Throwing Up My Soul: The food poisoning experience

There is no worse feeling than the moment before you vomit. The knot in your stomach twists your insides in a queasy numbness, allowing you no comfort in your dreaded anticipation for your time to come.

It’s the waiting that is Hell on Earth.

Throwing up itself? The best.

Throwing up is the solution when you find yourself out on the town, drunk and uncomfortable. Even if said throw up lands on your nice shirt and pants in the middle of a club’s lounge area.

I try to throw up as often as I can because it feels great.

“No, Tim, go run to the bathroom! Hurry,” shout my friends as all five of them try to lift my husky frame from the barstool.

“Rrrrghghgluuuurrppprprprprp,” I gurgle in reply, as the creamy-yet-chunky concoction of whiskey, water, beer, and a footlong philly cheesesteak make it’s way up my system.

When it comes to vomiting, it’s the function that’s welcome at any function. But my loving relationship with vomit took a drastic hit recently when I was struck with a bout of food poisoning.

Act I: Ingesting the Beast

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

My action? The hunger for a filling, yet conveniently priced meal that would be covered in salsa and queso. The reaction? Soul-crushing diarrhea and vomiting.

I went to a local Mexican place that was right up the street from my house. I had never been there before; mostly due to the fact that it was the size of a dental floss box and looked like a total rathole. The cozy set up was complete with dumpsters that always seemed to be full and brown sludge on the once-white window awnings. 

It was the perfect location if you wanted to grab a nice margarita and dump a body.

The reviews were hit or miss. If it wasn’t “What a quaint, little eatery” it was “you will die if you eat this food.” Using my best judgement, I averaged the joint to be a 3-star restaurant.

“Good enough for me,” said me, already inside and mowing down a plate of fried chips.

I ordered a combination plate of steak, rice, and beans. But what entree would be complete without first ordering an appetizer of steak, rice, and beans? Don’t forget dessert to change up the cuisine: a plate of chicken, rice, and chips!

[unintelligible grunts]
The meat was chewy, kind of like gum that wasn’t cooked all the way through. But I liked red meat. So, instead of questioning the thoroughness of the cooking, I chose to laugh-growl like Tim Allen on Home Improvement to signal to the fellow patrons that I was a man who loved read meat and Detroit sports teams.

Act II: The Exorcism of Combination Plate No. 4

Monday was a pretty swell day. I went to work, resumed my usual diet of completely cooked food, and even did a hearty round of exercise.

At 10:30 p.m. that night, I awoke drenched in sweat, which was out of the ordinary. Not the sweating, I am constantly sweating in any environment that doesn’t have a small fan blowing directly in my face. It was the fact that the sweat was cold, and not a warm, roast-beefy, brothy coat per usual.

I stood in the bathroom, waiting for close to 45 minutes for the big hurl. Nothing came.

“My body must have repaired itself,” I said, totally unaware that’s not how it works.

I later learned that when just two hours later, I hurled into my bedroom trash can. Thus kicking off the worst 48 hours of my life.

By sundown Tuesday morning, I was throwing up the last of the food I ate for the last few days. Seeing the half-chewed Mexican food (I get so excited I forget to chew) come back up, caused me to vomit more. By Tuesday night, we were getting around to some peanuts I don’t remember eating.

“Okay, now I think my body has repaired itself.”

“That’s not how it works,” said the Monty Python version of God. 

It was at this time I knew that I was in the hallucination phase of my sickness.


Act III: Rise from the Ashes 

By this time, I am basically a rotting corpse. My breath is so rancid it could peel the wallpaper from the walls. My body is decaying from the inside out. I’ve been wearing the same socks since Sunday, and it is now Wednesday.

I was foul. I was disgusting. I was slowly getting better.

My body had FINALLY repaired itself, and the contamination had finally been expelled from my body. As an added bonus, I lost seven pounds! Even when slowly dying, I am committed to my weight-loss goals!

Getting readjusted to life with the living did, however, take some time. For instance, I stepped outside and met the effects of a city-wide heat warning, and nearly vomited once more. Like James Brown on stage, I nearly collapsed.

“I got you, Tim. You take a rest now, ya hear?”

“Sir, please get this bedazzled cape off of me, it is 101 degrees out here.”


From the outside looking in, one might say that it was my own fault for having food poisoning. I voluntarily ate questionable food. Not only that, I ate a lot of it and routinely said, “Sí,” when they asked my how my food was.

One might say that I have only myself to blame.

Yeah, I can accept that. I can also accept that if someone is puking Campbell’s Chunky Soup-esque vomit around-the-clock and regurgitates other bile from the opposite end of his body, then they might be entitled to write multiple Yelp reviews with different Gmail addresses.

Okay, that seems like you have a lot of time on your hands.

I use my time to do something proactive, like bring down a restaurant’s overall star rating. You use your time to binge-watch another Netflix series and spend the entire workday going up to everyone and growling, ‘OHMYGAWD-HAVE-YOU-SEEN-BLOODLINES-IT-HAS-THE-DAD-FROM-FRIDAY-NIGHT-LIGHTS-IT-IS-SO-GOOD-JENENE!’

It is clear that it is YOU who has too much time on their hands.


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