Sunday, October 01, 2006

Boring Childhood Stories: Black Death

This one goes way back...

When I was four years old, my parents used to buy pop (soda, for you American readers) from a little place called The Pop Shoppe. The brand? Why, Pic-a-Pop, of course! It was the greatest thing ever! Practically any flavor of pop you could imagine, sold in the classic glass bottles (not that any pop actually came in plastic bottles back then), 350ml or 1 litre sizes. Heck, they even supplied these big plastic crates in case you bought that many bottles! To a kid, it was heaven.

Well, one day (maybe it was a birthday, maybe it was just a weekend) there were a bunch of people at our house, and everyone was drinking Pic-a-Pop. I had my grubby little fingers wrapped around a tall cold bottle of Black Cherry pop. I'd like to think that my parents saw me as a "big boy", able to handle a whole bottle of pop to himself, but it's probably closer to the truth to assume I had whined and begged until Mom finally gave in, just to make me shut up. But who cares? I had me some Black Cherry pop!

Now, my memory of the next few hours are pretty sketchy (we are talking over 30 years ago, you know) but suffice it to say that I eventually found myself at the hospital. I think the technical term my mother used was "non-stop puking", or something to that effect. And I'm not talking about your routine trip to the ER to wait for hours just to be told that you are sick and should be at home... No, I'm talking about checking in, undressing, and being confined to this horrible bed with huge metal railings along the side, not unlike prison bars.

I remember being told that I would be okay, that I wouldn't have to stay long, and that I'd be able to play in the playroom down the hall. Well, I had to endure a thermometer in a place I never would have dreamt of sticking one, the stay actually lasted 2 nights, and the nurses wouldn't let me go to the playroom. Instead, they brought me this lame little inch-worm riding toy that I already had at home and had already outgrown 2 years before.

For years after that experience (15 of them, to be precise) I lived under the assumption that I was deathly allergic to Black Cherry pop, and avoided it like the Plague. I wasn't actually told I was allergic to it, mind you, but it seemed entirely logical to my little four-year old mind.

Then came the year I was 17. You know the one... That time in your life when you not only know everything there is to know about everything, but are also completely indestructible. Well, while surrounded by a bunch of friends at a little get-together, I noticed someone had brought a couple litres of Black Cherry pop to the party. I stared at it for a long time. I think I even told my "non-stop puking" story to someone at one point. And then I made a decision. I decided to put the whole allergy theory to the test, once and for all.

I suppose I could have poured myself a little bit in a glass, told everyone to keep a close eye on me in case I needed help, a took a few tentative sips. But, it went more like this: Grab bottle, unscrew cap, drink entire contents of bottle, run around the room telling everyone, "I'm not puking! I'm not puking!"

I wonder why I didn't have more friends in High School?

Anyway, I guess I figured out that night that I wasn't allergic to Black Cherry pop after all. Something made me spew like the kid from the Exorcist when I was 4, but that particular demon had obviously left me. Maybe it was afraid of another visit from that thermometer...
Post a Comment