Tuesday, November 15, 2011

When Dead Animals Attack!

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person lying on their bathroom floor in possession of a wretched case of food poisoning, must be in want of a quick death."

November 11, 2011. Many were excited about this date and hoped to give birth or get married. I guess because having 6 number ones in a row brings good luck?? Never heard that before. Sure I suppose it’s kind of cool to write out 11-11-11. But after the 30th email I sent that day for work with the date 11-11-11, I was over its very minor coolness. I understand 7-7-7 when that day came and went 4 years ago. Because lucky number 7 right? But I’ve never heard of lucky number 11 and for me it’s turning out to be a real shit number. You see, on 11-11-11 my food tried to kill me for the 3rd time in my life.

Let me take you back to Jr. high school and a very nasty Domino's Pizza my mom had ordered us for dinner. It had sausage on it, it had pepperoni on it, it had green pepper on it. And about 5 hours later so did our living room couch, chair and floor. My 2 older brothers and I all got sick at the same time. I suppose it could have been a stomach virus, but with the way that green pepper was flying through the air, I’m convinced we had a killer pizza. My poor mother. It should have been easier on her considering we were all teens and should have been able to make it to the bathroom in time for some of the chucking, but sometimes when your food attacks you, you don’t have the strength to sprint to another room. Sucks big time. I could not eat pizza for many years after that episode. People thought I was un-American. How do you not eat pizza Meredith? Because even the smell of it brought back memories of wishing for death. So no thanks, I’ll pass. When I did give in and started eating pizza again, I spent another few years pulling all toppings off so I just had the crust and tomato sauce. I got grief for that one too. I don’t know why. Why should anyone else care if I ate naked pizza for a few years?

Food poisoning episode number 2 took place in November of 1996 when I was 24 years old. I waited tables at night and shared a rental with my mom and brother during that year. I left my job early because I just wasn’t feeling right. The moment I got home I had the most violent puking I had ever had in my life. Coupled with the “rain” of terror coming out my backside, I thought I was dying. I was wishing for death out loud and became completely bonkers and incoherent. All of this was in only a matter of a few hours. My terrified mom who was probably channeling Ellen Burstyn’s character in the Exorcist didn’t know whether to call a priest or an ambulance. Thankfully she chose ambulance or I would be ashes on top of someone’s fireplace today.  When the head EMT arrived he asked (like they all do), "What seems to be the trouble?" Are you freaking kidding me!? What seems to be the trouble? A volcano just erupted inside my body while lava guts are spewing out of my gob and my ass and you want to know what seems to be the trouble? "Uh Mister, can't you take a guess?" Is what I would have asked, had I been able to speak. There was no 'seems' to be trouble...this was full on trouble! I could not hold my head up or even open my eyes fully. They had to carry me out on a stretcher and hurry me to the hospital. They could not get an IV going because my veins were being difficult due to the extreme dehydration. They kept sticking me and sticking me all over my arms on that bumpy ride.

Finally, once I made it to the hospital, they were able to get the IV going through my hand. Those poor ER nurses and docs that night were in bed pan hell. They opened the door ever so slightly, just enough so that a forearm with an aerosol can attached to its hand could reach in and spray disinfectant. No one wanted to be my caregiver that night. Can’t say I blame them. Not a pretty sight (or smell) in my ER room. My mom peeked her head in to check on me at one point and said, “Meredith, don’t ever let anyone tell you your shit doesn’t stink. Because they’re lying.” True story. I will never forget lying on that cold bed in that cold room whimpering in misery alone while my ever so precious and dear mother practiced her stand up routine. Ba da bum! Good one mom. If I had the strength to lift my middle finger, I would have enthusiastically. A tearful look of desperation from my deathbed had to suffice. No, I wasn’t mad at my mom. She was trying to make me laugh. Something I find impossible to do when my body turns on me and decides to expel every single ingredient that ever entered my mouth. I’m quite sure there was a piece of brussels sprout in my vomit, and I hadn’t eaten a brussels sprout in 11 years. (My 7th grade Home Economics teacher made me eat one if I was going to get an A in her class. Torture.)

