A few words about vomit.

Don’t run away, reader! I’m not here to gross you out. I’m simply struck by how often barfing, the act itself, has crossed my radar lately, without actually having done so myself in…well, it’s been a while.

I started limiting my drinking when hangovers progressed from a nuisance headache to a half day in bed, to a whole day in bed to a whole day in bed with one or two next-day technicolor yawns thrown in for fun. I didn’t want to find out what might come after, because I really hate to throw up. It’s one thing to be legitimately sick, but when you’re barfing because of your own bad life choices, well, that’s another thing entirely.

There’s a seasonal concert venue here in southeast Michigan, corporately branded DTE Energy Amphitheater, but before that it was known as Pine Knob, and everybody still mostly calls it that. I’ve been three times, always with my friend Dustin, who is young enough to be my son but loves — fiercely — the music of my youth. The summer-touring nostalgia acts all stop there, if they can still put that many butts in the seats, and together we’ve seen Steely Dan, Jimmy Buffet and Alice Cooper, along with multiple opening acts. None of these musicians are still putting out records, but people my age are happy to save their money for tickets, spread blankets on the grass and feel like they’re 17 again. They also drink like they’re 17, and two out of the three times I’ve been there, someone has barfed in my vicinity. (Not at the Jimmy Buffet show, in case you’re wondering — those people practice all year, and know their limits.) The first time, it was the row in front of me, and the lady didn’t even make it past the Elvis Costello opener. It smelled abominable, but a staffer came in with a cleaning kit of absorbent something-or-other and made short work of it. I got the feeling it happens a lot.

The second time was during the encore for Alice Cooper, and I stepped in it. Needless to say, this ruined the remainder of the evening for me; I considered an emergency amputation of my left foot, because of course I was wearing sandals. The cleaner didn’t arrive until the show was over. I considered throwing my sandal into the bin on my way out, but saved them with a deep clean the next day.

I recently ran across this in a local newsletter, about a downtown development — the AV is “Asian Village” — that didn’t endure:

Of course I’ve had some embarrassing barfs in my life, times when I didn’t make it to the bathroom in time. (You know it’s love when your boyfriend is willing to get a mop and bucket and swab the dorm hallway of your half-digested pepperoni pizza and one million Little Kings, even though he’s pretty hammered himself.) But it hasn’t happened in a very long time, maybe not since that incident, freshman year. Of all the places I might choose in a pinch, a fountain would be my very last choice, after the floor or a potted ficus. But I’m bougie that way; I don’t like to see furnishings or atmospheric amenities like waterfalls ruined.

I sometimes wonder if people are throwing up more these days, and what might be to blame for it. (Yes, I should find better things to think about.) Four Loko, sure. Red Bull as a universal mixer? Yep. The general juice-boxification of the American intoxicants market? Oh my yes. But there’s also the general amping up of drinking in general, the puke-and-rally culture of the frat house that endures well into adulthood. A man in his 40s confessed his hangover to me a while back, blaming the shots he’d been doing the night before. Shots! No one older than 25 should ever do shots. I have been known to pour them into potted plants while everyone else’s head was thrown back. A woman I know described offloading a bellyful of vodka-and-cranberry juice in a snowdrift outside her back door, and having to explain to her daughter the next day that no, it wasn’t blood. Vodka and cranberry is a brunch drink, people. Limit two.

Of course, not all vomiting is due to overindulgence. Alan had a spell of food poisoning a few weeks back, and had to rid himself of whatever it was that caused it. It was agony, the worst, he said, since the unfortunate Reuben Sandwich Incident that put him off Reubens for nearly 20 years.

If nothing else, I have vomiting to credit for my love affair with Atul Gawande, the author and New Yorker medical writer. If you have a subscription, I highly recommend “A Queasy Feeling,” which was the first thing of his I read, and fell in love with. The throughline in that piece is hyperemesis of pregnancy, i.e., the all-day sickness that Kate Middleton has endured through three of them. This explains everything about why I do not drink gin and likely never will again:

Break a leg on a ski slope and – as bad as traumatic pain can be – once you can, you’ll ski again. After one unfortunate experience with a bottle of gin or an oyster, by contrast, people won’t go near the culprit for years.

I doubt Alan will ever eat again at the hamburger restaurant he blames for his 48 hours of misery.

And now, like a good barf, I believe I’ve said everything I ever wanted to say about throwing up, and I invite you to share your stories. Please, not too gross.

Posted at 10:52 am in Same ol' same ol', Uncategorized |

90 responses to “A few words about vomit.”

  1. Suzanne said on May 15, 2018 at 11:05 am

    “But there’s also the general amping up of drinking in general, the puke-and-rally culture of the frat house that endures well into adulthood.”
    I notice it, too. A few years ago we were invited to a get together at the house of people our age, which means middle aged and they served jello shots. No. Give me a scotch on the rocks so I know what I’m getting and how strong it is. You might still have too much, but it won’t sneak up on you.
    I’m am also amazed at the number of people I encounter who go bar hopping with their (especially) college age children. Not, mind you, going to a local bar for a beer or two with the kids, but bar hopping and getting sloshed with them. I don’t ever want to drunk barf, but I especially don’t want to drunk barf with my kids.

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  2. jcburns said on May 15, 2018 at 11:20 am

    So offering Alan a nice reuben sandwich accompanied by Campbell’s Tomato Soup would be right out.

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  3. jcburns said on May 15, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Tom Wolfe died, the author of “You Can’t Confuse Me with Thomas Wolfe Again.”

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  4. alex said on May 15, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Jazz Fest on the lawn in Grant Park, circa 1990. People had their blankets and picnic baskets and some folks nearby us even had a little hibachi. Smelled wonderful until the fat guy tending the flames ralphed right into it.

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  5. LAMary said on May 15, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Bad sushi. I cannot eat sushi now. It took a few days to get whatever was in that stuff out of me.

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  6. Judybusy said on May 15, 2018 at 11:51 am

    In my yearbook, I was named as most likely to own a toilet company due to an unfortunate night of drinking cheap red wine on our high school trip to Germany that apparently was not well-chaperoned. Most recently, about 4 years ago, I unwisely kept sipping at a martini that was smoothly, regularly re-filled by the host. It was a beautiful summer night on their patio with a very funny out-of-town friend.

    It’s Pod Save the People day, and I learned that Zora Neale Hurston wrote a monograph about the last survivor of a person brought here on a slave ship. Already ordered from the library.

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  7. Suzanne said on May 15, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    I just put the Zora Neale Hurston book on my library wish list for later. Sounds fascinating.

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  8. Scout said on May 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Several months ago a friend brought a ‘magic’ mini muffin to a dinner party at our home. Said muffin was baked by the son of another friend, and it was tiny, like 1.5 inch in diameter and 1.5 inch high (haha, no pun intended). We split it into quarters because we are all ladies of a certain age and we do not set out to get wasted, just relaxed. We ate our tiny little muffin quarters and washed them down with wine, then ate a nice dinner of Caesar salad and broccoli cheddar soup and french bakery bread.

    Shortly after the last of dinner was consumed I noticed that my friends looked like they had snapchat eyes and my living room started taking on strange and shifting dimensions. Before long I was melted into my chair and not able to participate in the conversations going on around me. Then, I started feeling really hot and had the presence of mind to think, maybe I ought to go to the bathroom. Just as I was trying to stand up, my body went into full purge mode and I threw up into my hands, farted mightily and staggered into the bathroom. Couldn’t even make it to the toilet at the far end, throwing up into both sinks on the way.

    My lovely wife came to check on me. Her first words were, ‘Are you all right?’ (No.) Her second words were ‘Oh man, I just cleaned this bathroom.’ (Get OUT!)

    Once I evicted the demon muffin and everything else in my stomach I then cleaned up the whole mess because I was not about to let anyone else into that chamber of horror. After a shower I finally returned to my guests who were blissfully giving each other reflexology foot rubs. ‘Are you ok?,’ they asked. (Yes.) Nobody else had any adverse reaction and I am convinced I must have gotten all the ‘magic’ in my little quarter.

    It’s funny now, but it certainly wasn’t at the time. I don’t do edibles any more.

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  9. Heather said on May 15, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Is it weird that I am excited to read everyone’s barfing stories? I don’t have anything too dramatic. Maybe about six months ago I went out to a very nice restaurant and had ice cream that was described as “black coconut ash.” Well, something from that night did not agree with me and I ended up spewing black stuff in the middle of the night. It was notable only because in other circumstances, the hue would have been quite alarming.

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  10. Jakash said on May 15, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Coincidentally, Neil Steinberg, who was just in California, has titled his blog post today “In-N-Out.” Not about this topic, of course, but that title would work here, too!

    “Please, not too gross.” IMHO, you barely limboed under that bar, Scout, but it was an interesting story. ; )

    These are trying times in the nation, and I’m afraid my drinking has increased a bit, but the progressive increase in the severity of hangovers over the last few decades keeps me from going off the rails. When the equation gradually shifted from “6 hours of fun in exchange for a bad night’s sleep and a headache for a couple hours” to “2 hours of fun in exchange for 16 hours of misery,” it was time to change up the formula.

    I’m not wild about gin, but my “never again” is Southern Comfort. A *long* time ago. A dorm room. Bunk beds. That is all.

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  11. nancy said on May 15, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    I need to go to more lesbian dinner parties, if they include foot rubs.

    Edibles are problematic that way, and one reason I want marijuana legalized — so the production of same comes out of the basement and into a place where one square of the chocolate bar doesn’t contain all the ThC.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 15, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    He got people to tell him things, and he wrote about them. White suit affectations or not!


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  13. Dorothy said on May 15, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    In January I suffered a bout of barfing and the other end for about 24 hours, and man oh man it had been decades since I had puked. And when it kicked in, I was about to sit down to dinner on a Sunday after making something (I forget what) yummy. Like a switch had been thrown, all of a sudden I just lost any trace of an appetite and ran into the powder room on our first floor. Started with the back end, but within a half hour then I was barfing. (Sorry Jakash – I might be limboing with Scout on this issue).

