Sophomore year of college I moved out of the dorms and got myself a tiny studio apartment in the heart of downtown Columbus, Ohio. The rent was $300 a month, it smelled like the rent was $300 a month and I occasionally spent my night spooning a cockroach or two, but none of that mattered. I was finally living on my own. I was living on my own, I was in the city, and I had absolutely no one to answer to. I could make as much noise as I wanted to make. I could clean when I wanted to clean and I could fart when I wanted to fart.

Hell, I could’ve bought myself a bear skin rug, stripped naked and rolled around on it while masturbating and listening to The Macarena if I’d wanted to.

The Macarena was popular at the time.

Don’t judge me.

Initially I was excited about the idea of finally being on my own and doing my own thing, and being my own man. It was going to be fantastic! It was going to kick ass! It was going to soak the initial ass kicking in alcohol and slap on a few band-aids to allow the ass kicking wounds heal, and then it was going to kick ass again! I was pumped! I was ready to go!

Lets do this shit!

I should have known better to be so excited. Excitement has never worked out for me.

Fast-forward to a month or two after I'd moved in: I woke up in the middle of the night and my head was pounding harder than, Chris Brown pounds his ladies and Mel Gibson pounds back the booze.

Though it was a particularly chilly night, I was covered in sweat. My hair, the sheets, my pillow, everything was soaked – everything was sticking to me. My bed and my body were drenched in a disgusting, sort of clear and sort of piss-colored moisture.

The room smells like the armpits of John Belushi’s corpse – or the armpits of Jim Belushi’s career.

My body was on fire and my head cloudy. There was a mean spirited gymnast sporting a pair of spiked golf shoes and doing a floor routine in my stomach. There was a mariachi band worming their way through my intestines and a layer of magma boiling just inside my anus.

It was hot - so very hot.

My head weighed a thousand pounds.

Things were getting blurry.

I needed to lower my body temperature. I needed to lower my body temperature quickly and I needed to lower it before my insides became my outsides. There was no time to actually check how high my fever was – no time to think - I needed to lower my body temperature.

After rolling from the bed crawl across the floor and into the bathroom, leaving a trail of slippery sweat behind. While sliding awkwardly across the hardwood on my river of perspiration, I recalled something my mother once told me about the first couple years of my life. As a child I was constantly coming down with fevers. These weren’t little girly fevers either – I’m talking about 104 or 105 degrees – the sort of fevers that sear steak and fry brains. When this happened, apparently she’d have to strip me down, wrap me in cold blankets and lay me on the kitchen table.

I didn't have enough blankets. I didn’t even really have a table.

I had a few pizza boxes.That wasn’t going to work, though.

I needed to lower my body temperature.

Grunting the entire way, I lugged my drippy sweat-flesh to the bathroom, leaned into the tub and started filling it with ice-cold water. It took some squirming to get rid of my clothes, but I did exactly that. Once the tub was full I shut off the water.

My penis was going to shrink to toddler size the minute I climbed into that thing – it was unavoidable.

I tossed a military salute in the direction of my dong and offered a remorseful "Godspeed."

My temperature must have been off the charts because I obviously wasn’t thinking straight.

After five minutes in the icy drink I was starting to feel a bit better. It was working. Sure, certain appendages were likely getting frostbitten, and there was a good chance that I might lose a toe or two, but whatever. Appendages could be surgically replaced and toes were useless anyway. At least I didn't feel like I was taking a vacation on the surface of the sun anymore.

Just when I thought things were getting better, they got significantly worse – because that’s the way things work for me.

Things are jerks.

Suddenly something was alive in my stomach. There was something evil in there - something big and hairy, and nasty and scary, and something with two tickets for the ferry. (Rhyming is fun.)

Whatever it was, it had eaten the gymnast in the golf shoes and it was climbing in the direction of my mouth with bad intentions.

I jerked forward so wildly you’d have thought I was possessed by a demon. My body lurched, then recoiled and lurched again. For an encore it convulsed.

Chunks of something that sort of, kind of, sort of resembled the Wendy’s double cheeseburger I’d eaten earlier in the day began pouring from my mouth. There was bread and there was beefy leather boot, and there were salty grease fries - all mashed together and sticky with noxious bile.


That’s what it sounded like.

A never-ending torrent of the foulest mouth gunk in the history of mouth gunk was splashing into the water around me – plopping and expanding, and melding with my icy surroundings.

This was what the hail looks like in hell.

For nearly five minutes I continued to spew and gag and reload, only to spew some more. My throat was raw. My eyes were red and my face salty with tears. I couldn’t breathe and I didn’t want to breathe. I wanted to die. I wanted to close my eyes and never wake up. I wanted to remain exactly where I was – floating in a freezing tub of my own insides.

Like an Eskimo after a really good shit followed by a really good screw, I was frozen, I was naked, and I was empty, and I was spent.

Thirty or forty minutes later (time had lost all meaning at that point) I somehow managed to roll out of the tub, get dressed and walk a few blocks to the hospital down the road.

For two days afterward the stench of my Dave Thomas bath stuck to me like honey to a Pooh Bear.

The doctor told me it was most likely food poisoning.

I told him my old pal, Dave would never do that to me.

He told me I was an idiot.


  1. Wow...Dave was a sneaky little bastard...he never got me THIS good, but he's fucked with me a time or two....

  2. You know what's really pathetic? I went there again the following week.

  3. I knew I was going to be seeing this eventually and I'm still grossed out. Imagine that.

    I'm assuming this was before your wife made you walk to wendy's in the cold, if so, I'm amazed you didn't kill her for even suggesting it. I mean, seriously.

  4. This was way before my wife asked me to trek through the cold - a few years before actually. I was already scarfing down Wendy's on a regular basis at that point.

    I'm a very stupid man, Jenn.

  5. Wow, your body can really play some games with you. That magma in your anus line could work well on another blog too...

    Food poisoning is no fun, I've spent a day alternating between curled up with my head hanging over a toilet and oozing myself into the tub to try to wash some of the despair off. That particular case was coffee poisoning. My insides empathize with yours.

  6. You know Steven, usually I find your sad, sickly life amusing, but this time I genuinely felt terrible for you. It's no wonder you have such a sense of humor: how else can you survive all of this awful stuff? I mean really, you have to have, like, the most spiteful, vindictive digestive and immune systems of anyone in the world, they're always out to get you.

    Things like this don't still happen to you on a regular basis, do they? And on another note: it seems that many of the unpleasant events in your life are linked to Wendy's. Perhaps there's some sort of curse involving that restaurant and you? Maybe?

  7. @DORKYDEB - I've had food poisoning just a couple times in my life, and each of them was miserable. As luck would have it I also wrote blogs about all of them - because I like to repeat myself.

    Hope you feel better.

  8. @JESSE - The issue with Wendy's is that I practically lived off the stuff in college. I was broke and it was all I ate. It got to the point where I'd walk into the place and the cashiers would start putting together my order before I ordered it.

    Also, my digestive system is a mess, yes.

    And it does hate me, yes. ;)