There was a period of my life — the first 16 years — when I vomited with the frequency of a normal person. Maybe once every 17 months I’d feel sick, yack up my recently consumed proteins and resume a normal life. Over the most recent 28 years, however, my puking résumé is made up of just a pair of mega barfs.
Most people would be challenged to produce a list of the times they have vomited since the Reagan administration, but because my experience involves only two stories, I recall them keenly. So, for the sake of human digestive science … or whatever … I now share my hurling history.
It was Aug. 18, 1988, when I completed my final pre-adult barf. I was a high school sophomore, and preseason football practice was in full swing. I awoke in the wee hours of the morning with a groaning stomach, and soon I was staggering from my bedroom to the toilet, where I dropped to my knees for the first of seven sessions of violent retching. At some point in the middle of it, I called Coach Mooers to tell him I wouldn’t be practicing, but hoped I’d be back to normal for the scrimmages the next day.
Whatever hit me that morning was gone in a few hours, and indeed I traveled with the team to the Twin Cities metro-area scrimmages. After playing in the two abbreviated games, I accompanied my teammates on a trip to Valley Fair, where I rode all of the stomach-churningest rides. Indeed, I had recovered.
What I didn’t know at the time was how well I recovered. I would not vomit again for more than 26 years.