    I did all subsequent actions in the master bathroom, and poor Nestle, whom we had owned for 7 months at this point, was quite distressed to hear the sounds emanating from her sweet mother. The look on her face was something like “I did NOT sign up for this shit!” But she stayed nearby anyway, trying to offer me comfort from a sort-of distance. I had had sushi earlier in the day but that was not the source of the illness. Dear hubby (he didn’t eat the sushi) got it about 48 hours after I had it, so it was viral I guess. So even though I knew the sushi didn’t cause it, I still can’t even look at it these days. Maybe one day soon I will, but not for the forseable future.

    Speaking of stepping in things, the office girls and I went to lunch yesterday and as we left the restaurant, I stepped off the sidewalk into the parking lot and very nearly stepped on a smashed little red bird (not a robin). This made me think of the time when Mike and I were dating, and we had a fondness for visiting Elmer’s Aquarium. Because Mike had a tank and we liked seeing the fish. I was strolling through and all of a sudden felt this squish under my foot. An angel fish had flipped out and I had just killed it. Talk about wanting to amputate your foot….

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  14. beb said on May 15, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I heard a good barf story once from a casual acquaintance but I’m lousy at telling stories. Basically he had eaten an over-ripe tuna sandwhich and had gotten on a bus to go somewhere before realizing that. As the sandwich started working its way back up he got out his handerchief because he was too polite to just spew. But that was soon full so he took off one of his socks, and when that was full, took off the other sock. Either he stopped ralphing before that one got full or found something else to use. It’s sounds better — and grosser — when he tells it.

    I once tried to brew mead in college. It did not go well.

    I am appalled by all the malt liquor infused fruit drinks there on the market now. Alcohol used to have a self-limiting feature because beers, whiskeys, etc. actually taste kind of harsh. Now you can buy any number of candy-flavored drinks that don’t taste like booze until you’re “barfing like a freshman.”

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  15. Mark P said on May 15, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Camping in New Mexico. One of my friends got a cheap grape soda type drink, and that was all we had. In the middle of the night everything wanted out from the nearest exit. That was about 25 years ago and I cannot even think about grape soda today. The same sort of thing happened when I was in college but it involved cheap peanut butter — gack!

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  16. Peter said on May 15, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    When I started reading today’s entry, I said to myself “I have to let Nancy know about that long New Yorker article about vomit – oh wait, she knows about it.” That article is a gem.

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  17. Deborah said on May 15, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    I was in Rome, one summer when my husband’s then college age daughter was working there as a baby sitter (I was going to use the French term but can’t figure out how to spell it and I’m in Abiquiu so I didn’t want to start clicking around and lose service). We went to a GREAT little restaurant for dinner, one of those kind where they give you a bottomless bottle of fantastic (but inexpensive over there) wine. We had no idea how much we were drinking because they kept refilling the bottle and there was no way to measure unless you were counting glasses and of course we weren’t. We literally were weaving when we left the place and walked down the street (the one in La Dolce Vita where all the celebs were dining outside, again I’d look it up but…). No barfing happened thank God but we felt mighty queasy the next day.

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  18. Sherri said on May 15, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    The problem with often being able to drink your friends under the table is that you sometimes run into ones who can drink you under the table. College ski trip, shots of applejack. I passed out and threw up, and fortunately the friends who had not tried to keep up with me and the guy doing the shots took care of me.

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  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 15, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Speaking of vomiting, I blame Nancy entirely (via Twitter) for my having now seen and not able to unsee this . . . painting.


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  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 15, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    And I blame Sherri for making me hunt up this clip:


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  21. Judybusy said on May 15, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    So far, I vote Scout for best story!

    I know I am drinking more since the election, which means I’m drinking a glas or two of wine nearly every day. In recent weeks, I have skipped some days because we did a budget audit and I was spending waaaay to much on wine. I do other soothing things that are healthier. Today I had time to walk over lunch to the Stone Arch Bridge over the Mississippi. I met a beagle named Bacon and got my dog fix. My volunteering also makes a real difference in peoples’ lives. Oh, and my job. Those go a long way to curbing despondency.

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  22. Connie said on May 15, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    I got to hear Tom Wolf speak at the louis Sullivan auditorium during an ALA conference. They have just announced Michelle O will be this year’s opening speaker. Perhaps I shall have to go as well.

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  23. ROGirl said on May 15, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Sophomore year in college, Friday night. Somehow the drink was 7 and 7s, I had maybe 2 with a friend. Vending machine ice cream sandwiches were next, followed by a midnight run to Kroger and then to an apartment over Angelo’s. I laid face down on the sofa. My friend got up and went into the bathroom to throw up. Then I went to the bathroom door and knocked, went in to throw up, she was on the floor with her head against the toilet. I threw up in the sink. By the time we were done it was probably after 2, the inhabitants of the apartment were asleep, and we had to get back to our dorm, so we linked arms and walked back in the cold and clear fall night.

