Before I go any further, please don’t read this over breakfast. Disclaimer aside—just about everyone has a vomit story. If you don’t have an embarrassing vomit story, then you fall into one of two categories:
- You’d never dream of such a vulgar display of loose, uncouth behaviour!
- You have a serious case of vomit amnesia. You do the deed, and then you forget you even lost your cookies.
My vomit story is from years and years ago, but I can still remember it like it was yesterday. It was my very first job and I’d somehow landed myself the plum gig working at the top end of town—on Macquarie St—for one of Sydney’s best Ad Agencies. It was one of those places that threw you in the deep end. It was less sink or swim, more, shark, or shark bait.
It was the last day for my copywriter and I, who were moving to another agency. The creative department kindly put on a lunch (not that I can remember eating anything). It began at midday, precisely the same time the shots started. I was trying to keep up with my writer who was about 2 feet taller and 20 kg heavier, but I was struggling.
By about 4pm, I knew I was absolutely gone—I was only just holding it together. A group of us were sitting in a booth, when my boss decided to shout us another round. I vaguely remember the drinks arriving and just knowing that if I sat there for a second longer, I was about to hurl my hamburger straight into my boss’ lap. I was getting that sick feeling, trying to swallow and hold it down, but it kept rising up in my throat. I literally scrambled over the top of everyone to make a mad dash to the bathroom.
When I got there, I totally lost it. It was less tango-with-the-toilet and more spray-my-guts everywhere. I was so drunk, I had trouble steadying myself—I lost all sense of balance and orientation—but I knew I had to get out of there without anyone seeing me, and fast.
IT WAS LESS TANGO-WITH-THE-TOILET AND MORE SPRAY-MY-GUTS EVERYWHERE.
I found a set of stairs just near the toilets (Or at least that’s how I remember it!) and escaped via the fire exit, triggering the fire alarm at the same time. Subtle! I stumbled onto the street which seemed so bright (Of course, it was only 4pm!), and sat in the gutter. It felt like the only place where the world stopped spinning. I had no idea where I was, and all I could do was ring home.
Luckily, my mum happened to be home, all I remember saying is, ‘Blime weally runk can ru rick me pup lees’ in my drunken gibberish. En route to picking me up, she kept calling to ask, where I was, but I couldn’t even make out the street signs. Now I know why they call it blind drunk!
Meanwhile, I was painting the pavement all shades of red, yellow and blue. I even made it back to work and threw up in the garden out the front of the building. I still drive past occasionally and shudder at the thought.
In any other industry, you’d be fired, or your reputation would be marred forever. Lucky for me, in Advertising, it’s kinda like earning your stripes. And really, this is tame compared to a writer I know, who went home from the agency xmas party with three strippers and woke up with a cheeseburger shoved down his pants. Needless to say he got a standing ovation the next day!
Thankfully, no one ever saw me or knew what happened, which is a miracle in itself. They just thought I bailed early. Meanwhile my Mama Bear parked up the street so no one would see, ready with a super sized bucket and the windows wound down, while I hurled all the way home. That’s love right there.
Well, I guess, no one can say that I didn’t leave a mark on the agency. Talk about mortified. I had to wait this long before I could even talk about it, without wanting to hide under a table. So your turn now—tell me your worst vomit story, SPILL! (Aye, aye, aye, not that kind of spill!) MC