Right as I pulled into my driveway after traveling 100 miles to the Austin Rally to Restore Sanity, Alive and Kicking by Simple Minds began playing on the radio. There’s a bit of karma, because that’s what I saw today in Austin, Texas. Sane America is alive and kicking in Austin, Texas.
I had a great time among the sane, although it started off a bit rough. Turns out I had to drive myself in the white-trash Toyota. Richard hurt his back on a job and although he offered to drive me, I let him off the hook because I’m the world’s best girlfriend.
I rushed to the grocery store at 7 a.m. to buy some Fix-a-Flat™ and extra motor oil in case I got a flat or my engine decided it wanted to explode. I’m not being paranoid – I’ve had approximately 35 flat tires in the last 35 years. I once had three flats in one day. Another time my tire blew out and the freaking tread caused over $1,100 dollars in damages to my car.
While at the store, I decided to save time (fixing a flat or a flaming motor takes time – didn’t want to be late to the rally) I bought a couple of grocery store deli biscuits. The kind like mom always used to make…if your mom happened to be ME! Baking is not my thing. The biscuit was so dry, in an emergency you could have used it as a sanitary napkin.
Raise your hands if any of you really understand acid reflux. For those of you who don’t, here’s an abbreviated description of foods to avoid and symptoms.
Foods to avoid –
Spicy, fatty or fried foods. Richard does the cooking and likes to include all three with every meal.
Onions. These are also included in every meal.
Chocolate. The day before fucking Halloween? I don’t think so. I intentionally bought two bags of individually wrapped mini-chocolate bars for trick-or-treaters, knowing full well I had no intention of giving the little bastards the good stuff. That’s right, Iron Man and Fairy Princess – grow up, get a job and buy your own good candy. Until then, eat the cheap shit!
Okay, I think I’ve established why I might have chronic acid reflux.
Regurgitation. (This is the one that matters.)
So imagine a woman munching on a dry biscuit while pushing her old car to its limit of 70 mph. Two minutes pass and it happens – I can’t breathe. There’s a lump in my esophagus and I literally can’t breathe. It’s extremely painful, but when this has happened before it usually goes away. Not this time. I don’t actually panic, even though I’m being tailgated by several pickups and there’s no place to pull over.
It occurs to me I’m going to puke and there’s nothing I can do to stop the inevitable. I notice a towel on the passenger seat (along with about seven books, some empty cigarette packages, a lint brush, a bottle of cheap body spray, ashes, cat hair, a few leaves, a roll of toilet paper, a fast food sack filled with cigarette butts and an ice pick. I grab the towel and while still traveling the speed limit, get it below my mouth just in time.
Once the projectile vomiting ended, I looked down to discover a perfectly dry towel and a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a purse covered in bile, chunks of biscuit (STILL fucking dry) and presumably – acid.
Ten minutes later I was finally able to pull into an empty parking lot. I poured water onto the worthless towel and began cleaning the vomit off my clothes and purse. Thank goodness I double-checked my ass, because there was a huge chunk of biscuit located there. The logistics of it seemed improbable, just like the theory of the magic bullet that killed JFK. Biscuit chunk shoots out mouth, hits windshield, bounces out open window, ricochets off antenna into back window, dives under back seat, hits gear shift, shoots to driver’s seat and squeezes itself between seat and ass.
Everything else went according to plan. I didn’t break down, have a wreck, get lost or pull out the pepper spray – which I forgot to bring.
I’d like to thank my good buddy Jeni Decker for doing most of the work on the video of my day of sanity. She’s an absolute peach and for a writer – pretty damn sane.