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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

Huey and Ralph

Food poisoning, apparently, is more difficult to get if you’re vegetarian, and especially if you’re an ovo- or lacto-vegetarian (which I am, for the most part), due to the fact that most food poisoning comes from eggs, meat or dairy products. Most of the time. But not all of the time. Sometimes, food poisoning comes from fucking lettuce.

The lettuce, and I’ve had a lot of time to think about this, is the current source of many of my woes. Having overcome the massive stress of flying home and back again, being a brave little soldier in the face of more blood tests, braving the elements by going in to work on a regular basis with quite a painful back and also doing my best (my damned hardest, you guys) to be the breath of fresh air that everyone who knows expects from me, I was most recently struck down by quite a violent bout of food poisoning late on Saturday night and then again early on Sunday morning.

And oh holy Lord how it struck me down.

It’s almost 36 hours since I last vomited, and my stomach muscles are killing me – I can no longer laugh without doubling over in pain, and I can’t double over in pain without doubling over in pain, due to the aforementioned pain in the stomach muscles that are needed (a) for vomiting and (b) doubling over. The irony is fragrant.

As I crouched, spooning the toilet bowl and thinking about life itself in between violent retching, I came to the conclusion that it must have been the pre-packed salad I bought for myself on Saturday afternoon and ate with great relish (and some vegetarian bacon). Since He Who Only… didn’t seem affected, and since that’s the only thing we didn’t eat in common, it must have been the lettuce. Oh dear god, the lettuce.

And please, don’t tell me I should have washed the lettuce. The lettuce was PRE-WASHED. What’s the point in buying pre-packaged salad that has already been pre-washed for you, only to go and pre-wash it again? It’s like telling me to wash my hands after going to the toilet. I’m not going to do what you tell me to.*

If you need it emphasised that I think I managed to puke up everything I’d eaten over the last month on Saturday night/Sunday morning, I discovered this morning that I’d lost 4lbs. In a day. Not healthy.

In the aftermath of food poisoning, the main problem for me is finding something to eat. I’m really very fussy at the best of times about what kind of junk I eat, and when the junk I eat has turned around and been re-presented to me through a night of stomach cramps and waves of nausea so bad I considered waking up He Who Only… by hitting him in the gonads just so I could have someone to share my pain with, I tend to become even pickier once I’m starting to recover.

I still feel pretty bad, but I’m pretty convinced that the only reason I still feel pretty bad, other than pulling every muscle in my abdomen through about 2 hours worth of vomiting while trying not to pull every muscle in my back, is because I haven’t been able to eat anything today other than a packet of salt and vinegar hula hoops. That’s right – hula hoops, the diet of kings.

From now on, the fucking lettuce is an enemy of mine, and no food goes near me that hasn’t been washed three times, sprayed down with chlorine and boiled until it can be consumed through a straw. Either that, or I’m living on a diet of hula hoops and lucozade.

*This is an actual joke. I do wash my hands. Like, 85% of the time or whatever.


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