Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The One About the "Various Other Nasty Phobias."

So, in addition to everything else I have going for me, I'm also a bit of an emetophobe.

It all began in 4th grade. My teacher was Mrs. Lang. I had just begun wearing a training bra, yea though any actual chesticles were years away from blossoming. My best friend was Holly Wolf. My crush was Luke Krupski. I was obsessed with ALF. I even had the ALF phone.

We were in the middle of a grade school reconstruction, so we were temporarily residing at a school called Aldercrest.

(Holy crap! I even found a picture of that very school, even though it no longer exists:)

That year began with a bang. I remember how we'd all wait outside the school, on the cement pavement in a covered area, and wait for the teachers to let us in.

I remember reading Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8.

And most of all, I remember everyone fucking puking on their desks or all over the floor.

Luke Krupski was the first to go. I'll never forget the day he ralphed all over Mrs. Lang's 4th grade classroom. I had loved that boy, ohhh did I ever, until I saw his neon purple puke all over the linoleum.

Kim Stewart was next. She upchucked during a math test.

The next day it was Keri Forester's turn. Puke-o-Rama. Barf-Fest 1987. Hurl to the Max. Literally, like, gag me with a spoon.

And so it went. Bout after bout of stomach flu overtook us all. The poor, dejected janitor and his yellow bucket and mop were in there so often we knew him by his first name. Also probably because his name-tag read "Hello, my name is Carl." Bygones.

And then before I knew it, it was my turn.

I got up during silent reading and told Mrs. Lang I felt sick. She said, "Go sit at your desk and rest, put your head down, just wait awhile to see if you feel better." I dutifully obliged, while feeling positively miserable. Only two minutes later, Mrs. Lang came to me and said, "You look really pale. Why don't you go to the nurse's office."

It all turned to slow motion. It really did. I remember every milisecond of it. I stood, slowly, so slowly, to extricate myself from my desk. And mid-extrication, suddenly, that undeniable urge. That unforgettable mouth-watery throat-tickly stomach-gurgly "I'mona hurl" moment. OHH SHIIIIIIII....

And I barfed. I barfed all over my desk. Right there in the middle of 4th grade, as all my classmates looked on.

I'll never forget as Mrs. Lang told poor Kim Stewart to deal with my puke (by putting a sheet of paper towel down over it) before Carl the Janitor got called in (for like the 48th time that day). I wondered what poor Kim had done to deserve that. I'll never forget the look of my vomit covered by a thin paper towel. And then Ashley Proctor escorted me to the nurse's office, where I laid feverishly under a beige wool blanket, waiting for my mom to arrive, every so often rising to throw up in the nurse's bathroom.

That stomach flu was a doozy. I have never felt so sick to my stomach in all my life. And while I was home sick all week, I remember lying in bed re-reading Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and barfing several times throughout, especially because Ramona herself gets the stomach flu in that book, and there is talk about fruitflies, and jars of blue oatmeal, and retching. "Go away, blue oatmeal," became Ramona's, and my, mantra.

Please. Go away, blue oatmeal.

I threw up in my bed so many times I'm surprised my mom didn't make me sleep in the bathtub. I mean, she brought me the Barf-Bucket(TM) and everything, but I always managed to ralph all over my bed, necessitating an entire change of sheets and blankets, and a bath for me. Once when all the bedclothes were dirty, she put me inside my brand-new splatter-paint design sleeping bag on my bed. I'll never forget that sleeping bag. It was so rad. It was so totally tubular. It was so fucking 1987.

It was a lot like this, but on an aqua background:

Anyway, I barfed in that fucker too. So guess what my mom did? Just threw it out. I think I would too.

After this flu, the worst of my life, I was incredibly obsessed with throwing up. If any of my friends happened to mention that they were feeling sick, I'd panic, back away, and ask in sheer terror, "ARE YOU GOING TO THROW UP!?" I was truly afraid they'd throw up. Afraid! Sore afraid.

And every time I felt nauseated, I'd say a prayer to the Patron Saint of Puke that I could hold it down.

This fear lasted for years. I'm not quite sure when it ended...maybe about the time our cat Opie spewed 4-1/2 feet of vomit down our hallway and there was no choice but to clean it up. My husband and I had just come home from a fancy Christmas party, and there we were, dressed to the nines, I in my fancy red party dress and sparkly jewels, cleaning up cat comet-vomit, laughing our respective bum-bums off. Because what else could we do but laugh? I mean, FOUR AND A HALF FEET OF PUKE.

