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Sunday, May 22, 2005


So I'm sitting in a convenience store bathroom staring at a vending machine on the wall. It advertises itself as "Health Mart," but seems to specialize in rubber-studded and spearmint-flavored condoms, which I guess could be considered healthy, but only in a tangent sort of way. And I'm wondering how I got there.

The answer to that is actually pretty simple: I walked. It was only two blocks from the Public House, where I'd been served by Cute Waitress Version 2. So it was really a question of why I was there, which in turn was answered by the profound nausea I'd been feeling as I left the bar.

Maybe it was the two-hour discussion of Star Wars from MG3 and Co., or maybe a delayed reaction from the shere awesomeness of seeing a church called "Sho'nuff Annointed Ministries" on the way to lunch, but this was the second time this week I've felt sick like this.

If I'm honest with myself, it's probably the sheer amount of bar food I've been shoving into my body, but I prefer to blame Star Wars. That was irrelevant at the time, though. I felt like I might actually die, and there wasn't anything in the Health Mart that would make me feel better. Those studs are for her pleasure, after all.

I was in there for like ten minutes, the last portion of which I was leaning on the wall above the sink, wondering if this is where my sandwich and I were going to painfully part ways. Then the clerk knocked on the door.

"I was, ah, just heading out," I said as I opened the door, flashing her a winning grin that I'm sure she'll be telling her children about one day. Children she'll be having with someone who wasn't wearing a Ghost Rider t-shirt when she met him.

Five miles down the road I was in another bathroom in another gas station, staring at the same Health Mart machine featuring the same four flavors. It just seemed to get worse every time I got back on the road, and I found myself thinking how funny it would be if I could end an ISB update with "And then I threw up, crapped my pants, and wrecked my car at the same time." Downright hilarious, but probably not worth the trouble. Another five miles and I was in a similar situation, but this time I'd actually gotten gas for the trip home.

Fast forward ten minutes, an I'm screaming down the highway past what looks like a three-car drug deal at a graveyard on the median, blasting the all-Japanese cover band show on WUSC as loud as I can take it with my windows down. I'm drawing chi-power from a drum-and-zither cover of "You Really Got Me" and all I can think about is Jack T. Chance--the baddest Green Lantern of 'em all.

And that's when I knew everything was going to be okay.


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