Tuesday, August 20

[ Warning: Reading this can be potentially dangerous to your health. You have to be tough. To on and read. But if you aren’t, don’t come running to back to me and say I didn’t warn you. ]

I had dinner with my friends in Suko Thai. I like Thai food, and my friends and I particularly like eating there. We don’t even have to look at the menu anymore because we know what to order already. I was really hungry already, and my friends have been roaming the mall since noon with no break whatsoever. I told the waiter to serve the tom yang and the iced tea immediately. Which they did, and everyone slurped the soup and yakked about our lives. I think I had several servings of the tom yang.

Then the waiters served the chicken, the rice and all the other stuff and we all fell into this deep silence. Not that we didn’t have anything to talk about, but we were just really very hungry. So eat we did. Then later my friends insisted on singing “Happy Birthday. They brought out the cake, and asked the waiter for a lighter.

“But you’re in the non-smoking section.”

“We’re just going to blow out the candles.”

Now as they sang I felt a slight rumble in my tummy. I drank more iced tea, thinking that I just needed a good burp. On the last notes of “Happy Birthday,” I drew a deep breath and blew out the candles and felt something surging up my throat. I knew that even if I ran at lightning speed across the restaurant, I wouldn’t make it. It had to be right there. I grabbed the plastic bag that came with the cake and hurled.

It was a mad rush out for all the chicken, the bagoong rice, the vegies, the squid and around 3 glasses of iced tea that I ate in the last half hour. Meanwhile, all my friends and the people at the surrounding tables looked absolutely horrified. I think I nearly filled the bag.

When it stopped, I excused myself and headed for the restroom. I barfed the rest of my dinner and I stared at myself in the mirror. I had just emptied the contents of my stomach in front of a lot of people. I didn’t have time to be embarrassed. If I had been with people I barely knew, I should have been looking for some rope right there.

I went back to our table and pretended the other people from the nearby tables didn’t notice anything. My friends ordered a pot of hot tea to calm me. I had barely sipped my tea when the waiter came with the bill. It’s like they’re rushing us to finish everything and get out. I took my time finishing my tea. I didn’t want to get up because I was still feeling slightly woozy. Besides, I had just saved the restaurant crew from the possibly horrible experience of mopping up slightly digested versions of the food they served. So to hell with composure.

The whole episode reminded me of the time Astrid barfed out her nice birthday dinner. The lesson is, she told me: Do not pig out and drink iced tea. Iced tea wouldn’t make you burp, trapping the air in your stomach and it will most likely make you throw up. As for me, I don’t think it’s a very good idea to wolf down too much tom yang when you’re really very hungry.

Or maybe this: Do not eat too quickly, even if you are very, very hungry. The food is already there, it won’t go away. If you get too much of something too soon, it will just end up in the toilet bowl. A good thing gone bad. Take things slowly, slowly.

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