Wednesday, November 30, 2011

At least it didn't have chunks

“Hands down, nastiest thing I ever saw.”

My husband’s voice echoed through the phone as he drove down the highway a day after Thanksgiving.

Considering what he’d just told me, I was more than a little surprised he was so calm about the matter.

Me? I’d be losing the contents of my own Thanksgiving dinner right about now.

“Let me get this straight,” I said, “you were passing a car on the highway and...uh....”

My voice drifted off as my brain had trouble connecting the image in my head with my tongue in order to form the words out loud.

In any case, it was the answer to the age-old question mystics have been asking for generations: What happens when puke hits the windshield of a car traveling at 75 mph?

OK, it’s not the meaning of life...but’s something one might have to ponder on a road trip from hell.

And now my husband is one of the unlucky few who unfortunately knows the answer.

While driving down the highway at a respectable speed, he moved over into the left lane to pass a slower-moving sedan. Just as he pulled even with the other car, a guy popped up from its back seat, rolled down the rear seat window on the driver’s side and yakked his guts out.


Now, let’s take a moment to think about this because...really...the physics of such a thing happening must be astronomical.

Taking into consideration the speeds of both vehicles, the timing and angle of the projectile vomiting, the force behind it, the air resistance between the cars, the alignment of the planets and the rotation of the Earth, it really was a miracle of timing on the puker’s part that his...uh...stomach contents even reached my husband’s vehicle at all.

But they did.

The windshield. 

That’s just physics with an attitude, my friend. Where the universe reaches out and gives you a wedgie just because it can.

“What the hell is that?!” my husband yelled as the gruesome load splattered in front of his face.

His brother, the unlucky one sitting in the passenger seat where the brunt of the hit streamed across his field of vision, leaned forward, cocked his head and answered, “I believe that’s puke.”

“Seriously?!” my husband asked in disbelief.

“Seriously,” his brother answered. “Hey, I can’t see,” he then complained, pointing at the puke-laden windshield. “How ‘bout some wiper action here.”

My husband grimaced, wondering what smeared puke would look like across the windshield of his new SUV, but took the chance anyway.

Surprisingly, it didn’t make too much of a mess. Considering it really couldn’t get much more gross, that is.

Perspective. It’s a good thing.

“At least there wasn’t any chunks in it,” my husband laughed, trying to keep his sense of humor through it all.

But by the time he relayed the incident to me, he had overcome his shock and was quickly moving from “s*** happens” into a huffy “I am man, hear me roar” mode.

I tried to be supportive.

Really. I did.

“Well,” I said, “you’d think a person in a luxury sedan like that would have better manners. That’s something you do to a foreign car or one of those plug-in-your-garage kinda vehicles that top out at 20 mph after you use a wind-up key to start it. Not a Grade A, 100 percent, All-American SUV built to invade a Third World Country.”

I paused. “That’s just un-American...and it’s Thanksgiving too!” I added.

“I know!” my husband retorted. “I outta call the highway patrol and tell them what happened.”
He paused, “Maybe they could track down the car, make them send me a note of apology.”

I bit back a snort, “Yeah, good luck with that. It’s a holiday weekend. I’m sure they’ve got better things to do than scour the countryside looking for your hit-and-run puker.”

Perspective. It’s a really good thing to have.

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