I have previously posited posts on the unfortunate occasion of becoming ill or injured while traveling.
This story is one I would have more imagined to have occurred while visiting some far off, so-called third world country with substandard health conditions.
But life is not always as expected.
The moral of this story, told up front as you may not wish to venture further, is to always travel with ample supplies of Tums, Pepto Bismol, and Imodium.
I was poised with pen in hand—or more correctly, keyboard at fingertips—to present yet another of my typically well-written, laugh-out-loud travel stories.
(You have likely seen my previous Pulitzer Prize pieces. Hint: they were written under my pen name, Dave Berry.)
But then it hit us.
My wife and I are in Vancouver, B.C.—a most wonderful place—to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary, or as I have taken to call it, our 2nd Annual 30th Wedding Anniversary Trip. (There is a story to that, but it will have to wait.)
We are—or were—enjoying this cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures and cuisines.
And, apparently, something happened having to do with the latter term that resulted in what I can only call “Tag Team Intestinal Evacuation.”
It was during a relaxing horse drawn carriage tour of the famed Stanley Park and it started.
What caused it we can only speculate. During the previous 24 hours we had cheerfully consumed street vendor food (from a reportedly trusted source), an expensive dinner in a well-known restaurant and a marvelous multi-coursed breakfast meal at our bed and breakfast.
Without a comprehensive CSI analysis of samples flown to the O.J.Simpson Crime Lab, we will likely never know.
About half way through the carriage ride I felt this slight discomfort in my lower stomach region. It was not until the tour was completed that my wife made mention of some significant cramps, which was relayed directly to my arm in her vise-like grip upon every spasm, not unlike her reaction to her labor contractions many years ago.
We quickly decided it would be a good idea to head back to the barn (in the vernacular of our horse-powered park tour) and to do so in all due haste.
As we approached our local accommodations—and with the knowledge that our room had only one water closet—I was determined to maintain the inside position towards my goal of the big multi-purpose ivory bowl.
But as I slowed, every so slightly, to remove superfluous items of clothing, my wife accelerated in the outside lane and quickly “assumed the position.”
I will, for the sake of any readers who have stayed this far with this sorted tale of intestinal woes, to summarize the next three to four hours by suggesting you imagine the sound of liquid being forcibly expelled through a nozzle.
A lot of liquid.
Finally, it was my turn in the formerly pristine white tiled room, and by then I was in the position that things were happening at both business ends of my medical malady.
Thank goodness for plastic bagged-lined garage cans close at hand.
Thus begun our tag team approach to sharing the facilities.
Our choreographed movements were as seamless as a performance of the Bolshoi Ballet.
And, more reminiscent of the closing crescendo of the Overture of 1812, we concluded, what we thought was, our final act.
But after an intermission of about an hour we discovered there would be an Act II to this sickly saga.
I hesitated to characterize this as an Encore performance as I would not know for some time that there would not be an Act III. (There was.)
In time, I was elected to venture out on to the local streets in search of bland crackers and warm sports drinks.
In fear of accidental fertilizations of neighbor lawns I packed a plastic bag, as do conscientious dog walkers, the difference being, anything requiring clean up could not be accomplished by a “pooper scooper,” but would necessitate a hazmat-rated wet vac.
After 24 hours of not much food but lots of sleep, we are back in the saddle.
We are determined to complete this visit to Vancouver with a better taste in our mouth.