Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Funny, I think I just lost my appetite

Warning: talk of vomit ahead. Avoid if you have a weak stomach.

So tonight G's school had their annual fundraiser at McDonald's. This is an extremely popular event at which the teachers and other staff get behind the counter and cook, bag and ring up your order, and in return, 20 percent of what you spend goes to the school. It's crowded and chaotic, and it's at McDonald's, which is waaaaaay down there on my list of places to eat, but G loves seeing her friends and has been looking forward to it all week, so we went.

Anyway, we were standing inside McDonald's with our next-door neighbor and her son (G's friend A) in a long, serpentine line full of switchbacks. It was so hot and stuffy that I felt a little lightheaded, and I was trying to follow the conversation while keeping an eye on G, who kept disappearing behind me. Suddenly she pulled on my arm and said "Oh, gross -- Mommy, look!" I turned around, and a kid less than 15 feet from us had just finished puking on the floor.

"Did that boy just throw up?" I asked G.

"Yes!" she said. "Ewww!"

Ewww, indeed. The kid's mother was right there with paper napkins, frantically cleaning it up, and a few minutes later a McDonald's employee turned up with a mop to finish the job, but I was beyond grossed out. OMG, outbreak! I kept thinking. He's a vector for disease. In a week there'll be a story on the news, and the anchor will be saying "Experts have traced the super-virulent barf germs to a McDonald's in Southern California." (It didn't help that I'd recently had a conversation with someone who used to work in a daycare center, and she'd told me that any time a child threw up, 50 percent of the kids who'd been near him when it happened would get sick within a few days. No wonder I never sent G to daycare.) Maybe we're in luck and he just ate too fast or got overheated instead of actually having a virus. I did feel bad for the poor kid -- no one likes to be sick -- but still, ewww.

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