Monday, July 9, 2018

The Pickle Epiphany

Recently, I had an epiphany involving my authority issues.

It's not that I am unaware that I have issues with authority. I am well aware.  I simply had no idea of how stupidly deep it runs.  Let me share with you this personal and painful revelation:

It starts with medication and ends with a pickle.

A week or so previous to the important part of the story, I began taking a medication that the doctor warned should absolutely never, ever, be combined with alcohol.  Not for the usual reasons but because, she told me, I will get very very violently ill. Ok.  Cool.  I can do that.  Alcohol is a 'whatever' kind of thing for me anyway.

Flash forward to the end of the course of medication.  It is now July 4th and a bunch of us had had an outdoor get-together.  At that get-together among many other things, I served Gherkin pickles. I had dumped them, juice and all, into a bowl.  Because who doesn't love a good Gherkin now and again?

At the end of a pleasant, but really hot day we cleaned up most of the mess but, as it happens, a few things were left behind.  Among those things were a few floating pickles in the bowl.  It had been a couple of brutally hot days so I don't think I'm open to criticism here.  Honestly, when in 90 degrees of hot humid weather anyone would be left with a, "screw that shit" attitude when it comes to physical activity beyond the effort of breathing, so it's safe to say a second trip to finish the post party clean up just wasn't going to happen.  A full night and day passed (in continued 90 degree weather) and there I was, in the backyard, letting Doug do his doggy business when I noticed the pickle bowl.  It's still full of pickle juice and several pickles are just hanging out, floating, looking like any ordinary pickle would. I think to myself;

"I really should take care of that.  But what will I do with it?  Dump it in the compost?  Vinegar might not be good for the compost.  I should eat one. I like pickles."

"Mmmm.... probably not a good idea," Myself warned, "Those sat out for too long."

I then promptly answer Myself with, "Uh, yeah.  But it's in vinegar! That's, like, a preservative or some shit."

Mind you, this entire internal conversation has taken place in a nanosecond and during that time my hand has of course already plucked a warm floating pickle from the bowl and is moving toward my face.

Chewing, I think, "Warm pickles.  Nope. Not my thing," and continue on with what I am doing.  I know, I know.  You are completely grossing out right now.  You are wondering what hell I am thinking (because clearly you haven't been paying attention- I just TOLD you what I was thinking) and you are waiting for me to tell you that I spit that nasty green slimy hot pickle out like any other normal human.

Nope.  This is the Life of Lealyn remember?  Common sense has no business in this story.

And so, I swallow that warm briny mess and myself and Doug, having finished his business, return to the house. Annnnnd here comes the painful part of the story.

At about 6 a.m. the next morning, gently floating up from a dream, I begin to get an inkling that something.... unpleasant... is awaiting me.  My first awareness is of an uncomfortable, nay, painful sensation.  Apparently, a giant has reached into my head and is squeezing my brain. This is not fun.  In fact this hurts.  A lot.  As more body parts begin to send distress signals to the aching ball of hurt that used to be my brain, an ominous gurgling rolls deep within my bowels.  Not to be left out, my stomach begins indicating an evacuation may be imminent.  Alarms are going off in every part of my body.  Sweat glands have kicked in, parts of me are reporting pain that I did not know could feel pain, and I swear there is a pulsing red warning light throbbing somewhere in time with my brain-pain that is accompanied by one of those emergency klaxons - you know, like the ones that go off in submarines that are being attacked by a swarm of evil krakens from the cold slimy depths of Hell's ocean.  This does NOT bode well.

To make a long story shorter, over the next day and a half there were a lot of bathroom visits, groaning, sweating, head throbbing, whining, and general misery.

Now for epiphany part of the story.  Having survived a day and half of hell (and NOT with any dignity I might add), I am standing in the backyard -because once again- Doug has insisted he needs to go out.  Honestly, he has no consideration whatsoever for my  life.  He wants food.  He wants attention.  He wants water.  Seriously,.... his demands are endless! But, I am digressing.  Pardon.

While outside with Doug I stop to chat with my son and daughter in law.  I tell them the above story and how I have realized that the pickle itself probably wasn't bad, but the vinegar had begun fermenting and... well, the doctor was pretty clear in her warnings about alcohol and the medication.  My son, whom I love more than ice cream,  looks at me, grinning of course, and says, "Jeeze Mom.  You have such a problem with authority, you won't even listen to you!  Your brain tells you, 'bad idea,' and you're like, 'F you Brain!  You can't tell me what to do!'"

I'm poleaxed.  Flummoxed. He is 100% correct.  That is pretty much exactly what happened.  Holy shit.  I'm standing in the yard caught in a total epiphanus moment when, the daughter-in-law says in a calm sort of matter of fact voice, "What gets me, is at one point you actually think, 'this is not good for the compost pile,' but somehow you then decide, 'but I'm sure it will be fine to put in my body.'"

My son is spewing iced coffee from his nose he's laughing so hard and even I have to laugh.  If there were to be a moral to this tale, I think it would be something along the lines of:

When some authoritative voice tells you, "Don't eat that nasty ass slimy warm pickle," the correct reaction is NOT, "Don't tell me what to do!" followed by, chomp chomp chew chew.  The correct response is to NOT eat that nasty as slimy warm pickle.

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