So the fluids and medicines in the IV finally started working and I went into a calm haze for a few hours. Some Dr. talked to me about Salmonella and told my mother she did the right thing by bringing me to hospital when she did because I would have eventually died at home otherwise. Gee whiz – thanks undercooked chicken. Clucking bastard. They cleaned me up and I was sent home. Now I cook my chicken to a nice boingy burnt finish. And pretty much put on a hazmat suit whenever I have to handle the raw stuff. However, thanks to those beautiful already cooked rotisserie chickens they sell everywhere now, I rarely have to handle the raw stuff. I truly can’t believe I ever ate meat again after that nightmare.

But I did. And on 11-11-11, a dead piece of it turned on me again. Of course these days the plants are turning on people too. Spinach, tomatoes, cantaloupe. Maybe I need to just stick with Pop Tarts – nobody gets food poisoning from them. Perhaps a bigger ass and a bad cholesterol reading, but not food poisoning.

I ate an all beef burrito at a little strip mall Mexican restaurant. Mexican food is my absolute favorite. Chips, salsa, guacamole, beans, cheese, non-psychotic beef, queso. The list of deliciousness goes on and on. But the beef burrito was very odd. It was a tortilla filled with beef only. No cheese, no spices, no sauce, no tomatoes, no onions. Nothing but ground up cow parts and a few tasteless toxins (I would find out later).  7:00 pm was the first hint of my near hellish future. You know that feeling. Just a little odd flutter in your gut that makes you put your hand on your stomach, wince a little and start the prayers. Something like this, “Oh no, please God. No. No no no. Don’t let this be what I think it is. Please let this be just a little upset stomach. One round on the potty should get my belly right….right? Oh please oh please oh please.” For me, those prayers fell on deaf holy ears. 

You don’t need details about the next 10 hours. Because there is not a single one of you that doesn’t already know what those details entail. But I will tell you I traveled (usually in crawling style) from my bed, to the bathroom floor, to the hallway floor, back to the bathroom floor, back to my bed, back to the bathroom floor, back to the hallway floor and so on until it was 4:30 in the morning. That is when the retching stopped. But it wasn’t over yet. It’s not the puking that dehydrates you. It’s the other foul stuff that I can’t seem to bring myself to spell out in words. And that bullshit (there you go!) went on throughout the day. By Sunday morning, I was as pitiful as a legless zombie. Moaning rather than talking, crawling rather than walking. My husband had had enough and scooped me up to take me to the hospital. One IV and a magic bag of fluid later, and I was almost not pitiful anymore. If my husband had told my mom’s joke from 15 years ago, I would have chuckled a bit.  

So what I have I learned from all of this havoc that has been wreaked to my insides? Bacon. Bacon is where it’s at. Bacon has never turned on me and it never will. Don’t say “Huh uh, you had sausage and pepperoni on that Domino’s pizza liar!” Because then I will be forced to say, “You’re right. Sausage and pepperoni. Not bacon. I didn’t say pigs, I said BACON! Ya useless wanker.” 
The end.

Monday, November 7, 2011

By the Breaking Dawn's Early Twilight

Oh, say can you see, Breaking Dawn at midnight on November 17, 2011?

Nope, can’t say that I can see it. That’s because I’ll be busy that night. I’ll be washing my hair. But in my family, I am in the minority. A little hair scrub would never get in the way of my Twilight obsessed family members who are of both the male and female persuasion. Oh I tried the obsession for a bit. But things took a turn for the worse when I was in the middle of the 3rd book Eclipse. More on that in a minute. First a bit of a warning for the Twilight lovers in my life:

I will be taking the piss out of Twilight in this blog much like I do in Facebook status updates. But remember, I’m just having fun at the phenomenon’s expense. I mean no real harm. I have my obsessions too cough cough Russell Crowe cough cough. And some might say, “Geez Meredith, Russell hasn’t looked like Maximus in 10 years, so what the hell can you really say about R-Pat and his ironing board face?” To which I might say, “That’s a teeny tiny good point but Russell and his 47 and a ½ year old love handles could squash R-Pat with his big toe on a bad day.”

The pissing match I have created between the vampire du jour and the Gladiator is beside the point. The point is that since this isn’t “my” phenomenon, I am going to poke fun of it until I’m as bored with the poking fun as I was with the first 20 minutes of the movie New Moon (never did finish it.)

