’s credit, she stuck with her same line for the evening “Oh, T.J…”, while my dad thankfully stated, “Well at least you kept it on your carpet and not the white carpet in the hall.” Thanks for the kind words, Dad.
1999: Garbage Gut Dumping
The fourth grade was a pretty odd time. I started to notice girls as more than just the people who sucked at dodge ball. As such, me and the guys would make it a point to eat lunch with the prettiest ladies in class everyday. And most of the occasions were quite debutant if I say so myself. Except for a day that sticks out in my mind…
I had to stay late in class before lunch because I was getting help with an assignment. Once I was finished, I headed down to the lunch room, and joined my fellow classmates. Because I was late, someone had taken my spot at the table. Normally, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but it was who took my spot that bothered me. It was the smelliest kid in class who enjoyed burping, farting and expressing other bodily functions regardless of who was around. My usually excellent memory can recall many names, but for some reason, I cannot recall his. It’s probably in my repressed memories, and after reading the rest of this story you’ll know why. For this purpose of this story, we’ll call him Melvin (Smellvin’s more like it! HAHA).
So I sat down two seats down from Smellvin. This put me at the end of the rectangular table which is the farthest from the trash cans where we disposed of our lunch waste. Smellvin was burping the alphabet and totally cramping our style with the ladies. One look at the repulsed look on their faces told the story. Unless we got rid of him, we were going to be sitting at the circle table with all guys (look for the innuendo there). As I was devising a scheme in my mind to eliminate Smellvin from existence, he let out the most obnoxious sounding fart. Think of someone pulling up a zipper that is 6 feet long.
At that age, any farts were immediately denied for fear of indeed being that one guy who farted. Hell I remember my friend and I hearing a kid fart in gym class and constantly reminding him about it for at least 2 years. As irrational as it sounds, it worked for us. In our minds, if you denied it, you didn’t supply it.
Smellvin was a different beast though. He took pride in his flatulence and loudly laughed after every one. My sensitivity to smell hadn’t improved much, and the ass odor began to fill my nostrils. I dry heaved once, and then I felt the acid start to burn my throat. I feared that I was going to be known as that kid who threw up at school in front of everyone. I quickly picked up my lunch bag and ran to the trash can holding my arm over my mouth. Hilariously, I was wearing a beige sweater that my mom thought looked so great on me. Enough so, that I had worn it in two separate family pictures. Puke was starting to come out on the arm of my sweater, but I had made it to the can.
I spewed my Nacho Lunchable all over the sides of the black trash bags. Shamefully, I glance back at the table, awaiting the humiliating laughter to follow. To my surprise, no one was even paying attention to me. I had puked in school in the same room as everyone and had gotten away with it. I felt like O.J. Simpson. The people at our table were still chastising Smellvin for his body odors and booted him from the table. Smell you later Melvin! I took a napkin to my sleeve, sat back down in MY spot at the table, and finished lunch.
Look for Part 2! This pretty much covered my elementary years. Next time, I’ll cover what happens when puberty starts to invade our minds coupled with the effects of vomit on the opposite sex. Happy hurling!