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  24. Joe Kobiela said on May 15, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    It had been quite a while since I last “stepped out back for a bit of a chunder” as our Aussie friends say, but a couple years back I caught something and spent about twelve hours driving the pourceln bus every 2 hours on the hour it seemed with about 4 heaves each session, by the end it was nothing but a vile yellowish brown liquid. Now back in the rugby years I have seen many classic round trip meal tickets, just wish I could remember them or maybe not, brother Dave might be able to step in here and contribute, and possibly Dexter also.
    Cheers,(I think)
    Pilot Joe

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  25. beb said on May 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Not a vomit story per se but something that will induce vomiting

    Every time I see his picture I think he’s the poster child for “My 600 pound life.” Or maybe he’s a frog that’s swallowed a whale.

    I know this is fat-shaming but there’s just something about his face that makes me want to punch it.

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  26. Dexter said on May 15, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Line item reply: Pine Knob, 41 years ago, was a frequent destination for me and my soon-to-be wife then. She adored Gordon Lightfoot and I could not possibly miss Crosby, Stills and Nash whenever they appeared. We saw many other popular acts too, too many to go on about. We took our 15 year old daughter to see INXS and Men at Work together one night. I had no idea how great a live performance by INXS was in store for us.

    Reubens: Two years ago I ate a fast-food chain Reuben and became very sick for 24 or 36 hours. I can now finally eat them again. At the end of the millenium I got the worst flu imaginable and the doc gave me that baby-hydrating stuff called PediaLite. So sickeningly cherry-flavored, it ruined my Dr. Pepper habit for seven years. Now I am back on the Diet Dr. Pepper, and a real one once in a while too.

    Barfing: We drove my new car to Boston in 1977 to see the sights and visit Fenway Park. The young fans chanted “BOOM-ah BOOM-ah” for Boomer George Scott their slugger, as they guzzled beer then puked indiscriminately everywhere. Wading across the mess post-game ruined the experience for the wife-to-be. But then she did see Howard Cosell as he walked right past us. The game was a nationally televised special.

    I’d get sick, sure I would as a young drunk, but my brother was a blackout drunk. This story actually isn’t unique at all, but it happened to him. After a blackout night in his motel lounge, he made it to his floor level but somehow busted into the linen room and took a shit on the floor there. As he checked out next morning, the maids were cussing out pet owners who let their big dogs crap any and everywhere. Another night he was woken by a good Samaritan as he had passed out in a bush sprayed by his own vomit as the temperature was in single digits. He’s out of my life now, moved over by the Mississippi River in Illinois…recovery and rehab didn’t work for him whatsoever, and we assume he’s a wet-brain. Sad, right? Life choices indeed. Nobody can stop a drunk from staying shit-faced, you can believe it. As Wild Bill told Little Big Man in “Little Big Man” the movie…”any damn fool can drink himself to death.” I miss my brother’s wit and I miss our visits and talks, but he’s just “out there”, and wants nothing to do with any family or friends. Oddly, alcoholism runs only in us, the 3 brothers. AA saved my ass it appears, for now anyway, the last 25 years for sure…but it’s got both brothers but good.

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  27. Deborah said on May 15, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Via Veneto is the name of the street in Rome that was in La Dolce Vita, I may be spelling it wrong though. It’s been driving me crazy all day, trying to think of it.

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  28. LAMary said on May 15, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    No edibles allowed in this house since my son left a partially eaten cookie within reach of Georgia, my younger dog. He went out and shortly afterwards I noticed Georgia acting strangely, staring at nothing in particular and then nodding. Then she started shaking. I thought it was a seizure. I bundled her off to the vet who suggested we take her to the emergency vet because she would require all night observation. While I was driving to the ER my son called me and I told him what was going on and he told me there was an edible in his room and maybe she got it. When we walked into the emergency vet the tech looked at poor Georgia (she could barely walk) and said, “looks like another dope dog.”
    They checked her out and said they could keep her and give her activated charcoal etc, but really she’d be fine if we let her sleep it off. No charge from the ER vet. The took it in stride and said they see it all the time, but I was pretty shaken by how bad the dog looked when it first happened. Luckily she’s a big girl, 110 pounds, and not a tiny dog. The vet said a small dog would have problems.

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  29. Scout said on May 15, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    LAMary, I feel Georgia’s pain.

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  30. Sandy said on May 15, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    A few years back, we were settled on the lawn at Pokagon State Park, awaiting fireworks. I glanced through the crowd and noticed a teenaged girl throwing up in a plastic grocery bag. Her companions acted as if it was no big deal. They proceeded to get rid of the first bag and gave her a new one. I stopped looking their way at that point, because it was repulsive. Also…teenagers regularly post videos on social media of themselves throwing up.

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  31. Joe Kobiela said on May 15, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    Thinking back at some slang, Yak, Liquid laugh, parking the tiger, curbside quiche. I do remember my brother unloading in front of a car full of nuns after a Packer football game.
    Ah, memories.
    Pilot Joe

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  32. LAMary said on May 15, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    The son who left the cookie out paid for a new dog bed. Georgia lost control on her old one. He also paid for the first vet who did nothing but charged 75 bucks. Poor pup. She didn’t know what hit her.

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  33. David C. said on May 15, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    My concert puke story cost me a new down coat. I saw Genesis at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo. The woman behind me was drunk on her ass before the concert even started. When it was over, I went to put my arm in my sleeve and found it had been filled with her puke. So I have to go home in February in a snowstorm with my coat in the trunk. The cleaner couldn’t get the (probably Boone’s Farm) stain out and the coat was a goner.

