I should have known . . .

So last night, 'round 10:30, I got hungry.

Hadn't eaten dinner. Ate lunch at 11 AM. It was time for food!

Hopped in the car and drove to Burger King, fulfilling the perspective of Americans as obese fast food junkies. I like fast food because it's fast and easy and I hate cooking. And since I'm composed of 90% grease anyways, I need occasional infusions to survive (maybe once a week).

I pulled into the parking lot. As I cruised towards the drive-through lane, I looked at the lone parked vehicle. It was a white panel van with the words "Environmental Safety Cleansing" or something like that painted on the side. And through the fogged-over windows of the restaurant (due to the air conditioning inside the restaurant and the heat outside) I could make out a guy who looked like this spraying from a canister:

Now most people would have immediately turned around and left. It doesn't matter what was being exterminated or "environmentally cleansed" - nobody wants to think about a restaurant needing that type of shit. So, most individuals would have fled. And I say that most people are pussies!

As someone who obssessively washes my hands or uses hand sanitizer, I worry constantly about being too clean - I don't want to destroy my immune system's capability to fight off any of the non-imaginary germs that exist. So if I see a chance to give my immune system a challenge to fight off every now and then, I take it. If that means something as simple as eating a sandwich after petting the dog or actually placing my fork at the restaurant on the table before using it (normally I get extra napkins to put it on), then I'll do it.

So, of course, I saw this as a great way to build my immune system. Who cares if they were exterminating rats or roaches or spiders? Every piece of food has certain rodent and insect parts in it that we eat, unaware, every day. If my fries had a few rat hairs in them, no problem!

As the fool that I am, I pull slowly into the drive-through lane. The speaker blares with something unintelligible. I order a scrumdiddlyumptious Triple Stacker combo, King-size, with a chocolate shake, and two hamburgers with ketchup and mayonnaise only.

I pull up to the window and pay the lady/gent/thing. It doesn't have any look of revulsion or utter horror on its face as the bag of food is handed to me, so I take that to be a good sign. Nobody inside was wearing gas masks or standing on chairs shrieking, so I figured my chance of finding an entire fried roach or rat in my fries was pretty slim.

I get home, go back to the computer and carefully open the bag. The smell wafts out, and it's greasy goodness as usual. The fries look fine, except for a few weirdly shaped, dark colored ones that I opt to discard. The rest disappear into the void known as my gullet. The Triple Stacker looks fine and tastes great as it is demolished in record time by yours truly. The two hamburgers, with ketchup and mayo only, have some pieces of lettuce stuck in the mayonnaise. "Hmm," I thought. "I haven't had many veggies today - I should just eat the lettuce." So I do, along with each burger. And the chocolate shake follows it all down.

All in all, a delicious meal. No problems, no funny tastes - it tasted like greasy pre-processed meat parts combined in some type of a machine should taste.

An hour or so later, after finishing my work, I went to bed. I know, I know - it's a horrible idea to eat and go to bed so quickly. I normally don't eat that late, but once in a while won't kill ya.

Let me preface this next section by explaining that I fear vomit. Not from other people - from myself. I hate vomiting. I've only puked three times in my entire life, and I hated every single moment of it. I know people who can vomit after drinking or if they feel bad and then be perfectly fine. Vomiting reduces me to a shuddery mess sitting on the floor in tears. I hate it. Especially when I have a beard - there are pieces of food stuck and nastiness you don't even want to think about (except I just made you - ha!).

So about an hour after falling asleep, I am woken up by my wife. She says, and I quote: "All of you get out of the bed and go into the bathroom if you're going to vomit." (The reason she said "All of you" was because at that precise moment she was dreaming that I suffered from multiple personalities and when she woke she was still half-dreaming).

She was woken by the lovely sound of me choking in my sleep. As soon as she told all of us to get out of bed, I jumped up and realized that I was about to puke.

Oh dear god please no don't let me puke i'll do anything i don't want to vomit please god no.

So I stroll casually (ha!) to the bathroom and stand there with the toilet open, taking deep breaths and willing my gorge to settle. Breathe deep, swallow it down, breathe deep, swallow it down. I made this little gesture with my hands where I started on my chest and smoothed down my body towards my stomach. Apparently I was psychically pushing the vomit back into my stomach.

After about 30 minutes of doing this, it no longer felt like quite the futile endeavor that it felt like in the beginning. I was able to release a rather loud belch (one that unfortunately woke my wife up and she jumped out of bed yelling "Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen" - we'll have to explore that one later).

And then, amazingly, I felt better. I took 6 Pepcid AC, drank a cup of Maalox, and chewed a couple of Tums, and then slept sitting straight up in my comfy chair in the living room for the rest of the evening.

I know you wish that after reading this entire lengthy piece I had actually projectile vomited over the entire house and was reduced to a whimpering child curled up in the fetal position sobbing uncontrollably, but sorry. My fear of vomit is so strong that I was able to physically will myself not to puke. And I don't know if that's sad or disgusting, so I'll go with a little bit of each!

And, from now on, no more Burger King if they have any type of exterminator or cleanser in their parking lot. I've learned my lesson. Kind of.

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