Friday, March 25, 2011

Numbers, Bugs, Toad Girl, and GQ

I've had enough of vomiting, really I have. But it seems as if fate thinks differently about the whole Laura throwing up thing, and that's sad. For me, at least.

And no, before you dart away in terror, this is not a blog post about the different ways I have thrown up, but that could actually be pretty funny, even if it is disgusting.


My story is about a bug.

Not good enough? Okay.

My story is about two very, very attractive guys.

Mostly it is about numbers.

I cannot remember them. Give me a list of dates, I will remember the month and maybe the day, but never the year. That's because I can only remember about two or three numbers at a time. My short term memory and numbers don't mix. It got so bad that in college, when I had to know dates for history courses, I would use a basic cipher to make dates into a sequence of letters, which I could remember. No problem.

That's how I passed Western Civ when I accidentally took it from the wrong professor, the lady who could speak while she was inhaling, sneezing, and yawning. Seriously, take a minute and try saying something while taking a breath. It's almost impossible. Our bodies can't make noises that way. You'd have to be some kind of alien to speak while breathing in--


That makes all kinds of sense.

The number thing is usually no big deal. I write things down a lot, that's all. I can survive. But Saturday, I was going to the movies. To a matinee, with a friend from work.


I suck as a human being.

The two of us had made our plan, I'd scribbled a number on a post-it note, and I'd gone back to the Children's Room, where I'd transferred the number from the post-it to my cell phone event planner.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.

The problem: The post-it said 2:35 p.m. I programmed in 3:25 p.m.

WHY couldn't it have been the other way around? I can wait for an hour--I have knitting!

I discovered my error as I hopped into my car. I'd been planning to arrive a bit early for the movie...but that plan had already failed. Stupid.I texted my friend to warn her of my error. I prayed she would notice my text, and I barrelled down the road, breaking several traffic laws so shockingly, even I was impressed.

When I finally pulled into the parking lot, I was beginning to worry that the movie theater people wouldn't be able to even sell me a ticket for the showing I had mostly missed. But I didn't care. I was getting into the movie if I had to beg, plead, or buy a ticket for a later showing that would have cost me double the price of a matinee ticket. I had screwed up, bad, and I needed to FIX IT.

I was, needless to say, sprinting across the parking lot. When I got the the sidewalk, I noticed people, so I slowed to a walk and tried to act dignified while still sort-of rushing.

Did I mention it was spring-like on Saturday? The week had been warm enough that I'd discovered a mosquito. The bugs had emerged, and I hated it.

On my walk into the theater, I noticed a Beetle-and-or-Fly-Creature dangerously close to my face. I swatted it out of the way and kept walking.

And there was my problem.

Because while I was coping with BaoFC, it's counterpart, Stink-Bug-Thing, was soaring through the air. And I sucked it straight into my lungs.

The noise that followed was something between a gag and a retch, kind of like a dry-heave, only with more spit. It was something like throwing up, mixed with coughing, but with no actual vomit involved. It was a gross noise, and after I'd made it, SBT was still in my mouth so I was forced to spit, which didn't work out because I really can't spit very well, it usually ends with spit on my shirt, shoes, or chin. Spit for me is like drool for most people, because I was trained from a young age that girls do not spit, and that no one ever should, because it is vulgar, gross, and unhygienic, spreading all kinds of illnesses like that 1918 flu epidemic that ravaged the world during WWI, killing more people than the war. And yes, I remembered that date with letters.

I spat out the bug, missing my feet, but the noise and the spitting had attracted the attention of two people I'd passed seconds before. Two people that I now discovered were guys. Guys my age. Men, really. And these men were cover-model gorgeous. They were so good-looking, I was instantly convinced that the two of them had to be from some other state, a Pretty People state, where the good-looking live and are discovered on the street by various talent scouts, photographed, cast on CW television shows, and released back into the wild so they can procreate, thus creating more gorgeous people who can then exemplify all that is beautiful in the world.

These two guys were GQ-Cover-Handsome, and standing next to them, I looked even more like Toad Girl than normal, especially with the fly catching I'd just done, and with all the tongue-involvement of getting the fly out of my mouth.

Needless to say, the guys were looking right at me.

Guys don't look at me. I am sort of invisible. I like it that way. I may not have a fancy cloak or anything, but I have PRACTICED my invisibility. It is my art.

"That's graceful," Guy One said. Guy Two just stood there.

"It was a fly," I stammered. "It flew into my mouth. I had to get rid of it...I'm so sorry!"

Rather than endure another second of the conversation, I fled into the movie theater, begged the manager for a ticket, and rushed in to meet my friend. This was when I realized that, with all the spitting and coughing, I had maybe killed SBT, or at least it had released its stink-bug stink, because my mouth tasted awful in a serious way.

And that is why there is no way I will ever be late to meet a friend again. Ever.

Note: Toad Girl is a super-hero name I gave myself just now. It is because I love cool, dark places, I burn in sunlight, have dry, speckled skin, suck bugs into my mouth, and I have what my eye doctor once called, "Prominent Eyes," which was just a nice way of saying my eyes are huge and stick out from my head like some kind of amphibian, although when I swallow, my eyes do not go back into my skull like a toad's, so maybe it is not the best super-hero name out there.


  1. That sounds like something that would happen to me...ick. :)

  2. Please, please, PLEASE tell me that you are seriously working on a novel. Your writing is too engaging, entertaining, and hilarious not to be incorporated into fiction and disseminated to young minds everywhere.

    (And, yes: how horrifying!)

  3. This story will never stop being funny. Also, I second Luisa's comment. I want to read a Laura novel.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who still laughs at this. (And I really do need to work on the novel.)