Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.
I know it’s very common for people to get Olympic fever, but is it supposed to involve vomiting? My Olympic fever last weekend involved vomiting.
It took a long time before I realized my illness was in fact legitimate, and not just Olympic fever. The first two times I vomited, I thought I was just extremely patriotic, but the fourth time I tossed cookies, I knew this was way more patriotism than I was capable of displaying. “I don’t like the Olympics that much,” I thought to myself. As it turns out, I was actually sick.
As Michael Phelps readied himself at the starting line of the 400-meter individual medley, my stomach began to turn. “Oh, that’s just nerves,” I thought. “I must be nervous for Michael Phelps. That’s quite patriotic of me.” As the race started, I felt genuinely ill, like a young boy who has been tricked into chugging a gallon of milk by his cruel friends. As Phelps won the gold, I literally clung to my toilet with both hands, begging God to tell me what I had done to anger Him.
Apparently, God was displeased with my choice of food and beverages. I actually did drink nearly 60 ounces of skim milk in an hour that night. You know that feeling you get when you drink a lot of something but don’t eat much, and you can feel the liquid sloshing around in your stomach when you move? I now know that feeling a little more than I’d like.
But perhaps it was the soggy Eggo waffles I consumed for dinner, or the mountain of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light” margarine that I spread on top of them. Maybe it was the giant puddle of sugar-free maple syrup I used, the kind with the warning on the label that cautions the user of “possible diarrhea.” Are you beginning to understand why I drank so much milk? I needed it to choke down that terrible dinner. Without it, eating those waffles was like swallowing a big soggy wad of waffle-flavored chewing gum.
Maybe the problem was the four mysterious Mexican beers I drank after my disgusting waffle dinner. I got them from the liquor store down the street, the one run by the Chinese guy who always asks for my driver’s license three times because he thinks I’m helping the cops with a sting operation. The beer label consisted only of the word “Famosa” and an artistic rendering of a rooster. I chose that six-pack because I thought the rooster was kind of awesome.
Or maybe the problem was the two Cokes I drank. I garnished each of them with lime slices that I chopped up a week ago and kept uncovered in my fridge on a paper plate. Do limes go bad from that? I’m betting limes probably go bad from that.
Any of those ingredients could have easily led to me spending an hour bent over my toilet, but which item was it specifically? Had the limes gone bad? Most likely. Was the Mexican rooster beer made with Mexican water? Probably. Was drinking 60 ounces of milk enough to overload my entire immune system and possibly make me lactose-intolerant for all of eternity? I don’t doubt it. Was the sugar-free maple syrup I consumed giving me the trots, but from my face? The warning on the label said it would.
Did I get violently ill from all those items mixing together in my stomach? I think we have a winner.
Strangely enough, these items weren’t nearly as bad as my normal dinners. Being a bachelor, I’ll often mix together much worse crap than what I did Saturday. Whenever my refrigerator starts to get bare, I like to clean everything out in one big shot and turn it into a meal, even if the only ingredients I have left are cream, spaghetti sauce, limes, and individual packets of grape jelly that I stole from Hardee’s. So it seems odd that anything would make me sick. Maybe I actually had Olympic fever.
Fortunately, my health has now returned. I’m trying to decide if it’s because the bad food I ate has passed, or because all is right with the Olympics. Phelps has won all his gold medals so far and our men’s basketball team defeated an entire team of short people from China. The opportunity for Olympic disaster has passed, and with it has gone my Olympic fever.
The mystery will be answered this weekend, when our men’s basketball team plays an entire team of malnourished people from Angola, and Phelps vies for 10 more of his possible 400 gold medals this Olympiad. If I get sick again, I’ll know it was Olympic fever.
I really hope it was the food. I’m not sure if I can take two more weeks of violent upchucking, no matter how much it helps our country.