i can’t help it if i don’t feel so good.
— james taylor
part 1: a well-meaning co-worker asks my wife, “why didn’t you ever have kids?”
part 2: gossie comes back from dinner. it’s a crazy busy night at work, but he came in really early and worked like a dog so that he could go out on a quick dinner date with his wife, a taste of saturday-night normalcy for people who have none. luckily, saturday is mrs. margarine’s chippendale’s night, so i feel no such pressure. (and yes, dogs work very hard. they work even harder these days because of all the workforce downsizing. many dogs are now unemployed, hungry and roaming the streets in not a particularly good mood. so try to avoid eye contact. sorry. back to the story.)
he returns an hour later, looking rather pale for someone who’s just been out on the town. where did you go, carlo asks?
Mango’s, he says. (a nearby mexican food place. i’m not sure about their burrito/rice status). we were sitting next to a family with two kids, maybe 3 and 5 years old. luckily, they were quiet and polite. we were having a great time.
until the 3-year-old vomits all over the table. a lot. the 5-year-old, apparently feeling left out, joins in, barfing all over the table as well. gossie is stricken by the sheer volume of it all. i had no idea people that small could produce that much vomit, he says. needless to say, in the end it was not the perfect dinner getaway for gossie and his bride.
i am totally aghast. maybe he’s just making it up, i hope. i look at carlo, who has two kids of similar ages, for his reaction.
yeah, that happens a lot, he says. did they poop their pants?
WHAT? gossie asks in disbelief.
oh yeah, carlo offers. when that happens they usually poop their pants, too. and pee. he shrugs and adds, we don’t eat out much.
gossie and i sit in stunned silence. i decide to indefinitely postpone the chicken and rice i had been eating at my desk. i fight the overhwhelming urge to vomit. and poop my pants. and pee. carlo goes back to happily eating his chunky soup.
part 3: next time a co-worker asks my wife why she never had kids, she will have an easy explanation.
(hey, wait, the careful reader asks. what does this have to do with running? thanks for asking, careful reader. as it turns out, all three of us are quite serious runners. and carlo’s kids often have the runs. and i have experienced all these bodily functions in the middle of a run too many times. so there.)