Last night I couldn’t sleep (again) so I tried the counting sheep thing (again) which was stupid because I already learned that method does not work. But this time I found myself counting them in French. This must be due to my friend Bess who shared a YouTube video of French speaking sheep with me after my last counting sheep post. I got to trente-tois (33) and said forget this! I can’t remember where my mind went from there but at one point I started thinking about those Choose Your Own Adventure books that I read when I was young. Remember those? They were awesome! So I laid there, eyes wide open, thinking “I wonder if they still make those books!” and then I thought “I wonder if they have them for adults!?!?!?” One of the first things I did this morning was make a google-check and yes, they still have the Choose Your Own Adventure books. But no, not for adults. They stop at the 6th/7th grade reading level. Which I guess for some adults would be appropriate, but I was hoping for something a little more advanced.
Short of writing the company and petitioning for a more advanced level of book, I have decided to create my own Choose Your Own Adventure post to tell you my next story. It won’t have as many options for readers to choose from because (1) my blog skills are limited and (2) I don’t want to waste a great deal of time composing a story that very few people will actually read. So, rather than 18 possible endings, you will only have two. Maybe three depending on how creative I can get this morning. Regardless, here goes …
Choose Your Own Adventure: Pantry of Danger
Wisconsin – Your Parent’s Renovated Farmhouse – You are Brad Pitt – Spring 2001. Maybe 2002. You can’t remember exactly because it was at least ten years ago and the event was pretty traumatic so you may have repressed some memories.
You are enjoying a lovely weekend visiting your parents with your girlfriend, checking out the Madison Farmer’s Market, seeing the sights around the University Campus, eating brats on the Memorial Union Terrace and just having an all around nice time catching up. After a mid-afternoon nap, you wake up hungry and wander into the kitchen and start digging around the pantry looking for something to eat. You spot a jar of peanut butter – your favorite!
Do you eat the peanut butter? If yes, keep reading. If no, scroll down to Chapter 7.
Mmmm. Peanut butter! You grab a spoon and dig in. The first bite tastes a little off, so you take a second bite. Tastes weird. Kind of chalky.
Do you continue eating the peanut butter? If yes, keep reading. If no, scroll down to Chapter 7.
You decide it must be stale or something of the like, so you keep eating it. Your step-mom walks into the kitchen and you casually mention, mouth full of peanut butter, that it tastes kind of funky. She looks at you, looks at the jar and her eyes widen. She asks where you got the peanut butter and almost faints before explaining that the jar you have been eating from had been used for baiting mouse traps over the last decade or so.
Do you continue eating the peanut butter? If yes, keep reading. If no, scroll down to chapter 2.
You are stupid. Why would you keep eating that peanut butter??? Scroll down to chapter 2, dumbass.
You freak out and start spitting out the peanut butter that was in your mouth and nearly gagging up the peanut butter that you had already consumed. You spend the last day of your visit wondering if you are feeling weird. Do you have a headache? Does your stomach feel weird? Are you just hungry again? The next morning you wake up and figure you are in the clear. You and the girlfriend join your parents for a really fancy brunch buffet, say your goodbyes and jump in your car to make the 9 hour drive back home. Its a great day, beautiful weather and there are many fun things to see outside the car window. But after a couple of hours, you start to feel weird. Maybe you are tired. You ask your girlfriend to take the wheel so you can get some shuteye. Another hour or so passes and you are approaching Des Moines. You are starting to feel really off. Maybe you are hungry. You suggest stopping in Des Moines to grab a bite to eat and you decide on a brewpub in the downtown area. Sitting down, you feel really off and think maybe you need to go to the bathroom. Nothing really happens in the bathroom so you return to the table and peruse the menu.
Do you order the fish and chips? If yes, keep reading. If no, scroll down to chapter 3.
I’ll take the fish and chips, you say. Your girlfriend looks at you bewildered, like you are insane. She orders her meal, but can barely eat because she is watching you like a hawk. Like something bad is going to happen. (They call this foreshadowing people!!!) You eat a healthy amount of the fish and chips, pay the tab and head back to the highway. But things are not good. No, in fact they are starting to get bad. You are burping fish and chips. And your gas tank is low again. So you pull into a gas station, start pumping and run to the bathroom to see if anything happens. Nothing. You return to the car.
Do you drive away? If yes, continue reading. If no, scroll down to chapter 4.
You start the car and drive off. But you hear something crash as you pull away from the station and when you look in your side mirror, you see the gas pump. Still attached to your car. You get out, talk to the gas attendant, learn that people do this all the time. So frequently, in fact, that they installed a break-away pump to prevent people from driving away with the entire gas tank and causing explosions. You exchange contact info so he can send you a bill for $200 to repair the pump. You are bummed out, but you feel so crappy you don’t even care. Continue on to Chapter 5.
Good for you. No fish and chips. Maybe you order something bland to soak up whatever seems to be brewing up in your system. Or maybe you even say “hey, I’m starting to feel REALLY weird, lets skip the meal and head straight home. Either way, you would be in a much better spot than if you had chosen to eat the fish and chips. Go ahead and skip to Chapter 8 and we’ll just call it even.
You realize before you drive away that you forgot to unplug the gas pump from your gas tank, so you jump out of the car, remove the pump and then you drive away. Good for you. Those things cost $200 if you break them off the pump. Scroll to Chapter 5 to continue.
You are close to the Iowa/Missouri border but, man, you are really feeling bad. You can’t really concentrate on the road, so you ask your girlfriend to take the wheel again. She is getting very concerned so she starts driving with determination. Determination to get your ass home as quickly as possible. But things are really starting to rumble. You insist she pull over at the next rest stop. You are in the bathroom for a while. A long while. You return to the car and she completes the drive home in record time. The next hour is a blur, you can’t see straight and then it happens. You become violently ill. So violent that you begin freaking out and hyperventilating.
Do you go to the hospital? If yes, continue reading. If no, scroll to chapter 6.
Your girlfriend puts you in the car and speeds to the hospital. Fortunately, its only a few blocks from your apartment. Unfortunately, the area around the emergency room is under construction and she is so freaked out she can’t figure out where to turn. Somehow you grab the cell phone and dial 911 and yell into the speaker “911 where is the hospital?!?!?” and then you drop the phone. She picks it up, talks to the person on the other end and eventually finds the way to the ER entrance. Hospital staff rushes out to help you into a wheelchair because your body is seized up into a ball from hyperventilating so much. The first question they ask is “What drugs did he take!?!?” and she stares at them like they are crazy. “No, no drugs! We just drove all day from Wisconsin!” She is wearing pajamas, her eyes are crazy because she is freaking out and you are curled up into a ball. Drugs, yeah, that would make sense but poisoned peanut butter is no drug. Skip to Chapter 8 to end this long, drawn out story.
Why in the world would you not go to the hospital? You have very likely consumed rat poison and/or mouse guts and its making you sick! Get your ass to the hospital. Go back and finish chapter 5, dumbass.
You put the peanut butter away and decide to find your parents and see what plans they have for upcoming meals. You enjoy the rest of your weekend and make it home happy and healthy.
You are finally wheeled out into a treatment room and receive IV fluids and a crap load of anti-nausea meds. You fall asleep. You are finally feeling comfortable. Your girlfriend is not allowed back to see you, though, until she can calm the fuck down and stop pacing the floor in the waiting room. She finally relaxes and they bring her to you. Eventually you are released from the hospital and you return home to rest and recover over the next couple days. You live. And somehow you still love peanut butter.