Hot, Baby, Hot!

When I was a kid, I lived in fear of something:

Puking in the school cafeteria.

Y’all know what I’m talking about.

It happened to at least one unlucky soul every school year as long as I can remember.

It was the ultimate humiliation. 

I don’t remember much about grade school (besides Mrs. Mace who was 112 and still teaching 2nd grade) but I can conjure every puking incident that ever occurred.

To wit:  Winter 1968.  The cafeteria is jammed.  It’s hot because our coats are still on from recess.  We’re sweaty.  The kind of sweaty only a Midwestern kid swaddled in wool can understand. The hairnet–wearing lunch ladies dole out over-cooked food to an unfortunate few whose mothers either worked (what? worked???) or couldn’t be bothered to slap a hunk of bologna between two pieces of stale Wonder bread and stuff it in a bag.  The rest of us enjoy mom-made PBJs and slurp down white milk purchased with the 3 pennies taped to the lids of our metal lunchboxes.  Mine was plaid.  Yes.  I said plaid.  Not Brady Bunch, not Flipper…..plaid.  I fucking HATE plaid.  Go ahead and laugh, shitheads!  My mom was frugal and she probably got a really sweet deal on that beauty beaucause no other consumer on the planet would buy it.  Just like the army green parkas with fake fur collars she got for $15.95 that EVERYONE in our family wore including my grandfather. I think they’re still wrapped in plastic and occupy a remote corner of closet space in my childhood home.  As for the lunchox…well….I’m sure my dad dug it out of the trash after I attempted to wipe it from my memory when I entered middle school. It’s probably stuffed full of old shooting medals or spent shotgun shell cartridges.  I suspect I’ll run across it again some day.

Anyway…..Robbie M. (name has been changed to protect his dignity) had a caring mommy like mine who packed a wholesome meal every day in Robbie’s GI Joe lunchbox (it was not plaid).  That lunchbox will forever be etched in my memory because Robbie hurled into it with a vengeance like he’d been subjected to a diabolical tilt-a-whirl operator at the local fairgrounds.  Poor kid.  I still think about him from time to time and what caused him to hurl so violently.  If you asked me,  I think Robbie had a nasty ear infection because there’s only one thing that can produce a color that distinct: liquid erythromycin…cherry flavored..  Robbie’s mommy must have forgotten to pour the Cheerios that morning because you never give a kid liquid erythromycin on an empty stomach.  Just a word of advice for any of young parents out there who don’t want their kids to end up on Jerry Springer with some unresolved self-esteem issues when they’re pushing the big 5-0.

Meeeeemories…like the corners of my mind. Misty, water color…never mind.

I wish I had better grade school memories… like, oh, I don’t know….a teacher who tried to inspired me to become something or another?  A teacher so filled with a passion for learning that it motivates even the weakest link in the academic food chain?  The kind that accomplished people thank 30 years later when they’re receiving a profound award?

But no.

I only have memories of incidents involving other children that I prayed would never happen to me.  Kids can be so self-absorbed!

So why this particularly memory?

Hot yoga. 

Hot like an in-fucking-ferno yoga.

For those who have never experienced this unique form of fitness torture, imagine this:

A room full of profusely sweaty people with lots of tattoos smelling of curry twisting themselves into knotted, agonizing positions in a room heated to about 145 degrees with 40% humidity. 

And I PAID for this? 


And during that first, brutal step toward fitness enlightenment, I had but one thought:

Do. Not. Vomit.