21 November 2008

Barf-A-Roni, The San Francisco (Un) Treat

Since I embarked upon this experiment in blogging I have realized that writing a ‘daily column’ is not as easy as it seemed. Topics can be elusive. As an example, tonight I was scrounging around and getting a bit desperate. It is also true that sometimes these things seem to write themselves, and this is one of those times. Tonight’s topic: public vomiting.

Specifically, public vomiting as it relates to Wee Lass, and the embarrassment incurred.

I made up my mind this afternoon that if I managed to clear the backlog on my To Do list at work soon enough, I would leave early and perhaps enjoy a bit of down time before dinner and (wait for it)…grocery shopping! I know what you are saying “Gumbo, dude, reel it in! You’re out of control!” Oh, I will; I am nothing if not a master of discipline. So anyway, things worked out, I crossed the last item off the list, and I swiftly put on my cloak of invisibility. A few spy rolls, a quick sidestep past the front desk and I was in the car and on the highway. Yesss!!! I made it home, kissed the kid and parked my keister on the couch, beer in hand. Tasty Anchor Holiday beer, if you are interested. Highly recommended!

Wee Lass and I took in some SpongeBob and then we trekked over to our favorite neighborhood Italian eatery (Hail, Pazani!) for dinner. The plan was to eat and then forage for victuals. A salad for the Spouse, a prosciutto Panini for me and Wee Lass tucked into her favoritest dish: spaghetti with butter and salt, “Butter noodles” in her lingo. We cut them up, Wee Lass tucks in, happiness ensues, ja? Comrades, the answer to that question is a big, fat NEIN!

Notice I said the plan “was” to go shopping. The intersection of Wee Lass and butter noodles, on this cold and snowy evening, was an unfortunate vector producing highly unpleasant results. My daughter is a connoisseur of butter noodles. She can go on about the right amount of butter (“Lots!”) and the correct sprinkling of salt (“Lots!”) and even the proper length of said noodles. The noodles have to be long enough to be ‘slurpy’. There are two traits, however, that Wee Lass manifests with maddening randomness: an inability to listen to her wise Da and lapses in common sense. Which the Spouse and I never do, so I dunno where the girl gets it!

So it was. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Wee Lass inhale a wad of spaghetti sized for a truck driver from Naples. Her cheeks bulged like a squirrel. “Don’t take big bites!” I said. Wee Lass looked up at with a blank stare, spaghetti draped on her chin like a moose eating pondweed. She was struggling to chew as she nodded at me. I looked down to get a bite. When I looked up, there she was with another egg size ball of noodles in her mouth. “Hey! Small bites!” She didn’t look back because she was coughing, mouth working like a spasmodic fish. You know what happened next. Wee Lass looked up, eyes widening to saucer-size. Silence. The Spouse kicked into SuperMom-ICU nurse-mode, grabbing my sandwich basket and turning it into an ad hoc emesis basin (barf bucket, in layman’s terms). BARRFFF! Good timing, Mommy! I launched myself out of the booth and hot-footed it over to the napkin holder for emergency spill absorbents. By the time I got back, disaster had struck. The basket was too small, Wee Lass had gone off like a lawn sprinkler, and the spaghetti bowl was the next closest container. Wee Lass was slumped down in the seat looking sad. The Spouse was glaring up at me, hands upright in front of her. Eewww. “This…is…DISGUSTING!” she hissed. No shit. The Spouse and Wee Lass slunk off to the bathroom to clean up, while I played Coast Guard to their Exxon Valdez. Man, those napkins can seem mighty small all off a sudden.

While I am mopping up, furtively glancing about to see if anyone was staring, one of the waitstaff/busboys stops and says “Can I get those for you?” hands reaching out to get the dishes, “Is this….” the smile fading quick as he looks at the wrecked bowl of spaghetti “…done?” I smiled weakly at him. “Uh, yeah, we’re done. She’s not going to finish that.” He picked up the bowl like it was radioactive. “Sorry.” He carefully walked away, barf bowl out in front of him like a grenade about to go off.

Next week, I’m bringing a poncho. And a bigger tip.

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"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."


-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

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