Hamstrung

Hamstrung

Let us begin 2016 with a contemplation of my bathroom floor, as shown above. As you can see, the main body is a checkerboard patterned tile in sage and cream that was, as of last Friday morning, resolutely cleaned, which was timely as later that evening I was passed out upon it.

There are certain experiences in life that, if you’ve never had them, you really ought to try. In no particular order I suggest the following: standing in a Guatemalan jungle holding a tarantula that has moments before been coaxed from a hole in the ground by a cocaine-eyed tour guide who insists upon calling you Boss; scuba diving, anywhere you can, every chance you can get; jumping off the stage at a rock concert into the hysterical upraised arms of the audience below; being the foreign white man unknowingly riding the ALL FEMALE car of a train in Cairo; heterosexual dating. All of these and more will enrich your life and make you, in various measurable and immeasurable ways, a better person.

If you’ve never had food poisoning, however, don’t rush out. You’re not missing much. Food poisoning is a lot like a Tarantino movie—there’s a lot of hype and a repetitious amount of bluster that culminates in a grossly unnecessary display of violence, but in the end you feel completely exhausted by the whole display.

The culprits, I believe, were some chicken thighs I had purchased earlier in the day. This is noteworthy as I typically do not purchase chicken, thighs or otherwise. When shopping I had figured: It’s a new year, what the hell—live large! But very much like that selfish Nazi contemplating the Holy Grail at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I chose poorly.

That evening I prepared a casserole of sorts with various vegetables and some grains. But whatever was off was so far off, and the ill-effects began so immediately, that when I had finished eating and was washing the dishes when the rumblings began, initially I blamed the sandwich I’d eaten earlier for lunch.

I presume that each of you, dear reader, has expelled bodily waste products through either your mouth or your butt at some point in your life. To understand the effects of food poisoning, imagine both happening, simultaneously and interminably, for several hours straight.

I will spare you the graphic details but for this one image that is, in my self-humiliating opinion, too poignant not to note:

Earlier in the day I had gone to the gym, and on my jog home I could feel that my hamstrings were tight; I made a mental note to stay hydrated and stretch later. Fast forward several hours. I am naked and kneeling before the toilet, my forearms weakly clasped around the bowl, my head dangling inside it. Although I’m certain that I’ve already displaced all the liquid in my body, somehow I begin to retch again. As my entire body heaves my hamstrings’ cramp, and I am forced to attempt to straighten my legs to relieve the pain, an action that propels me upward wobbly as a calf taking its first tentative steps, all while attempting to keep my head hovering over the toilet bowl and my ass clenched tightly so I don’t shit myself further.

Nothing beats a Friday night in 2016…

I do not believe that a year must contain a certain percentage of bad experiences, good ones, indifferent ones, and so on. However, on the odd chance that a year must contain a minimum of one (1) food poisoning, let it be known that I have met the challenge of 2016 bright and early and am more than ready to move on.

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