According to Wikipedia, a vomitorium is “a passage situated below or behind a tier of seats in an amphitheater or a stadium.”
Sometimes Wikipedia just blows all the fun ideas you had about a fact, word or bit of history. Worse, when you try to edit Wikipedia so that “Fascist” really does mean “anyone who disagrees with you” they remove it.
Anyway, regarding the vomitorium, Wikipedia does mention “there is a common misconception that ancient Romans designated spaces called vomitoria for the purpose of actual vomiting, as part of a binge and purge cycle.”
EXACTLY. That’s the one I’m talking about.
Welcome to the Vomitorium!
Mike and I were getting ready to take the dog, Gordon Labradoodle, for a walk yesterday when he started licking his lips. A lot. Usually, when he’s about to barf, he’ll start licking like he has a bit of tissue stuck to the end of his tongue.
“Are you going to barf?” I asked him.
He tried to ignore me, which was weird, because normally he’d answer me. Then he crooked his neck down and looked up at me with those “I am SO going to barf,” eyes.
Before I could do anything, he started gagging the dog #1 Billboard hit, ”Hrmph hrmph hrmph” like an engine that wouldn’t turn over.
As is my custom, I made a death lunge for the nearest thing that could catch barf. A towel, a worn shirt, several socks scrunched together, paper, the iPad; I’ve employed a plethora of barf catching tools in the past. Usually, this maneuver is done in the dead of night when I’m half asleep, so I felt way ahead of the game.
I spotted a used hand towel just a foot from the future Scene of the Vomiting. Clearly, Lady Luck was on my side.
Unfortunately, Gordon was lying perched in such a way that his only option was to vomit directly off the end of the bed. I tried to stabilize the flimsy hand towel in front of his mouth in the hopes of capturing the bulk of the barf mid-air.
I remember hoping it would be one of those petite, foamy little yellow-bile barfs.
How naive I was.
Gordon projectile vomited the remains of a full grown water buffalo into the hand towel, which, though it appeared deceptively fuzzy and absorbent, did not trap the vomit. The barf instead BOUNCED off the towel, skipping like a chunky liquid stone off the surface and arching gracefully onto my shirt and splattering to the ground around me.
Happy to check that off his list for the day, the dog licked his lips and went back to being excited about the walk, no different than he had been 10 minutes earlier, but for the yellow gruel dripping down his hairy little chin.
I surveyed the damage. One of Mike’s enormous fuzzy moccasin-style slippers was now a vessel for puke in a myriad of colors, shapes and textures. It was just like the old days when real Indians used to make southwest hash browns in their moccasins (source: Wikipedia, but hurry)
“Looks like your slipper caught most of it,” I said to Mike, picking up the slipper and trying to hand it to him. My thought was he could clean the slipper while I took care of my shirt, the dog’s chin and the floor.
Wild-eyed and waving his hands like he was casting a spell, Mike warded me off like I had just tried to hand him a fuzzy slipper full of vomit.
He turned and ran out of the room.
I followed Mike to find him gagging in the hallway bathroom, which nearly made me technicolor yawn myself. The only thing that distracted me from joining the vomitorium were the dulcet tones of the dog preparing to vomit again, back in the bedroom. I spun on my heels and bolted back to try and catch it before he filled the other slipper.
Luckily, Gordon had remembered the first rule of Dog Barf Club is “Always barf on the hardest thing to clean” and had finished up on the comforter.
So how was your morning?