    My personal story was about five or six years ago. We went through a period where we bought whole chickens and I cut them up into manageable portions. I ended up with salmonella from the raw chicken and ended up in intensive care with dehydration, kidney failure, and a BP of 55/30. I gave up my career as an amateur butcher after that.

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  34. Deborah said on May 15, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    There’s always a lot of vomit on the streets of Chicago in certain areas (like Old Town). Especially on holiday weekends, particularly St. Patrick’s. This past St. Patrick’s it was worse than usual because for about a week after that it didn’t rain, dried vomit on the sidewalk has a distinctive splatter pattern.

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  35. alex said on May 15, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    For as much as I used to drink, I seldom puked. This was because I learned young that if I consumed anything sugary after drinking, even a stick of chewing gum, it would give me the room spins and the heaves. Also if I mixed soda pop in my booze, so I always drank alcohol straight.

    My most memorable barfs were food poisonings. Sushi on Clark and Argyle in the late ’80s made me deathly ill for days but didn’t curb my yen for sushi. After dinner that night I left for Michigan to visit a classmate and spent the most miserable vacation ever, mostly on the toilet, both face first and vice-a verse.

    Next time was in the early 2000s after eating at Fort Wayne’s Oyster Bar on the night before a job interview. Needless to say, I didn’t make it to the interview.

    I became violently ill after having barbecue the one and only time I ever patronized Fort Wayne’s Acme Bar several years ago.

    And my last big puke and booty spew came after eating a tuna steak lunch special from my favorite deli downtown. I started feeling queasy in the late afternoon but went on with my dinner plans — at Naked Tschopstix, which is a sushi place — and stuffed myself with a big sashimi plate nevertheless. On the way home (I was on the passenger side) I projectile-puked out the window going up the interstate at about 75 MPH and coated the side of the car in addition to my face and hair. Since that one, I haven’t been able to eat tuna steaks, but still adore sushi.

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  36. alex said on May 15, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    And Deborah, Old Town’s got nothing on Bourbon Street in June. I get the heaves just remembering.

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  37. Deborah said on May 15, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    I should have said no rain or snow because that time in Chicago can be brutal.

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  38. Deggjr said on May 15, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    Introduced to drinking freshman year in college, beer was pretty fun … cherry vodka, not so much … driving the porcelain bus, bu-ick … promises to God made … those 40+ year promises have been kept.

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  39. Rana said on May 15, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    I don’t have a whole lot of puke stories because I come from a line of women with iron stomachs and giant bladders, and because I am also one of those unfortunate souls who gets a hangover while drinking, so it’s hard for me to over-imbibe. So between ages 12 and 42, I didn’t ever barf.

    Then I got pregnant, and learned about menstrual migraines (aka puke headaches), and now have a small child and an elderly cat with stomach issues living with me. I haven’t done the “catch the puke with one’s hands” thing yet, but after spending the wee hours cleaning a bed and doing laundry while comforting a small wailing barfy human who just wants to go back to sleep, I see why people do it.

    Plus pregnancy left me with a gag reflex that I didn’t use to have. It gets really old…

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  40. basset said on May 15, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Catching it in your hands? Mrs. B and I, her brother, his wife and their two little kids went out to dinner in Jackson, MS one night about thirty years ago and one of the young uns let fly while we were waiting at the entrance stand. Brother pulled off one of his cowboy boots and tried to catch it.

    Couple of Bloomington memories: freshman year, I barely drank in high school and so tried to make up for it later. Tequila shots and bong hits with the guys across the hallway, bottle of wine and a couple malt liquors just for variety, more shots, more bongs, slip back to the room for a swig of milk whenever the throat gets too raw. Green cottage cheese all over the bed when I woke up.

    Twenty-first birthday, had to work till ten-thirty and started pounding dark beers down on Kirkwood immediately afterward. Girlfriend’s mom was a cake decorator and had made a really nice red velvet cake. Problem with that, if you eat a bunch of it, drink too much, and start heaving in the bar bathroom it looks like you’re having some kind of hemorrhage. Scared hell out of some poor soul who walked in on me. No, I’m fine, just throwing up, don’t worry about it…

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  41. Jolene said on May 16, 2018 at 12:02 am

    I’m imagining what a first-time reader might think if he or she dropped in on this conversation. Probably wouldn’t be drawn to the idea of joining the community.

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  42. Diane said on May 16, 2018 at 12:12 am

    Bratwurst at a beer and brats festival 4 years ago. Threw up for the entire weekend and my stomach still heaves at even the thought of sausage in any form.

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  43. beb said on May 16, 2018 at 12:16 am

    LAMary — what Scout said. The Emergency Pet ER people were really good people.

    The worst thing about vomit is that the smell tends to trigger a gag reflex… All these puke stories are starting to get to me. If there’s a merciful blog mistress please start a new topic tomorrow.

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  44. Sherri said on May 16, 2018 at 1:14 am

    This is what I constantly say when I’m working on campaigns. Always seems to be easier said than done.

    Advocate for what you believe in, and explain why it actually helps people.


