When I was a sophomore in high school, I played basketball.
Actually, I played basketball all four years.
Trying again, when I was a sophomore, my school's team went to the national tournament in Tennessee. We're in south Texas. It was a road trip.
A long road trip.
At the time, I lived in a small town 30 miles from my school, so to make it to the school in time for the 5:00 am departure, I had to wake up super early.
Like, 3:30 am, early.
I wasn't really hungry, but didn't know whether or not we'd be stopping for food, so I stopped at a gas station and tried to find something palatable. It was a valiant attempt to ward off LBSCBDO*. Unfortunately, I was sleep-deprived and quite groggy. I saw orange juice and twinkies and thought I was making a safe choice.
After we were back on the road, I opened the juice and took a drink.
Something was definitely wrong. That was NOT orange juice.
I turned on the car light and read the bottle, only to discover the words, "strawberry, guava, and pineapple" next to the words "orange juice."
Not at all what I was expecting.
So I unwrapped the twinkie, took a bite, and just about gagged. I flipped on the car light again; I was holding a strawberry-filled twinkie. I didn't even know they made strawberry-filled twinkies.
These were clearly not safe gastrointestinal choices.
But I was hungry, LBSCBDO was a distinct possibility, and I had no idea when I would next eat.
So I bravely fought through the gag reflex, and ate that strawberry-filled twinkie and drank that orange pineapple strawberry guava mess.
We got to the school, I loaded up with the rest of the team, and we set off for Tennessee.
Like all the other girls, I giggled and laughed and joked the first few hours of the trip, but then the euphoria wore off and we all crashed.
Somewhere outside of Baton Rouge, it happened.
I felt a little discomfort. A little rumbling discomfort. I began sweating and freezing and feeling clammy all at the same time. My salivary glands were in hyperdrive.
It was coming. It was only a matter of when.
Suddenly, it was time. I sat straight up in my seat, grabbed the knee of my friend and teammate, and choked out, "I'm gonna throw up."
She yelled at the driver to pull over, and he did, right on the side of the highway.
I opened the door, and all that strawberry twinkie and pineapple orange guava strawberry juice came back with a vengeance. I sold the Buick while we were going down the road. It was literally the technicolor yawn, since the driver never stopped. I was leaving a twinkie trail for all the cars behind us to follow. I remember the passenger in the front seat (the driver's wife) said, "Honey, don't you think you should stop the car?" And he said, "She don't need to see what she's doing right now."
It's amazing to me how large a trail a twinkie and some juice can make, once they're all mixed up together inside one's body.
He finally stopped, but my body was in total de-food mode. It didn't stop until every last bite was gone.
I weakly sat up and looked behind me, only to see the entire boys' team in the vehicles behind us. They were craning their necks to discover why we had stopped. Once they discovered what the hold-up was, their disgusted looks preceded their violent head-snap in the other direction.
It wasn't pretty.
We got back on the road and continued on our way.
We had another unscheduled stop later that day, so I could launch my lunch somewhere around Jackson, Mississippi, if memory serves.
I remember one of the team moms buying me a bottle of Pepto, and her husband singing "Chugalug-chugalug" to me as I drank it.
After we stopped for the night, a member of the boys' basketball team (now the husband of my lifelong friend) tipped my head back and smelled my breath to make sure I'd brushed my teeth well enough.
Quite helpful, and not at all embarrassing, I assure you.
Especially considering he was a senior.
We didn't win the tournament, and I don't think it had anything to do with the ralphing-on-the-road incident, either.
I learned something that day, friends.
A very valuable lesson, indeed.
It's better to risk LBSCBDO any day than to risk calling Huey on the big white phone in front of a caravan of people.
*Low Blood Sugar Cranky-Butt DisOrder
It's real, and it affects millions every day. Do your part to conquer LBSCBDO today.