That there are very few people I would willingly cleanse of spew: my beloved offspring, wife, and my parents (who are thankfully still quite capable of taking care of such things themselves); siblings and best friends only under extreme duress; total strangers only under trulyegregious circumstances, like category five hurricanes, plagues, and similar disasters of biblical proportions; or the actual Biblical events themselves, i.e. The End Times, The Rapture, and/or Armageddon.
That such is the nature of memory (and sleep deprivation-spawned tangents) that I am then reminded of a flash fiction concept I thought up years ago but never wrote down. It opens with me absentmindedly holding a sweaty handful of toll-change out the driver side window of my beloved old Saab, then glancing up just in time to witness the toll booth operator (who bears a striking resemblance to Larry the Cable Guy) get ‘Raptured’, and shoot straight up through the booth’s ceiling, leaving in his wake an ill-fitting DOT uniform, a pair of 48 inch waist ‘tighty whiteys’, and his barely touched 48 ounce Big Gulp, the latter balanced precariously on the booth window’s sill. The swirling turbulence from Larry’s departure tips the Big Gulp just enough that it tumbles outward in super-slow motion, dumping its bucket-sized load of Mountain Dew into my seat-belted and thus helplessly immobile lap.
That some things in life simply have to be gotten done, plowed through with a determined sigh and quiet resignation, such as my present task, that of cleaning my kinder after they have vomited on themselves, and (I remind myself firmly, with no malice or intent on their part) on me. I then ponder how often I’ve had to clean my two daughters’ vomit out of cars or car seats; the smell persists forever, or at least until the End Times. But not that old Saab, even though the ignition was mounted on the drivetrain; novel at first, but got old pretty quickly, as it invariably got jammed with detritus or spilled drinks, more likely strong coffee than Mountain Dew.
This jamming requiring a pricey trip to the dealership, where I would wait patiently at the counter while the faithful Saab was idling outside because I couldn’t get the fucking key out. Then having to put up with the condescending sigh from the mechanic (who also resembled Larry, now that I think about it, though garbed in pristine ironed European coveralls, and holding a huge mug of strong Swedish coffee), as he points out that one really should clean out the ignition every two months or so, that while its placement is one of those interesting quirks that make Saabs so iconoclastic, the responsible Saab owner remembers to blah, blah, fucking blah.
That I wish I hadn’t just reminded myself of Larry the Cable guy twiceover, first with the phrase gotten done (git ‘err done) and then the smug Saab mechanic; and also desperately wish I didn’t have a block of precious gray matter dedicated to him of all people; information garnered subconsciously from idle web surfing and Comedy Central, such as the fact that the famed purveyor of Southern-fried humour is not really from the Deep South at all (he’s from Nebraska), and that he’s not a Shakespearean trained actor. Then I realize the source of that lastvital tidbit has been cross-referenced from another now ancient knot of wasted neurons, this one dedicated to the guy who played Earnest P. Worrell (know-whut-I-mean Vern?), who actually was a Shakespearean trained actor.
Then I wish Larry would be submerged in vomit up to his neck indefinitely, an image that brings an admittedly malicious grin to my face, and that this punishment would somehow act as recompense for remembering him at all, let alone in such pathetic detail. But it’s hard to keep grinning at (time check – 3:04 a.m.) while cleaning puke out of my eyelashes while simultaneously changing a copiously filled diaper.
That, having cleaned up the various fragrant fluids and solids from myself and my offspring, that I could finally return to my own bed and try to salvage a few hours of well deserved, blessed slumber. Then as I slide away, I find myself thinking of the Saab again, which brings about a nostalgic glow, but also a sudden and ironically fervent hope that the Rapture doesn’t actually come just then (final baleful glance – 3:28 a.m.) and disrupt my now un-blessed slumber. Then as I drift off again, I have a terrible vision, in which Larry and Earnest have been Raptured and I really have been left behind; but after an initial pulse of righteous indignation and rage against an unjust God – who if nothing else apparently has a pretty lowbrow sense of humor – that maybe not being bodily transported to a heaven full of entities like Larry and Earnest wouldn’t be so bad after all . . .