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  45. Dexter said on May 16, 2018 at 2:26 am

    David C. : Wings Stadium drew great acts. I took a crew there once in winter to see Dave Mason do his show. He played all the hits and cuts from his latest at the time. If you are struggling to remember Dave Mason, he was in Traffic for a while, later heading his own touring and studio band after stints with Fleetwood Mac, Delaney and Bonnie, and Derek and the Dominos. He’s the real deal.

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 16, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Sherri, a version of that I learned from a hard-bitten pol advising my first school levy campaign: “Young man, stop thinking about converting ‘no’ voters. Those sumbitches ain’t gonna change their minds cause you told ’em something. Wasting your time. Figure out who your ‘yes’ voters are and get them to the polls and make sure they vote — and make sure you got more of them than the ‘no’ voters. Cause they gonna show up, sure as shooting.”

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  47. basset said on May 16, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Dexter, if I remember correctly Dave Mason was only about nineteen or twenty when he was in Traffic, just as they were getting started. Didn’t know he had been part of Derek & the Dominos, though. He came through here a few months ago, played in a big concert club but the tickets were kinda high so we missed it.

    Wings Stadium… Mrs B is from Portage so we went there a few times before we were married and moved away, several Wings games and saw Yes in the round in about 1978. Meanwhile, the remnants of that band are touring in two different factions… Yes, the Steve Howe/Alan White group, and Yes Featuring ABW, the Rick Wakeman/Trevor Rabin/Jon Anderson side. So one band has no members who were on the first Yes album, and the other has only one. Probably provided their lawyers some pretty good paydays getting the names sorted out.

    And, on the topic of the day… I went to Portland, Oregon for work a few years back and wasn’t even all the way into town from the airport before I knew I had to come back with Mrs B and Jr. Did that, got on a light rail train and was digging on what a progressive city it was with great transit, then the train went down an incline and a puddle of vomit flowed down the floor from the seat behind us. Managed to get our feet up in time, but still.

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  48. alex said on May 16, 2018 at 8:56 am

    I keep hearing stories of people getting hit with flying puke on amusement park rides.

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  49. Suzanne said on May 16, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Alex, that is why I don’t go on amusement park rides.

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  50. Dorothy said on May 16, 2018 at 10:01 am

    That’s funny, Jolene. Hadn’t thought about that but hopefully if any first-time readers browsed this page since yesterday, they look at the whole package and not just the vomit stories.

    I go to amusement parks but I don’t ride the rides where people might and/or usually barf. I assume those would be the rides that turn you upside down frequently? Yech – not for me! Roller coasters are about the only thing I ride anymore, and I’m 60 and never had any puke come my way, I’m happy to say.

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  51. Heather said on May 16, 2018 at 10:45 am

    It’s always interesting to see how loved ones respond to one’s puking too. An old boyfriend knocked on the bathroom door and asked if I wanted him to hold back my hair, while the most recent ex skedaddled once he heard me heaving into the toilet.

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  52. Suzanne said on May 16, 2018 at 10:59 am

    When my kids would barf, especially in the middle of the night, my husband would stand at the doorway, frantically waving a paper towel or two, and saying that he couldn’t come in the room because he couldn’t stand the smell. LOL!Usually I needed a whole roll of paper towels! I couldn’t stand the smell, either, but someone had to clean it up, so I’d put my big girl panties and go.
    Once, everyone in the family had the raging barfs but me (it was going through my kids school so badly they suspended classes for a few days). I am still convinced that I didn’t get it because I knew nobody would clean up my mess like I’d cleaned up theirs. Mind over virus.

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  53. Julie Robinson said on May 16, 2018 at 11:04 am

    We were the opposite–puke makes me puke, but I can handle blood. Divide and conquer!

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  54. Sherri said on May 16, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Jeff, the concept of not converting no voters seems to be a tough one to internalize. I always try to remind people we have limited resources, because time is the most important and most constrained resource, and what’s the best use of time? “Sorry to bother you, thank you for your time” and move on to the next door or phone call.

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  55. Sherri said on May 16, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Remember the guy who went crazy on a flight a while back, injuring flight attendants and a passenger and having a wine bottle broken over his head? I believe we discussed it here.

    The case is now resolved, and he’s been sentenced to two years.


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  56. Hank Stuever said on May 16, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    There’s a lot more barfing on TV than there used to be — some of it very extreme projectile vomiting (Drew Barrymore in “Santa Clarita Diet”). Some TV critics have made essays out of this trend. And in the reality genre, I’ve noticed that a common way to express revulsion is to make the pre-upchuck noises and gagging twitches, as if one is about to barf. For some reason a lot of the “Real Housewives” are easily nauseated and not just when drinking. It could be smells or car-sickness or the appearance of food that they don’t prefer. I guess it’s not news that they have a hard time behaving like adults and saying “No, thank you.”

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  57. LAMary said on May 16, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I had to go get my ginger drops to make it through this subject yesterday. I’m one of those folks who is easily nauseated.