PS: He got us good another time, with about twelve feet of puke that even rounded a corner, but we did not get photographic evidence of that. But take my word for it. Twelve feet.

So anyway. I guess I grew out of my emetophobia, for the most part.

Until my new fear arose and took its place:



  1. Oh man, if my mom would have known about the ALF phone she would have bought one. For herself!
    You brought back good memories with your choices of books.
    The stomach flu is making its way around our area. Fun, fun, fun!

  2. OMG, Freaking Hilarious!
    Thanks for the laugh, I always love reading your posts LOL! Especially because I can totally relate to a lot of it. ;)

    And NEVER have I seen such cat vomit before LMAO Holy freaking cow! My cat barfs all over the house when I leave to visit family and such, she gets stressed out, even if Hubby stays behind (she doesn't really care about him obviously) but never anything like that. I think your cat is practicing for the Olympics or something LOL!

  3. Chelle: The ALF phone was particularly awesome because even with the phone hung up (in its cradle) I could still hear other people's conversations. So I listened in on my big brother a lot, talking to his girlfriend. As ALF would say. "HA!"

    Heather: Can you believe that epic puke? He would take a running start and it would just stream along behind him. Good God.

  4. I never knew puke could be so funny! I missed this post the other day.

    That sleeping bag was totally rad! Baby, I had a SHIRT like that!

    The cat puke thing--I have tears in my eyes. Usually cats leave a little pile of puke. WTF?!? You should put him in Guinness or something!!

  5. Janice: Speaking of totally rad sleeping bags and shirts, do you remember Genera Hypercolor?

  6. Yes, I'm sorry to say I do. It looked like everyone was walking around with reverse sweat stains. But if you washed the shirts in too-hot water or dried them too much, they didn't work I heard. Honestly, though, of all of the trends that really bug me in retrospect, it's the pegged jeans. I mean, could there be a more figure un-flattering look?! High-waisted, acid washed jeans pegged up as tight as humanly possible around your ankles! No wonder we all have body image issues!

  7. I am trolling and just happened upon this one. So F'ing hilar. In 3rd grade a girl named Gishulia Dalton hurled cafeteria spaghetti all over my back while we were in line to go to the library. And I had on my favorite sweatshirt with the puffy painted heart on it. Grrrr. I will never forget the feeling of having to take off a sweat shirt with barf all down my back without getting it in my hair. Only bright side: I go to go home early. Score!

    In eigth grade we went on a family trip to Washington DC. I got the stomach flu on the train halfway there. I barfed in the hotel room for three days straight. The room we were all four staying in. My crowning moment of that Spring Break was jumping out of bed in the middle of the night with my hand over my mouth while I projectiled thru my fingers. While my brother screamed in horror. I am laughing while I type. Because I am that evil.

    That was it...just thought I would share. Because its nap time and I have all the time in the world to avoid vacumming :)

  8. Please troll, I love your comments. :)

    However, this comment made me gasp aloud by the time I got to "ALL OVER MY BACK." Oh my damn.

    Another fun vomit tale: I remember traveling to Lummi Island to visit some friends, and we had a vast dinner with all the booze you could drink. I was a new drinker, and I did not know you couldn't mix drinks. I had margaritas, Smith & Wessons (basically Pepsi, kahlua, and cream), and SPARKLING WINE. OSHITZ. Later that night, I was using the potty (basically an outhouse--this was a very rustic place), and suddenly I had the mad urge to hurl. So I whipped around, pants and undies still at my ankles, and I hurled. Oh I hurled. I also could not (repeat COULD NOT) stand up. I sat there, bare-assed, and vomited and then dry-heaved for about an hour. Everyone else at the party was like, "Dude, I need to use the bathroom!" My husband (boyfriend at the time) was in there with me, and he held my hair and kept saying, "Joey, you NEED to stand up." I could not. I barfed some more and eventually, forever later, stood up and my boyfriend/husband pulled my pants up for me, lol. We were planning to drive home that night, but now, forget it. So our hosts made us a bed in the guest "lodge," where I barfed in a bucket several more times that night. We went home in the morning. As a sidenote, I didn't get a hangover, I never get them. Even after this night of ridiculous alcohol.

  9. Wow Jo, I also am Emet (mild), but have enjoyed reading all your posts.

  10. Thanks Monkey! :) Yeah, puking is one of the worst things ever. I freak out thinking of when a stomach flu will hit my girls for the first time.

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