Thursday, October 21, 2010

Time for some stories*

So I've decided that now that my big fundraising race is over and my even bigger, non-fundraising race is also over, I'm going to morph this blog into a not just running blog. (I'm still running, of course. Hittin' up some wintery 10Ks and junk for sure.) Which means: Time for some stories!

Everyone who knows me in real life or is subjected to my Facebook updates knows this: Ridiculous and embarrassing crap happens to me regularly. A lot of it is my own fault, since I have a habit of occasionally acting like a non-jerky Larry David in that I sometimes go for the worst-case scenario by accident. It's a flaw, but it's a flaw that totally makes me fun at parties.

Part of me shudders to share all of this on the interweb, but there's also the part of me that was telling my top 2 most awful to the poor woman who had the misfortune to be positioned next to me in exercise class yesterday morning before we even exchanged names. (What's up, Kelly? Also, sorry again.)

So, let's start with the most recent one! It happened over the past two days, so it is fresh in my memory (and gag reflex!)

At school pick-up the other day, another mom was obviously having A Day. I have had many Days, for sure. She plowed into the metal parking pillars and scraped up her van and I knocked on her window to make sure she was okay and, not surprisingly, she wasn't. On the verge of tears and with her younger twins shouting in the back, she said she hadn't slept much in days because she'd been sick and she's too tired to be driving and she was just a mess. I have totally, TOTALLY felt like she looked and my tank of patience was nearly full so I said: Follow me home, leave your kids with me, and go get sane. Come back in 3 hours. She was hesitant to intrude but I told her I'd hound her (she's known me for over a year and knows that's not an idle threat) so she gave in, trundled up the hill to my house, and unloaded her cargo.

We went inside, where it was straight up feral in my living room for two hours. I can handle feral: I have two boys, 5 and 2, and feral is the default. This was more of a volume issue, but it was temporary and fine. The only real issue that arose was a sudden and almost mutiny-inducing banana shortage, but some oranges were unearthed and the troops calmed down.

Then, at about 2 hours and four minutes, one of the twins came up to me, paused thoughtfully, and threw up all over me, the couch, my will to live. I compassionately dragged him onto the tile floor and gave him a bucket and went into Outbreak-style containment mode. If I had one of those giant plastic suits and wee ones for my kids*, we would have SO been in them within seconds. (*Christmas gift ideas? (My parents read this!) Probably available at one of those survival stores, like the one where I buy the "turn any bucket into a toilet" toilet seats to mail anonymously to my friends (who ALWAYS know it's me, which is a commentary that I will someday explore in therapy)) Instead I had to settle for drawing an invisible line and telling the non-barfers to stay behind it, which they mostly did, bless their non-vomiting hearts.

Anyway, towels, bleach wipes, making a bed on the kitchen floor for this kid, calling his mother and making her cut short sanity time, it's all a blur. Within this blur, I was throwing things in the washer, which already had my running clothes in it, waiting for some laundry to join it for happy wash together time.

Fast forward 24 hours, during which life happens and I forget all about the origin of this load of laundry and absent-mindedly remove it from the dryer. I see a splotch on my (favorite! Trustworthy! Worn for both of my long races to date!) running pants. I scrape at it with my nail and it seems to be waxy. From whence this material, I wonder, but idly: With a 5 year old who wears pants with sometimes no fewer than 8 pockets running up and down the legs, I've learned that even with what seems like a through pocket check pre-wash, sometimes unidentifiable things end up in the dryer. I have made my peace with this. I scrape at it, shrug, and put it aside. Next item: MORE splotches, bigger this time. Scrape at them, too. Shrug, also place aside to deal with after going through it all. After 10 items with lots of splotches apiece, I sit down and start working on them for real.

So: Identify the substance.

Step one: Using sight! It looks like wax! There was a pair of wax lips recently acquired in my household and I assume that this is the culprit.

Step two: Touch. It feels waxy.

Step three: Smell it! It smells like nothing, with the sample I'm using. This supports the wax theory, I say to myself.

Step four: (WHICH I REGRET SO VERY MUCH) Taste it! I lick it. It doesn't taste like wax. It doesn't taste like much, right now.

Step five: Try to remove it by scraping it off. Get butter knife and scrape, scrape, scrape. On splotch four, it happens: Scrape, scrape, scrape STENCH. I flashback to the couch, the quarantine starring Dustin Hoffman, the TOWEL THAT WENT IN THIS LOAD. It takes me a few seconds, but not many, and then, there it is: I licked some other kids' vomit. Suddenly, that which tasted like nothing no longer tastes like nothing and, in fact, tastes like what it is. I had a festival of gargling with several different types of mouthwash (why do we have so many different kinds? I don't know.) and, when that doesn't kill it, go for a handful of mints.

By now, it's pickup time, so I head for the school to collect the boys and tell every adult I see, because I have no filter.

It's been 18 or so hours, and I'm still not sick, knock on particle board or whatever this IKEA desk is made out of. I also still haven't managed to get it off my running pants. What did that kid EAT? (The wax lips?)

So, the moral of the story is either don't do nice things OR don't lick objects to figure out what they are since you aren't 10 months old. I think it's the latter.

*This is the original source of "Time for some stories" (or, more accurately, "TIME FOR SOME STORIES") which I recommend you read immediately. It is so good, so good, you see.


  1. oh my god.......I think you are brilliant. I knew the outcome of the story already, but you had me laughing as if I didn't know.

  2. Um... jumping ahead a decade or so... you'll want to be very cautious on the sniff strategy as well.

    And.. no worries. The vomit was already cleaned and dried!

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hahaha, noooooo re: the future. Terrible, so much of what lies ahead, I live in fear.

  4. OMG! You are hysterical! Love it!

  5. Love it! You must tell the skirt in the door story. I love that one.

  6. Are you my new favorite blogger? Nay... person in life? I think perhaps you may be! Can't wait to hear the next episode!

  7. oh, dear, oh, dear. never ever put random things in your mouth, didn't your mama tell you that?

    btw, this story made me laugh so hard that A, who is supposed to be falling asleep while i sit outside the door and do homework demanded i read it to her. i didn't. not because i shouldn't, but because i would totally be busted for not actually doing my home work right now. is this your longest comment yet? i can keep rambling if it isn't.