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What happens in Vegas … is gross

So I suppose I owe you guys a recap from my Las Vegas trip last week.

I’ve told the story so my times at this point that I’m going to cut right to the chase. I didn’t get a single photo of me humping anything because I spent all of Wednesday battling food poisoning. Something I ate on Tuesday was, in a word, not cool, and it sent my body into a … lets call it a purge response. I snapped awake at 6AM Wednesday morning (thanks to the pure oxygen piped into the hotel rooms) and immediately knew something was up. Minutes after opening my eyes, I had a feet-in-the-air, seat-grabbing assplosion that quickly turned to straight liquid.

I managed to make it to a meeting at 8AM, and I did a good job appearing not on the verge of death, but it was some of the least fun I’ve had in a long time. Walking to catch a cab after the meeting, my stomach started siezing. I jumped into a bathroom for a false alarm, but the end was nigh. Once back at my hotel, I barely made it up the elevator and back to my room before collapsing into the bathroom and yodeling all my groceries into the commode. And this was no sloppy drunken vomiting. This was focused, angry vomiting. All of my stomach contents racing across my larynx caused an involuntary yelling effect, so that was cool.

Following the porcelain screamer, I put on jeans and a sweater, crawled under the covers, and laid there shivering for a couple hours. I laid down at 9:15AM and my boss called at 11:30ish. I understated that I “wasn’t feeling very good,” and we agreed to meet in the lobby at 1PM to get a ride to a meeting at 2pm. I managed to pull myself together and made it to the lobby on time. The good news was that we got to take a limo to the 2pm meeting. The bad news was that the limo seated four people comfortably. There were nine of us. I was the last one into the car, so I got to sit on the floor. Sweet.

After bouncing around on the floor of a limo amongst the legs of executives for almost 30 minutes, I arrived at the meeting site. Upon emerging from the limo, I immediately turned green. I had to be savvy because we were in the company of my boss’s boss’s boss. Because Vegas is Vegas, I didn’t want to come apart at the seams in front of an executive. Even if I was able to prove that I was legitimately ill, it still looks like whatever was wrong with me, I had done to myself. Nobody there knew whether I had enjoyed a nice quiet evening in my room by myself or watched the sun come up while doing rails off a buffet waitress’s ass. I knew that if I didn’t keep it together, I would earn an unspoken reputation of not being able to handle the responsibility of being on the road by myself. Given how much I’ve been traveling, that was not a reputation I was interested in pursuing.

So, standing there, feeling my body in the throes of its own personal New Year’s count down, I did the first thing that came to mind. I fled. I ran into traffic and quickly disappeared into the crowd on the other side of the street in a desperate search for a bathroom. I really only made it about 50 yards before it was go time. Thankfully, and I use that term loosely, I managed to tackle a trash can. (I would tell you about the part where I started throwing up before reaching the can and managed to choke it back down for the last ten steps, but that might be too gross. For those of you who remember, all I could hear the whole time was Tim G screaming, “CHOKE IT DOWN!!”) Tightly gripping both sides of the can, I had a rainbow yawn of Exorcist proportions. I heard a girl walk behind me announce, “Oh my god! Welcome to Vegas, I guess!” It’s amazing how quickly you are able to take stock of your life at moments like this. I found the clarity startling. Staring into a Las Vegas trade show public garbage can, I suddenly knew my exact place in the universe. It was easily one of my three proudest moments.

Thankfully, this particular trade show was insanely crowded, so I didn’t attract a whole lot of attention. I zig-zagged through the crowd and found a bathroom where I hastily cleaned myself up. After a couple sips of water and 1.6 billion breath mints, I rejoined my group and only my boss had any idea what was going on.

We got back to the hotel around 4:30PM. I took advantage of the giant bathtub in my room and soaked like a boiling ham for about an hour. After the bath, at 5:30pm, I went to bed. Fever chills, hot flashes, gallons of sweat, teeth chattering, the works. All night. After over 12 hours of fitful sleep, my alarm went off at 6AM and I woke up feeling fine. My stomach was still a little fragile, but my body had beaten whatever that was. I had one more meeting and then it was back to Atlanta.

So, yeah. Vegas kind of sucked. I would be quadruple pissed if work hadn’t paid for the trip.

Next week: Austin.

  1. Between that picture of you in those pajamas with the cat’s ass in one arm and the bottle of jack in the other arm, and the story I just read above, I think I just laughed for 10 minutes straight. Thank you for providing my Friday entertainment.

  2. I can completely sympathize. In the summer of 2002, I was in Chicago for a sales meeting. Ate a bad and undercooked egg for breakfast and halfway through the bumpy, floor-it-and-hit-the-brakes cab ride to the Sears Tower, I knew the end was coming soon. I did manage to make it out of the cab, drop my bag, and stagger over to a trashcan before hurling violently into it. And we’re talking directional force here. Had I had any control whatsoever, I could have written my name on the wall in vomit it was that forceful.

    Bear in mind, this is the summer after 9/11 and I’m standing outside the Sears Tower (= biggest target in the US) with my head in a trashcan. The plainclothes cop who came to investigate wanted to know if I needed an ambulance.

    Fortunately, my ordeal seems far less intense and long-lasting than yours. Sounds like you navigated it fairly well.

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