Lost in Suburbia: Putting the ‘air’ in foreign affairs
When you are packing for a big trip far away, you think a lot about the clothes and shoes you will need, but if you are like me, you often pay less attention to the what-ifs. In the case of our recent family vacation, I didn’t really think, “What if I happen to get a world-class case of digestive turbulence thousands of miles away from the stomach remedy aisle at CVS?”
Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened our third night in a foreign county, when I was stricken with a bad case of Rosetta’s Revenge, a condition brought on as a result of consuming too much food that you have no idea what it is because the menu is in another language and you never got passed, “Where is the bathroom?” in your foreign language lessons. Although “Where is the bathroom?” ultimately ended up being quite useful in this situation, it didn’t really help me avoid desperately needing the phrase in the first place.
Initially when things started to get ugly I tried taking a couple of gas pills, which I did have the forethought to bring with me. But for someone who typically lives on such healthy American fare as sugar-coated breakfast cereal and fast food hamburgers, the vast quantities of bean-based dishes and strange-looking things with the heads still attached proved too much for a mere over the counter digestive aid. I was forced to accept the fact that I had become a Mt. Vesuvius-sized windbag that had the potential to create a massive dust storm unlike any other when we traveled to the desert. The only positive was that if I continued to have a problem, it was possible I could help our plane get back to the U.S. in record time with a little help from my own personal tailwind.
While all of this was merely uncomfortable for me, it was chemical warfare for my husband. In a clear case of self-preservation, he offered to go out into the wilderness in the middle of the night to try to secure me some gas relief. But unfortunately, all the stores were closed or unreachable except by camel. He was left with the choice of either getting a separate hotel room in which to whether the storm, or stick it out with me and pray to the desert gods for divine intervention.
Since we have an aging dog at home, we are not unused to sudden gaseous assaults. We have come up with a technique that involves pulling our shirts over our noses, turning on the overhead fan, and spraying Febreeze at the dog’s butt to lessen the fumes. Sadly, the dog’s flatulence issues were nothing compared to what was going on with me. Nothing short of a NASA decontamination chamber was going to protect my husband from the onslaught.
Fortunately for the kids, they were safely ensconced in another room so it was only my husband who faced certain death by flatulence. In a last ditch effort to try to take the wind out of my sails, he whipped up a Pepto Bismoltov Cocktail, a combination of Pepto, Tums and Gas-X which I washed down with an Alka Seltzer chaser. After about an hour, I felt enormous relief. But once I felt better, I realized that I was finally hungry again after having lost my appetite in the midst of the digestive cyclone.
“Can you order some room service for me?” I asked my husband.
“Sure. What do you want?”
I looked over the menu.
“I can’t read it. It’s not in English. Should I just pick something?”
“Yeah,” he said, back up toward the door. “A new husband.”
“Like” Lost in Suburbia on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage.