The Emerald Bile

The following post contains graphic tales of stomach upset. For those who want their hilarity sans vomit I shall direct you to a delightful post about a 5′ chicken.

I’m not sure if this is a common side effect of pregnancy, but I have found that during my time of incubation I am far more prone to motion sickness than I usually am–and under normal circumstances I am very prone indeed. Sea Bands help enormously but only if Maggie doesn’t notice I’m wearing them because she gets jealous that I’m wearing “pitty bwacelets.” I bought her some pitty bwacelets of her own but she’s managed to lose both sets. Anyway, the point I’m slowly making is that aside from a nice cup of mint tea there isn’t much that alleviates motion sickness for me.

On Thursday we left for four days and nights in Dublin, Ireland and got a fast, cheap dinner at the little cafe in the Leeds-Bradford airport (an international venue that’s roughly the size of the parking garage). Let me say a few words about Ryan Air: if a subway car and a flea market merchant had a baby that could fly, it would be a Ryan Air 737 plane. Ads cover every possible space (that reminds me, I need to check out that one ad for a trip to Provence), everything from magazines to smokeless cigarettes is for sale, and the landings are as quick and fast as your standard Southwest descent. So by the time we boarded the bus into the city I was already feeling a mite queasy.

In past travels, I had always carried either gallon Ziploc bags or plastic shopping bags. You never know when you might need to carry muddy socks or…whatever. Since I had Maggie you’d think this tendency would be multiplied, but we use cloth diapers and as such I have two very handy “wet bags.” These are reusable bags meant to carry soiled diapers home in a diaper bag without ruining the rest of your gear. And hey, REUSABLE. I like that! That goes right in the diaper bag even when we travel and use disposables because…whatever. You never know.

Less than five minutes from our intended stop I knew the possible was going to become the inevitable and I would meet dinnertime’s cheese toasty once again. Foolishly, I clung to the hope that I could at least get off the bus and on to the street; surely I would not be the first or last person to befoul the streets of Dublin with partially-used dinner. But I felt that awful watering sensation in my mouth and knew it was not to be. Scrambling to think of anything that could hold what was coming, I reached for the wet bag and let loose.

Now, a wet bag is meant to hold sodden clothes and soiled diapers. They are NOT designed to hold enormously large volumes of liquid–particularly liquid deposited in a violent manner into a bag that has seen two years of twice-weekly washings. As we exited the bus just seconds after my episode I noticed small beads of cheese-scented bile beginning to ooze out of the seams. And because that bag was ten dollars (plus shipping!) my pride and Yankee frugality held out and I decided the best course of action was just to hustle to the hotel and clean the whole mess out.

It’s a reusable bag, guys. I had to REUSE IT, because I am a RIDICULOUS PERSON.

You know where this is going, right? There was a problem with our hotel room (several, in fact, but that is a post for later); seems that the notation that we needed a separate bed for Maggie was not heeded and they didn’t have a room that would fit all of us. Tom, fully aware of his green wife, her reeking, leaking bag of cheese chunks and bile, and the antsy small child in his care, just said to send us to the original room and we would make it work. And so we did and I was finally able to tidy up my mess–although that bag did not accompany us on any of our Irish journey. I swore that for the return journey, I would bring at LEAST two plastic shopping bags just in case.

I don’t know if there actually is a citywide ban and I’m too lazy to check, but there was not a single plastic shopping bag to be found in our travels in Dublin. Like most halfhearted hippies I am very much in favor of plastic bag bans and enjoy the smug moral superiority of my canvas bags, at least until it directly affects my needs and what I needed was a leakproof, disposable vessel in case of…whatever…on the return trip to the airport and I didn’t want to buy a full box of gallon Ziplocs. Tom, in his genius, noticed the trash can liners in our hotel room were the perfect size and scored a few from housekeeping. I married him for many reasons but time and time again it is his resourcefulness and general ability to solve my immediate crises in an efficient manner that reaffirms my love. Who else but the love of your life would invest so much time in the efficacy of your vomit receptacle?

Naturally I didn’t need it on our return trip to the airport yesterday. Possibly we had a better driver and better traffic; possibly it was also that the driver had Michael Jackson cranked and the kids on the bus were singing “Billie Jean” with some gusto. I defy you to notice your nausea when schoolkids are rocking out to MJ. But as a nice bookend to our trip the little toddler sitting in the airplane row in front of us spontaneously erupted about halfway into the flight. She managed to hit the airsick bag on the second gag and we were right there with baby wipes and hand sanitizer to help them out, and I would have happily offered my plastic bag if it had been needed. I’m a little surprised with the way that they nickel and dime you that Ryan Air doesn’t charge extra for airsick bags.

But as it was, safe in the knowledge my plastic bag was handy in case I needed it, I was able to reassure her frazzled mother with the utter certainty of the wizened traveler: “Don’t worry about it. It happened to me just a few days ago. I’ve been there.”