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Projectile along I-55

There’s drinking and driving. There’s texting and driving. There’s turning around to yell at your kid driving. There’s reaching under your seat where your phone fell and driving.

I had the pleasure recently of puking and driving.

It was this past summer. I was headed to Michigan for the weekend. I was hung over and tired.

As I was driving down I-55, I noticed in the back seat that I still had leftovers from my dinner the night before. It was some kind of chicken wrap.

Now, being that my car is parked in an underground garage, I justified it had been cool enough in there all night and my sandwich was probably fine.

So, I had a couple bites. About the third bite in, I realized it just didn’t taste right. And not just not right, it was terrible. At first, I was mentally crossing that menu item off the list of things I would never eat at that restaurant again.

Then, as I could feel the physiology of my body start to change, two thoughts came to me immediately:

  • Shit. How much did I drink again last night? My memory flashes to a medium-to-heavy vodka night and eating had not been a priority. Stale liquor is swishing around in my gut, and my liver is refusing to do any type of detoxifying at this point.
  • Did you just eat a couple of bites of a left over in-the-car-all night  sandwich that has some sort of cream sauce on it?

I am starting to sweat now, my stomach is starting to roil and the panic is setting in. I am flying down the interstate, going about eighty, cars are passing all around me and I have to puke.

The stretch of highway that I am on has very little shoulder on either side. Not enough for me to pull over and not be at risk of having my head sliced off by a passing car.

Things are about to get really gross, so if you have a weak stomach, I highly recommend you click around my site now and find a more fluffy topic (Try, “Like it or not, it’s here to stay”.)

I start looking around the car. Specifically, the carry out bag that contained the poisonous, vile cream filled chicken wrap.

I pick up the plastic bag first. What is it about plastic bags that they always seem to have little holes in the bottom?  Always.  I know this from cleaning out the cat’s poop box and having a trail of litter follow me down the hall. Ridiculous.

I digress.

Anyway, the bag is obviously not an option.  The thought of chicken and vodka streaming through those holes onto my lap makes the urge to hurl even stronger.

Now, I’m not really sure at this point, what the hell I was thinking. I had two more options. Option #1 was the aluminum bottom half of the take out container, which is obviously larger. Option #2 is the lid. I have included  photos so you can really get into the story with me.

Option #1

Option #2

A smart person goes for Option #1, the bottom, right? Well, a real hot mess does not. The remainder of the chicken wrap was sitting in the bottom and I guess I figured there wasn’t enough room? I don’t remember. All I know is that I made another poor life decision. I grabbed the lid.

A lid that was about 2 inches thick.

Follow me in slo-mo now.

I grab the lid with my right hand, steering with my left, trying to keep my eyes on the road and the bile down.

Of course, as soon as you know you have to vomit, it’s only a matter of seconds before, well, the puke hits the fan.

Still keeping up with the flow of traffic, I hold the lid with my left hand now, and re-enact the scene from The Exorcist, minus the head spinning.

I was shocked to see the amount of stomach contents spewing forward into this thin, plastic puke-tainor.

I am still driving at this point, staying in between the lines might I add, and another horrible realization hits me.

What the hell am I going to do with this shit now?

Still no shoulder to pull over to and I am literally balancing this thin lid of stomach lining on my hand while avoiding pot holes and hoping no one slams on their brakes.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever been that close to your own puke before. Normally, you have some personal space when you are calling Ralph on the big white telephone. You can step back, put the lid down, and reassess your situation.

When you have a container of barf two inches from your nose that you can do nothing with, the natural response is a doozy. You are going to puke AGAIN.

Yep, I sure did. And that container and its lack of volume was sending me into a deeper panic.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see cars passing me and can only imagine what I must have looked like, balancing my take-out lid on one hand and projectile vomiting on I-55.

I had to hold that lid in that position for at least a couple miles before I found a shoulder to pull over to.

Once I pulled over, I had to put the car in park with my left hand.  Again, I am still holding the lid, which is filled to the brim and sloshing around. Then, I lower the window.

Very carefully, I glide the container to the open window and dump the contents of a very rough morning.

I can tell you that I’m surprised as anyone who knows me that I did not spill that muck all over myself. My porcelain god was watching over me that morning.

The moral of the story?

Do not eat leftovers that have been sitting in your car all night, try to eat something when you’re drinking, and always, always, pick the bigger part of the container to puke in.

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