by, 06-12-2009 at 10:48 PM (5103 Views)
This is a true story. Happened one day last week at work. Just too funny not to blog about it.
I’m sitting at the toilet Thursday afternoon when I hear the racing patter of feet go across my stall, a vague blur across the slit at the corner of the stall door. He races across and into the next adjacent stall and all I hear is voowaaat. Voowaaat. A vomit sound, and it’s going on for about four or five consecutive heaves: voowaaat, voowaaat. Oh my God I’m thinking. What the heck? Someone is sick. Voowaaat. So I’m sitting wondering if I should say something and I don’t. I’m worried. This isn’t any vomit heave. They are long and they don’t seem to stop. I’m basically done with what I had to do and I’m feeling pangs of guilt just leaving this guy alone.
So I decide to ask, “are you ok?”
And all I get back is a weak “no,” barely squeaked out followed by a moan full “urrgh.”
My mind is racing and simultaneously thinking about calling an ambulance, whether it's possible poison ingestion, and trying to identify who’s voice that is. I didn’t recognize it. So I follow up, “should I call an ambulance?” I half expected a no.
But he weakly squeaks out, “uh, maybe.”
That’s not what I wanted to hear. Anyone that answers maybe to a need of an ambulance is really in need of one, every single one of us minimizes the seriousness of our emergencies. So when he says maybe I know the answer is really yes. So now I’m thinking I’ve got another emergency, similar to the guy who had a heart attack at work about a year ago. You could go back to this blog to see what was running through my mind: http://www.online-literature.com/forums/blog.php?b=5780. I thought for sure I would have to take another challenge on. “Ok,” I said, “I’ll be right out.”
My pants was still down and when I bent over to lift it up I looked under the stall wall and saw this black skinned hand and the poor fellow’s legs kneeling on the floor. So now my mind is going through all the black guys in the building trying to think who it could be. It definitely wasn’t Rob who works on my program, but maybe the well dressed fellow up the hall. I didn’t know.
So I zipper up and step out and turn to look into the next stall and there on the floor is Valens, the Indian young man from the other side of the hall, kneeling up against the toilet, his head practically in the bowl. “What’s the matter?” I ask.
He extends his arm and gives the toilet a flush (thank God, I didn’t really want to see that ) and turns to me and with a face scrunched like it was going to cry, “oh, my stomach.”
“Something you swallowed?
“Urh, yeah. Chicken.”
Oh, now my mind jumps to food poisoning. “From lunch?”
“Uh huh,” he nodded. “Cluck-You Chicken.”
Cluck You Chicken? “Cluck You Chicken?” I confirmed.
He nodded, his shirt opened down to his chest and a kilter.
“Ok, just stay right there, I’m going to go get an ambulance.” So I run full stride out and over to the division secretary and she’s standing by her desk with a young female engineer, Alison, who happens to work with Valens. “Call an ambulance right away,” I blurt out, “I think we got someone with food poisoning.”
And before I even mention his name, Alison responds, “No! Is it Valens?” So obviously she’s in the know of something.
“Yes. It’s Valens and he’s been throwing up nonstop in the bathroom. “
So I leave them to call and I run back to the bathroom, and Valens is still there on the floor. “So are you feeling any better?”
“Uh, a little.” He still had sweat across his face.
“It’ll be ok. Nauseous?”
“Urh, yes, but I think it’s passing.”
“What exactly did you eat?”
“The hot wings.”
And then another of Valen’s work mates, Andy, walks into the bathroom to check on him. Word is getting around on the floor. So I tell him he might have food poisoning from chicken he may have eaten at Cluck-You Chicken.
“Yeah, I know,” Andy says, “I had some too.”
And with that I hear Valens let out another “voowaaat.”
“Oh,” I said, looking at him to see if Andy had any signs of illness.
“Half the office was there.”
Oh my, now I’m thinking we may have an epidemic on our hands. “Anyone else sick?”
“No, just Valens. He had the 911 wings. Ever try them?”
“I’ve never even heard of Cluck You Chicken.”
Ok, so here’s the story. There’s this place called Cluck-U Chicken and they have Chicken wings with different gradient of hot sauces: mild, atomic, nuclear, thermo nuclear, and 911. Here’s a web site: http://www.cluckuchicken.com/menu.htm. If you order the 911’s you actually have to sign a waiver that you will not hold the place responsible for any injury, and if you can possibly eat ten of the 911 wings in ten minutes, they will take your picture and hang it on the wall of fame. The young engineers all went out at lunch for this and Valens, being he’s Indian and used to some of the hottest foods in the world, was all on fire (pun not intended ) on getting his picture on the wall. The most any of the other guys ever made it to is five. Valens failed actually. He only got to eight wings and even then he was over the time limit. He only had six in ten minutes, his eyes just rolling with tears and snot running down his nose (this according to Alison) and practically keeled over. But still he insisted on pushing on in hopes of finishing them, even though time expired. He finally stopped at eight, and then they had to convince him.
So Andy and I help Valens up, and he is looking much better. At least he’s not heaving. “The ambulance is on its way,” I told him.
“Oh, thank you,” straightening his shirt. He’s really a very polite young man. “I think I’m ok now.”
“Well, let’s just let the medics look you over.”
So we walk him out, and there’s a little bit of a crowd built up outside and we part the crowd and we pull a chair over from one of the near desks and we have him sit down. So now that he’s apparently alright and given engineers can be a merciless bunch, all the jokes start coming out.
“Boy were you clucked up.” “Was that a clucking thrill or what?” “Serves you clucking right.”
The ambulance medics too got a good laugh. One of the medics, a portly guy with a jovial face, chuckled the whole time, especially when we mentioned it was Cluck-U Chicken. "Cluck-U," he snickered. "Ten minutes of chicken and now we've got forty minutes of paperwork." After taking Valen's blood prssure (it was low but ok) and making sure he didn't have an allergic reaction they released him, just having him sign that he was fine.
Ah youth. There are advantages to being older and wiser.