Sunday, May 11, 2014

poison in the food

I had a nice little bout of food poisoning this past Thursday evening. It was lovely. I was returning to the restroom about once every five minutes over a 90-minute period. Sometimes things would come out in a satisfying, biblical dump; at other times, it was what my buddy Mike would wryly term "empty promises." I vowed not to eat or drink anything more that evening: with malevolent bacteria running rampant through my innards, I didn't want to give those little fuckers the chance to feed on anything more.

The fifteen-minute walk home from the office was misery. The urge to shit waxed and waned as I walked; I practiced meditative breathing as I limped along, determined not to leave a brown-speckled trail on the streets and sidewalks. A Polynesian drummer, stationed just inside the floodgates of my anus, beat out a desperate, steroidal rhythm against my sphincter:

poundpoundpoundpoundpound now we shit, yes?

It didn't help that the night was cool: cool weather always makes me want to poop. I finally got back to my studio, sat upon the pot once or twice more, then warily went to bed, deathly afraid that I'd unconsciously enter the nuclear launch codes and release deadly feces while sleeping. Luckily, the next morning, I awoke to a clean mattress and un-beshitted linens.

The cause of my food poisoning was most likely the dinner I had ordered while at the office: the local BBQ chicken—which I normally hit up for wildly overpriced fried chicken—also offered some pizza options, one of which sparked my interest: a "shrimp gorgonzola" pie. I ordered it; the first few bites were somewhat tasty: the resto hadn't been shy about the gorgonzola, which was there in all its glorious stinkiness. The shrimp were disappointing, though: bland and few in number (one curly little shrimp per slice), they reminded me of nothing so much as pink rubber, which should probably have been my first warning sign. After a few slices, another problem arose: this was a "white" pizza with a layer of cream sauce substituting for tomato sauce, but the cream sauce was sickeningly sweet and tasted as if it had come from a powdered mix; with each bite, it tasted more and more like the Devil's semen. Never again, I vowed. Eating that pizza was by no means a pleasant experience.

About an hour or so later, disaster struck, and my guts were seized with the urge to purge. Thus began my torrid, 90-minute affair with a toilet. I can tell you this: of all the inventive, painful torture methods that exist, the most effective is whatever induces the subject of interrogation to cramp up and shit violently. Pain in the guts is an all-consuming thing: when your entrails have elected to rebel, they command your undivided attention. Not to put too fine a point on it, but gut pain is visceral.

This incident makes me a bit paranoid about ordering from BBQ Chicken again anytime soon. I've never previously had a problem with BBQ's chicken (before my intestinal problems began, my supervisor had quipped that one should never order pizza from a chicken place), but I recall having problems with chicken tenders from a chicken restaurant back when I taught at Sookmyung Women's University: ordering from that establishment gave new meaning to the expression eat and run. It's illogical, but I now conflate the sins of that old restaurant with the recent, pizza-related sins of BBQ Chicken, thus producing a mental image of a BBQ Chicken that's trying to turn my asshole into a poultry-firing cannon.

So this evening, I ponder my dinner options very carefully. A repeat of Thursday would be an outrageous fortune, transforming my quivering fundament into an emitter of many slings and arrows. Whatever dish I decide upon, I'll make sure it's been thoroughly cooked.



ZenKimchi said...

Sorry for that, buddy.

Kevin Kim said...

Thanks. Luckily, we're all better, now.

Nomad said...

In my 17 years in Korea, I only had food poisoning once. And I ate food from numerous street vendors and stalls in the open air market...never a problem. One day I took my wife to a fancy and expensive restaurant near Suwon for an anniversary dinner and I got it so bad I had to go to the ER. Anything I put in my stomach for several days (even water) came out within 30 seconds. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Kevin Kim said...


Strange, isn't it, that the one place you wouldn't expect to get food poisoning is the one place where you got it. Damn.

Elisson said...

Gotta say it: alas that you had to suffer the stinks and arrows of food poisoning and the consequent bowellary distress, but what great artist does not suffer for his art? And this post was truly a classic in the annals (yes, that's with two n's) of Shitblogging. Think of it as the sliver lining at the edges of a big dark brown stormcloud.