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  58. Suzanne said on May 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    I believe this has a lot of truth to it:

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  59. Scout said on May 16, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    When my kids were little the ex and I had an agreement. I was in charge of poo disasters and he was the puke patrol. This contract extended to include pets, which came in quite handy the time our Australian Shepherd puppy ate a roadkill skunk and barfed it up on the living room rug. I can still picture the sight of the ex with a bandana over his nose and mouth trying to clean it up while the kids, the puppy and I watched from the yard. We ended up having to throw away the rug. That dog had an iron stomach, though. One time she ate a whole 2 lb box of chocolate. Stole it off the counter, tore off the cellophane and proceeded to eat every single piece as well as part of the box. She never even got sick. The vet was mystified as to how she survived it.

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  60. Brandon said on May 16, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    As gross as some of these stories are, nothing can compare to this.

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  61. Joe Kobiela said on May 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Pilot Joe

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  62. Deborah said on May 16, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    I have an overly strong gag reflex. I gag almost every time I brush my teeth and if I keep gum in my mouth too long I can’t spit it out fast enough. Oh and going to the dentist is loads of fun. If my hair blows in my mouth I retch.

    I’m trying an experiment in the cabin, I got one of those black bladders to heat water for a shower. It looks pretty cheesy, it was only $10 so hopefully I’ll get a few showers out of it. It’s sitting out in the sun on the roof now. I got some bungee cords to hang it and a galvanized tub to stand in. Maybe if this works we won’t have to go back to Santa Fe as often.

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  63. Joe Kobiela said on May 16, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I have used the black bag and they do work well, ours had a shower head on the end, limited water so a navy shower works best.
    Pilot Joe

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  64. Deborah said on May 16, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Joe, this bag has a hose and shower head on it too. And yes, I realize a Navy shower is needed. Our bag holds 5 gallons, I think I can shower in 2 1/2 to 3 gallons but i’ll find out later this afternoon when the water is hot. We have plenty of sun here. I have a plastic gallon jug of water sitting in the sun too, in case my hair gets suds up and no water is left in the bag. I don’t think that will happen but just in case.

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  65. Mark P said on May 16, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Suzanne, the ignorant, superstitious end-times cult members and the Netanyahu neo-fascists are using each other as tools to reach their own ends. I’m not sure the cult members realize that Israelis know that the cult members consider them less than pawns in their end-of-the-world hopes. I wish those stupid cultists would read their own damned bible.

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  66. Dexter said on May 16, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    This gimmick is pissing me off! The voice says “Laurel” very clearly. Then when they alter the pitch it says “yanny”. I do not believe two people, sitting close together, are hearing both utterances, one each, one for each set of ears. Give me a break! It’s like the dress a while back…what color is it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g8fE_o1ASc

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  67. David C. said on May 16, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Dexter @ 45. I saw a lot of great bands at Wings Stadium. Genesis, Yes, P-Funk, Was (Not Was), Elvis Costello, and a bunch of others I think I saw there, but it might have been at Miller Auditorium also in K-zoo.

    Julie Robinson @ 53. My sister-in-law was an emergency room nurse, she could handle all manner of blood, gore, and emergency room puke, but if one of her kids puked, and her husband was at work, she’d have to call my mother-in-law to clean it up. She couldn’t handle it.

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  68. Dexter said on May 16, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    DavidC: Remember the jazzy rock bands at Coral Gables in Kalamazoo? I had a friend who had a cousin in K-zoo. We’d go there and get hammered and crash at cousin’s house. The reason I went often was mostly to ogle those West-Michigan blond Dutch beauties, who looked like goddesses. For this young Indiana hick, it was look but don’t touch and I never dared ask one of them out on a date.

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  69. Deborah said on May 16, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Well my shower experiment was a big failure. The cheesy bag I bought is a piece of crap. The connection where the hose screws into the bag popped right off when I tried to turn the spigot from off to on. I managed to get clean but not the way I was hoping. Maybe I can find a more well made bag. I knew when I bought it that it was a risk but it was inexpensive. At least I know the the water heats up nicely though.

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  70. Andrea said on May 17, 2018 at 12:34 am

    I’ll just say that, as part of my negotiations to agree to let my husband come back home after I threw him out due to his affair, was that he would be permanently assigned to vomit duty for our three children. That was nearly 7 years ago. I have not cleaned up vomit since.

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  71. Dexter said on May 17, 2018 at 1:51 am

    The vandals struck again, busting out car windows. In my neighborhood, all the cars & trucks & SUVs parked on the street got hit around 4:00AM 2 nights ago, windows and windshields smashed out. I was parked off the street under my security lights and wasn’t hit. This is why I don’t have a functioning gun nor ammunition around here. If I saw someone busting windows out of my car, and if I had a gun….well, I know what I would do. I’d have an itchy trigger finger.

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  72. Jakash said on May 17, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Dexter @ 66,

    Yeah, definitely “Laurel” to me. When they changed the pitch I got Yanny a couple of times, but mostly still laurel. That was a good clip you posted to explain the thing, BTW. I’d seen a couple references to it, but had no idea what the issue was.

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  73. Mindy said on May 17, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I was traumatized by potato chips a few years ago. I seldom eat them, but a bag found me, and I kept munching because they were so tasty. I felt just awful for two days. At bedtime on day three they came back up in a hurry, all in an undigested mass. Fortunately I was able to get the the bathroom in time. I’m still in recovery. No potato chips for me, thanks.

