I do not have a delicate stomach. I have at various times eaten so much barbecue that I have been thrown out of an all you can eat restaurant, have one time eaten six orders of six pancakes each for breakfast, and most recently I ate the better part of a pound of rancid meat and was fine.
Last night however I met my match. I don’t know if it was the sheer quantity of food, which I doubt, or whether it was the wide variety of things that my road-hardened stomach is just not used to. Stuffed yams, sliced pork with pesto sauce, a loaf of fresh bread, a stick of butter, potatoes, asparagus, olive oil, a flat of blueberries, a pint of ice cream, and several other things that I don’t remember. This was the curated meal that friend and host Steve provided for two weary, hungry travelers. Kristie nibbled, I hoovered.
I went to bed but had eaten so much that it hurt to breathe, and after an hour or so I was sweating and aching. I staggered into the toilet and returned about half of that food to nature via a complex connection of pipes. If you are ever thinking about growing a long, flotery breard, please take a moment to consider what will happen if you are forced to disgorge a huge amount of partially digested food into a toilet bowl late at night. Yes, that’s right, the backsplash was horrific and after finishing my business it took a long time to clean up a terrible mess from around the bowl and my beard. I will not go into any more awful details than I need to for the story, but the situation in my stomach was mirrored somewhat lower down in my digestive tract, creating a dual expulsion of sorts that required a mountain of wet wipes to clean up, all of which were deposited into a plastic garbage bag. Later in the night a second upper and lower wave of expulsion occurred but instead of using the toilet bowl, I simply deposited everything into the plastic garbage sack.
With everything empty, I went back to bed and slept okay. Morning came around, I cooked up some eggs and bacon with toast and jam, and we went about the day. Of course I took the plastic bag and put it in the steel dumpster across the street.
Sky the border collie is about six months old and extremely excitable. Unused to company he spent most of yesterday and all of this morning jumping all over us and begging us to play. We left to go to Alpine and check the county records for the old Davidson Ranch in Brewster County where my great-grandfather ran cattle. We got back to Fort Davis and saw that Sky was not really all that animated anymore. “He was really sad when you guys left,” Steve said. “He missed you.”
Sky got up on our return and walked up to us in a very docile fashion. A bit later Steve came into our room. “Hey Seth, with all of your activity last night did you happen to use wet wipes by any chance?”
“Yeah, I used quite a few to wipe up the mess above and below decks. I put everything in a plastic garbage bag and threw it in the dumpster.”
“You didn’t happen to check the garbage bag before you threw it away, did you?”
“I think Sky may have gotten into that early this morning because a few minutes ago he went up into my room and barfed up six or seven wet wipes that he had eaten, probably because they were covered in so much excellent pre-digested dog food.”
Sky came bounding up full of energy as if nothing had happened. “So you’re saying maybe he wasn’t lying around all morning because he missed us but because he had eaten a stomach full of shit and vomit-soaked wet wipes?”
“Yeah, mystery solved.”
“Well, at least you won’t have to feed him again today. That is some good eatin’ for a Texas border collie.”
Sky leapt it up and put his paws on my thighs with his tongue lolling out. “Not sure I’m ready for another face lick just yet, Sky,” I said.