2008-01-03

The Vomit Comet

There we were, pulled over on the side of I-15 on that clear and starry Idaho night, (it really was an amazing view), with spew everywhere and on everything. Fortunately, it was so frigidly cold that my nose utterly froze, making it possible for me to suppress my gag reflex as we went about the unfortunate business of cleaning my car. You'd think I'd be more bothered by this whole thing, but, to be honest, I had nothing but sympathy for my sister. There are few things worse than throwing up. Combine that with throwing up in an enclosed space, all over your clothes/brother's car, when you're supposed to be on plane in 4 hours, and you easily have the trifecta of vomiting.

It's times like these that I am simultaneously repulsed and fascinated by the digestive processes (or lack thereof) of the human body as well as the sheer volume of your average stomach. How is it that certain foods (hot dogs, anyone?) can exit the stomach looking pretty much the same as when they entered? In this case, it was garden salad and thousand island dressing. The thing is, I was sitting next to my sister when she ate that salad six hours earlier. It was a very small salad, but it had easily tripled in volume. I'm also pretty sure that carrots are indigestible.

In the end, it cleaned up moderately well. (Note to self, keep paper towels in car at ALL TIMES.) The rest of the ride home was a little awkward/smelly, as she sat in the back while I sat next to the thousand island dressing stain. I tried to cover up the smell with a vanilla tree I had stashed in the glove box, but resultant odor was only a marginal improvement. Through a little cajoling and three calls to Delta, she was able to get her flight changed. So, she got to crash at my house and get a good night's rest instead of jetting across the country in what would have certainly been the most uncomfortable flight in history as the stomach flu made it's inevitable transition into two-ended intestinal torture.

In the end, I'm glad I was there. Had she been alone, or gotten sick on the plane, that would have been much worse. And as for the car, I let the guys at the detail shop take care of my fry sauce colored seat. Let's just say that the seat and mats were still wonderfully wet and pungent when I delivered the car to them the next day.