Okay – so what do I have against Twilight? Well let me start at the beginning. It was 2008 and I knew nothing about Twilight. Not a thing. The movie came and went, people were talking and I just ignored the noise. I was busy carrying my 3rd child and dealing with a chronically constipated 4 year old. Anyone who has ever had a chronically constipated child knows how much time that takes out of your life. So I paid no attention. After my daughter was born, Twilight was on DVD. I rented it out of a slight curiosity and was absolutely shocked by how much I enjoyed it. I immediately called my niece who was a fan and asked her all about it. She had all the books. Maybe they were my sister’s books. I can’t remember, but I wanted to read them. I was going to become part of the Twilight culture, and was excited about it.

I read the first book quickly, even read in the dark with flashlight so as not to wake a sleeping infant. Devoured New Moon immediately after. Thought it was a bit slow and Bella started to get on my nerves but I enjoyed it enough to want to keep going. Maybe Bella would develop a personality in the 3rd book. By the time I got to the middle of Eclipse, my interest really started to wane. I was so over Bella whining about wanting Edward to turn her into a vampire that I kept flipping the book off. I mean really Bella? You want to give up food and drink and live off animal blood for the rest of your life? Which will be a very freaking long time – especially for the already immortal Edward who has to share that very long life with your humorless ass.

So the annoyances in the 3rd book brought back memories of annoyances from the 2nd book that I tucked away due to my momentary lapse into Twilight frenzy. Poor pitiful Bella falling apart in the woods in New Moon because her cold dead boyfriend who knows nothing of the meaning of inflection, dumped her so that she could have the life a teenager should have.  I so could not relate to this character at all. Get over it like the rest of us had to when we got dumped as teenagers. Do like we did – date older guys who go to rival schools. Or in your case, younger werewolf guys who are in rival families. Most importantly, get your ass up and live woman! You think Scarlett O’Hara would ever lie in bed and whimper for half a year? Hell no. ‘Cause she knows tomorrow is another day. And she isn’t going to waste her time pining over Rhett (boy did she ever screw that one up.) or Ashley. And certainly not a flat faced dead fucker.

Speaking of flat-faced dead fuckers, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t get it. Forget the actor behind the character. Let’s be nice and leave him out of it. Let’s just talk about the character. Edward. What do Bella and all of those team Edward freaks see in him? So he gets a little sparkly in the sun, big deal. So does Liberace, who also happens to be dead, and you don’t see droves of teenagers fighting over his sheet music. If it’s not the sparkles, maybe it’s the cool skin. Perhaps Bella has a fever and the only prescription is the teenage Snow Miser. Nah, that can’t be it. No one’s attracted to cold hard flesh. Oh wait….

Hmmm. Maybe it’s his obsessive love for her. Do we want the one we love to be obsessed with us? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have 3 ones that I love who are obsessed with me and I haven’t had a peaceful People magazine reading enhanced bathroom break in years! So I don’t believe that one either. Ahhh. It’s immortality. As miserable as she is for only being on the planet for 18 years, she wants to live forever and make all the other immortals long for the day they could get hit by a car and not get back up. I swear if I had to spend an eternity with Bella, I’d be looking for the nearest stake. As I said in a recent Facebook status update, Bella’s about as much fun as a Laundromat with empty candy machines and only Fingerhut magazines to read. Ehhh - you might as well throw in an “out of order” Ms. Pacman arcade game while you’re at it…to enhance the fun. 

I finished Eclipse feeling very unsatisfied and never even read a page of book 4…Breaking Dawn. Didn’t care anymore. I got nothing out of this love story but bad jokes and boredom drool. Although I do dig the werewolf part of the love triangle. It’s not the abs, (well maybe it’s a little bit of the abs) it’s his sense of fun. Jacob actually wanted to do things other than watch Bella sleep. Of course he needs a good vigorous shake to snap him out of his Bella stupor but I’ll cut him some slack due to immaturity. (And I’ll pretend no one told me he imprints on Bella and Edward’s half fanged baby) Yikes.

In short Twilight, I tried. It didn’t work, no hard feelings. Let’s just go our separate ways and cling to those few memories we had together when I was immersed in book 1 & 2. Those were fun times…right? We just weren’t meant to be. Besides, I have been swept away by your more violent and entertaining cousin The Hunger Games. Now Katniss is a heroine I can get behind. March 2012 – I will be watching.