Venus And Summer In Our Winter Coats, Dec 2012
There Is No Photo Of Me Eating Rat Shit. Sorry. Just a photo of me and my daughter.
It’s a long plane ride to Malaysia.
The plane is a heavy *DC7 and it lumbers and sputters, mostly through the air, for 27 hours.
This is awhile back in time.
Summer is 16 and has insisted on coming with me while I build a business in Malaysia.
“I can’t let you go to Malaysia alone, Mom!”
We’re seated side by side in the front of the plane, cozied up near the stewardesses. The ladies, with their trim suits and little caps, bunch up together and whisper and complain. They keep saying the plane is old and used up and that it’s going to crash. They talk about the plane’s noises, malfunctions and the imminent plane crash, the entire trip.
I don’t know why this discussion doesn’t bother Summer and me. What bothers us more is that we are served 3 meals, all dinners, and they are always red eel with spikes. The meal is especially bad when we are woken up at 3:00 AM in our morning to eat another round of ‘cactus’ eel. The eels’s sharp points stick and lodge in our tongues and gums.
Thankfully, we have brought a few snacks with us.
Around hour #20, I pull a 4″ long, thin, commercially sealed bag of nuts and seeds from my large purse. Yum.
Summer refuses my offer to share, as she is working on a few dry cookies.
I chomp down the nuts and seeds and think of America and pancakes and eggs with crispy bacon.
I’ve finished the bag down to about an inch or less, where the nuts and seeds are all powdery. I see the remains are thick with nice salt and dark spices. I tip my head back, thwack the end of the bag with the palm of my hand and tap the last of the food into my mouth. Chew. Swallow.
Arrrgh!! It tastes like rat shit! It tastes like rat shit!!
I bend over my lap, gasping and choking. I can’t get the stuff up. It’s too late! I peer in the bag. Oh my God! It’s not spices, it’s….it’s rat shit!
“Arrrgggh!” I bellow and turn toward Summer. I’m breathing hard.
“Mom!” Summer draws sharply away from me and shrieks. “Your breath is awful! You smell like rat shit!”
I think I’m crying. Not only have I willingly eaten rat shit and even with gusto..now I am going to die. I am going to get Rat Rabies and die! Or, maybe it will be a fatal Rat Fever or Rat Shit Cholera! I actually don’t know what terrible disease I will now get and die of because I have never researched or studied the effects of eating rat shit!
I’m blubbering. “Summer. I just ate rat shit. Look! Look!”
I show her what’s left in the bag.
“Oh, your breath is horrible Mom, it’s just horrible!!!”
She only cares how bad I smell. Wait until she smells me later.
Fortunately, because I am a hypochondriac, I am prepared for all eventualities.
I pull a large bottle of high powered Vitamin C from my purse and frantically swallow most of pills in the bottle.
I can tell you now, that I don’t die… but I do get a terrible case of the runs from all the Vitamin C….and diarrhea is not fun on a long flight to Malaysia on an old, heavy plane that is about to crash.
*It’s a DC7 or something like that.
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