    Many years ago a friend went skiing in the Swiss Alps. For several days he noticed what looked like bloody snow everywhere. Turned out to be a large group of Italian skiers who would drink wine and sing all night and then vomit on the slopes the next day.

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  74. alex said on May 17, 2018 at 9:07 am

    A bazillion different web sites are doing Yanny/Laurel so I don’t know whether you’d hear things the same on all of them. That said, I heard Yanny and when the pitch was lowered Laurel became more perceptible. Forget which web site though.

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  75. Suzanne said on May 17, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Does this surprise anyone?


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  76. basset said on May 17, 2018 at 11:43 am

    In Detroit you have Belgian feather bowling, in Nashville we have hipsters with alcohol and sharp objects:

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  77. Connie said on May 17, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Oh Nancy, are the accusations against Jack
    Lessenbury a surprise? And since they appear to be all about language/speech issues, not actual sex, well I don’t know what to think.

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  78. Sheryl Prentice said on May 17, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    My barf story isn’t alcohol-fueled, but it was memorable anyway.
    My two sisters and I signed on for a bus trip to the eastern Ohio Amish community. We boarded a brand spanking new bus in Fort Wayne and headed out on U.S. 30. This new bus put the restroom below the passenger seats with the luggage compartment, leaving us riding high. The driver pushed the pedal and whipped through traffic, that bus swaying back and forth. Once we left the highway, we were treated to curvy county roads on our way to the first stop at an Amish-Mennonite cultural center.
    The curvy road did me in after all that swaying. It was a mighty fight with the nausea welling up, but I yielded. I rushed to the front of the bus, told the driver to stop that bus NOW or I would puke all over him. He complied.
    I upchucked in the ditch with the entire busload of passengers watching from the windows. A nice woman getting her mail asked me if I was OK.
    In the meantime, Sister 2, who was seated a couple rows behind me, was busy puking into a wastebasket near her seat. Sister 1, who was horribly carsick as a kid but outgrew it, is chortling about the irony.
    I made a lasting impression on my fellow travelers. I was “that women who stopped the bus to puke” for the remainder of the two-day trip.

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  79. Kaye said on May 17, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Bassett – Ace-throwing seems to be the latest craze. Tried it once, in Columbus OH, and would do it again. Darts w/ hatchets, nice team thing, right? Beer served but limited to X per person.

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  80. basset said on May 17, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Campaign deception in the Fort:


    Tried axe-throwing at a Renaissance fair, I am not a natural at it.

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  81. Mark P said on May 17, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Regarding motion sickness and self-driving cars: https://slate.com/technology/2018/05/who-will-clean-self-driving-cars.html

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  82. Brandon said on May 17, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    @Basset, #76: Remember when dwarf tossing was the thing?

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  83. Sherri said on May 17, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Right now, self-driving cars are in the state where because they don’t actually exist, but you can see the potential, you can imagine them solving any problem you have with the world of driving cars. Safety? They’re bound to be safer than humans! Convenience? I won’t have to ferry my children and my elderly parents everywhere, and I can get stuff done while I’m in the car! Traffic? Self-driving cars will be able to use our roads more efficiently! We won’t need parking!

    But because none of those things are actually true, none of the consequences to any of those things are discussed much. It’s fascinating to me to see so many people, not just techies, eager for the era of the self-driving car to come, and soon. What it says to me is that the idea of the single family home and the single occupancy car culture it requires is deeply ingrained, and no matter how much people believe that climate change is real, no one wants to deal with the single biggest factor impacting it: the need to reduce car trips.

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  84. Connie said on May 17, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    once had guests get to watch me puke all over the dog puke while trying to clean it up.

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  85. basset said on May 17, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Dwarf-tossing, yes… and Toughman contests.

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  86. beb said on May 17, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Here’s something that’s vomet inducing:
    Parkland Deputy Who Failed To Protect School Gets $100,000 Annual Pension

    He worked 32 years, I worked 31 years with the City. His pension is determed by the average of his three best years. So was mind. Yet he’s collecting over four times when I’m collecting. So unless there’s something factually wrong about this report he was making in excess of a quarter of a million dollars for at least three years. Pretty good pay for a deputy sheriff.

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  87. basset said on May 17, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Nobody has yet mentioned that you can’t dust for vomit.

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  88. Jakash said on May 17, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Back to the Laurel/Yanny nonsense. This “tool” in the NYT is kinda interesting. Listening to the neutral spot in the middle and all the places to the left, I hear Laurel. Going to the right, I had to go all the way to the second furthest from center spot before I heard Yanny. But coming back, I heard Yanny in the 3rd and 4th spots from the right, too, not getting back to Laurel until the first spot right of center. Uh, “fascinating” or “inane?” I’ll leave that judgment to y’all. ; )


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  89. alex said on May 17, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Someone ought to record the paper feeder on a copy machine and see what people think it sounds like. There’s one in my office that sounds like it’s mouthing obscenities.

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  90. Brandon said on May 18, 2018 at 2:14 am

    Barf is the Farsi word for snow.

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