Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Holiday Road Can Be Long And Winding

From today's Times and News-Star

Attention, all colons: May I have your attention please.

This is a public service announcement. It is meant to be helpful and not tacky, but sometimes the two roads converge.

During this holiday season, keep plenty of meds on hand to quell digestive issues. Sometimes, even the most well-meaning stomach can write a check that its fellow digestive tract members cannot cash.

Let’s be careful out there…

Last weekend a buddy of mine lost a bet with a fish taco.

We were on the road in San Jose, Calif., a long way from home and actually working at a football game. Being sick at home is no picnic. Being sick at a Marriott two time zones from your home bathroom is pure panic.

I was alerted and immediately gathered up a banana, dry cereals, water bottles, sport drinks and enough various kinds of medicines to eventually rope off every passageway in my buddy’s body except his nostrils. I’m like the character Red in “The Shawshank Redemption” -- I’m a man who knows how to get things.

So while he was in bed and the bathroom all day – it was a night game, which proved to be a blessing – we tried to trace the source of the problem. Perhaps it was the seafood restaurant. I don’t know as I had “tossed greens” and some au gratin potatoes. I don’t trust much fish on the road. My fish comfort zone is more along the lines of Port Au Prince or Jan’s River Restaurant or the Mohawk. Or at my brother-in-law’s table.

By game time, my man was a bit pale. But he’s a gamer, and we are part of a radio football broadcast (for lack of a better term) team, so as he made his way somewhat gingerly to the sidelines to report, we strapped in upstairs for the play-by-play by Dave Nitz and analysis (again, for lack of a better term) by me. This was but the calm before the storm.

I stuck my head out of the press box at halftime. Mistake. One of our crack photographers appeared to be throwing up (there is no better term) in much the same way, I suppose, that the Titanic appeared to be taking on water. I thought he was either going to die or was giving birth. It was a sickening sight. A three-heaver.

I rushed back inside and told Dave, “The whole system’s breaking down!”

Again, I do what guys do. I traced it back. Though this is totally unfair, the West Coast-based “In ’n’ Out Burger” would be the guilty party if I were going strictly by definition. But nothing that good can make you sick.

So I don’t know what it was. All I know is that he literally left it all on the field, and that’s about all you can ask for in an athletic contest.

The game and a few pounds were lost, but we persevered. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson, right? We returned home wiser, I hope. Certainly more medicated.

A lot of you will be traveling this month. Please watch your diet. Order food wisely. Stick with the classics. And carry medicine as backup because sickness can strike the fickle innards at any time. Of course, I’m no expert, nor a doctor. I’m just telling you what a little fishy told me.