Potato, I Blame You

An hour before my night class in screenwriting this past Tuesday night, I found myself at Big Time Brewery with a baked potato smothered in three types of cheeses, chives and olives with a hardy pint of beer. The beer and food (usually pizza) at Big Time is the second best way to reclaim my happiness after a torturous day at work. The best way would be Indian food.

I spread my script pages across the table and covered them in red ink; marking up areas or words that I found weak, and writing notes to myself for how I wanted to change the story. My writing/editing process couldn’t have been simpler:

Take a bite of cheese-drenched potato. Drink some beer. Write a paragraph of red ink over printed pages. Repeat.

Good food, good beer, and time to work on one of my stories. I couldn’t have been happier!

When the only thing that remained on my plate were fragments of potato skin and a puddle of butter, I had twenty minutes to leisurely walk to my classroom. Class came and went. I rode the bus home. Walked in the door by 10 PM. Relieved the dog. Fed and watered the dog. Lounged on the futon and talked to Tyler. Finally, by 10:30 PM, I brushed my teeth and went to bed. It had been nothing more than a typical Tuesday night for me.

Suddenly—cutting rudely into my peaceful dreams—my stomach seized and churned and bile flooded my mouth.

I dove out of bed and spent a good half hour waiting to throw up. Wishing I could throw. Once I threw, that annoying bile that ruins my teeth would stop. Once I threw up, my stomach would feel better. Once I threw up, I could return to bed. And yet, my stomach persisted in contorting and seizing. Finally, sleep and the comfortable new covers won over the chance that I might throw up on Manflesh. I returned to bed. I spent the rest of the morning shifting and contorting to reach the least painful position, and cursing the cheese-smothered potato that surely gave me food poisoning.

I stayed home from work, originally thinking that I would be able to come in a few hours late. I drifted in and out of sleep, contorting, tossing and turning. Between lucid moments of sleep, all I could think about was how evil Big Time and their bacteria-infested potato was.

Finally, when noon came, I realized it was pointless to keep thinking I would make it into work. I forced my stomach out of bed, telling it that it had to commit to a decision: either hurry up and throw up and feel better, or stop seizing and feel better. This seizing and contorting business, I told it, is not working for either of us. I made Stomach an Egg in the Window, and told it that if it didn’t keep it down, I’m going to have to find a new stomach to share my life with. Stomach seemed to think I was serious, and gallantly kept that egg and wheat bread down. Stomach and I spent a few hours laying in bed and playing DS, and then finished off the working day with a hearty three hour nap. By the time Tyler came home, Stomach started to feel better, although it was still a bit uneasy. The rest of the evening passed uneventfully as Stomach settled down and returned to the well-behaved digestive system it usually is.

By the next morning—this morning—Stomach was much better, although still a bit delicate from its bout of seizing and contorting. It was then that I learned Tyler had similar issues last night. I still believed that the potato had poisoned me, though. It wasn’t until I came into work this morning and saw three of the other contractors were out, that I started to think that the potato from Tuesday night might have been an honest, wholesome potato after all. Starting up my computer and email account, I soon saw an email from a contractor who sits next to me and is directly on my team. She wasn’t feeling well at 5 AM this morning and was going to attempt to come in late. However, she never made it in.

I now feel rather sheepish about cursing that damn tasty potato all day yesterday. However, I’m pleased to know that I can still eat at Big Time without thinking about that time they served me the evil potato of cheese-covered doom.