My first guest blogger ever in over 12 years of The Phil Factor is….Christine of I’m Sick and So Are You! Trust me, if you didn’t know her before, you’ll enjoy her writing. She’s tremendously funny.
Phil’s a little busy writing a book, so he gave me the keys to his blog, asked me to water the plants, pick up his mail, and write a new blog post for him. Unfortunately I’ve already killed the plants and accidentally dropped all his mail in a mud puddle. Sorry, Phil.
I did manage to write a blog post, though.
It’s about that one time I puked.
On a bible.
In front of ten or so impressionable children.
At Sunday school.
My father used to boast that he had an iron stomach, could eat anything and never suffer gastrointestinal consequences. Given that he would routinely cut around mold on bread and eat the rest of the piece with a smile on his face, I’d say he was right. I, on the other hand, have a stomach made of down feathers and those tiny white squishy pellets you find inside a bean bag chair. I get queasy just saying the word queasy.
My lightweight stomach was put to the test by some lukewarm orange juice, one Sunday morning, when I was just a little kid. I had spent the prior night at my close childhood friend’s house, which was a fairly regular occurrence. Any Saturday night spent at their home meant I had to join the family at church the following morning. It also meant that I accompanied my friend to Sunday school before church. Sunday school kicked ass.
See, I was raised in a strict Catholic household. I didn’t go to Sunday school because Catholics don’t do Sunday school. They do catechism classes. On Saturday. Saturday school did not kick ass like Sunday school. Sunday school was all about singing and crafts. Saturday school was all about taking quizzes in notebooks and being told you were going to hell because you didn’t know what the holy trinity was.
So, as you can imagine, I looked forward to Sunday school. While my friend and her sister wore looks on their faces like we were being shipped off to war, my grin was ear to ear. Hell yeah, Sunday school!
I also looked forward to the name brand yogurt we ate for breakfast before we went to Sunday school. I’m the youngest of six children, so money was a little tight in our house. There was never name brand anything in our fridge or pantry or on the back pockets of our jeans. Name brand yogurt was something to look forward to and I ate it with the kind of fervor you’d expect of a poor girl that was eating well and knew she was not going to hell today. Then, I quickly washed it all down with a big glass of orange juice.
Tepid orange juice that was just a teeny tiny bit chunky.
Now, maybe it was my excitement surrounding Sunday school or the giddy feeling I had eating fancy yogurt, but I didn’t panic about my questionable beverage right away. So, we all hopped in the car and headed for the Lord’s house. My stomach wasn’t feeling so great along the way, but I figured it was just a touch of car sickness. Once we parked and went inside to kick ass Sunday school, everything was going to be okay. That’s what my head told me, but my stomach was like, girl you need to get real! Something serious is about to go down.
My friend and I skip off to Sunday school and, at first, things were great. We’re coloring and gluing and singing songs. All was right in my world. Every once in a while my guts would churn a bit in an unfamiliar and slightly distressing way, but I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of me coloring my picture of Jesus while not being told I was going to hell.
After arts and crafts and singing it was bible time. We all took our seats at tables arranged into a big rectangle, so we were in perfect view of each other as we took turns reading passages from the bibles opened before each of our cherubic faces. One child after another read aloud and there I sat, silent, stomach rolling like a ship lost at sea. Tiny beads of sweat, almost imperceptible to the naked eye, began to form on my brow. I could feel the color draining from my face.
With a force that could only be described as menacing, the entire contents of my stomach burst from my face as if they had been shot from a cannon. Chunky orange juice, name brand yogurt, and possibly the prior evening’s tuna casserole. Everywhere. The volume of vomit so great, one could barely make out one clean corner of the bible that lay before me.
All I remember beyond that moment, other than the choruses of “ew” and “gross” and the occasional dry heave, was being maneuvered outta there and chauffeured home. My shame and embarrassment ensured that I would never return to Sunday school again. I only ate name brand yogurt on Saturday mornings from then on and never, ever, ever, ever drank lukewarm orange juice ever, ever again.