Saturday, August 02, 2008
The Vomitron claims another soul
I've been reduced to applesauce. Here I am, it's 12:57am and, in a desperate attempt to nourish my recently emptied body, I am carefully and tentatively spooning applesauce. The Vomitron has claimed another soul.
This evening's festivities involved going to a local church fair. All the good stuff was in attendance. Sugar coated funnel cakes, teenage girls texting each other in their short shorts and straight, lifeless hair, and Carnies hawking cheaply made stuffed Care Bears behind booths falsely advertising easy wins. And of course, there were rides. As a dutiful dad of an almost-eight-year-old, I was ready to show my girl the wonder of the spinning steel monsters with minimum height requirements.
I've never been squeamish about bile-inducing carnival rides, but over the past few years I have noticed my stomach acting more and more questionably with every spinning teacup, every looping roller coaster. And as we approached the shining yet rickety centrifugal force experiment, I'm pretty sure my belly button mouthed the words, "dude, I suggest the carousel."
I ignored my belly button.
Natalie and I mounted the steps and took our places in the circle of fun-seekers, and the churning began. As she squealed in excitement, I looked for stationary items on the horizon on which to focus in a futile attempt to maintain control, all the while holding back my hot dog and fries like a pit bull trainer holds back his killer dog. I survived the ride, but thought about finding a discrete tree to grab hold of before my legs gave out. It was a comfortable, cool evening, and I was sweating profusely. My feet were numb, and the sounds of the carnival around me were quickly dissolving into a muffled hum in the back of my head.
The wave of sickness eventually began to clear. That's when Natalie asked to go on the Octopus.
Off in the distance I saw my next challenge, one of those rides with eight two-person cars on the ends of long arms, the arms rotating around a central axis allowing the cars to spin freely and wildly depending upon the distribution of weight. I thought that I saw a central handlebar in each car that would allow passengers to maintain control of the spinning. I thought wrong.
As this pathetic yet dutiful dad mounted the ride with his grinning daughter, I searched in vain for that handlebar but to no avail. The ride began, and it was then that I learned that the 120-pound difference between our weights was quite an enabler. The car began spinning wildly.
The ride lasted exactly two rotations too long. Even Natalie said so. I finished off the ride the color of Kermit the Frog; she was a shade of Gonzo.
The good news was I didn't lose it at the carnival. The other good news was that the friends we were with had decided, while Natalie and I were doing our best imitations of smoothie makers, that their three-year-old had had enough and it was time to go. I barely remember the ride home, other than leaning out the window with the wind in my face, hoping not to chuck in their brand new Highlander.
When I got home, after about a half hour of sitting on the bathroom floor shivering and sweating, my intestinal fortitude gave way, and the funnel cake came back up with a show of violence not seen since the last Jason Statham movie.
I went straight to bed, but now at a little past midnight I've realized I don't have the nutrition in me to last until morning. The safe choice seems to be applesauce. It appears to be staying down.
Update: I forgot to mention that this was Natalie's first experience in memory of her father using the word "Shit." I believe it was fully justified.