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project hot air balloon

tossing cookies

By 10:46 PM

I love this phrase. I don't know the origin of it, but I really like it. I think it's because cookies are dry units, so it doesn't automatically make you go to that visceral and very liquid image of actual vomit. I actually imagine a pile of cookies just bounding out of somebody's face. It's comical. It's very Cookie Monsteresque. You know how Cookie would grab a stack of cookies and slam them into his blue felt mouth, but you'd see everything falling out in the shuffle because he doesn't have a throat. That's what I imagine.

Anyway, today, I tossed my cookies. We were at a cafe. I was sitting across from my boss. He was ranting about some garden varietal office politics and I was lending my ear. So and so got promoted for the second time in less than 6 months because of her shameless campaigning with zero merit. I could feel the rumblings of nausea approaching in the distance. But the more he unloaded about the drama, the tidal wave was nearing and I could no longer contain. I told him point blank,

"We have to leave now. I think I'm going to throw up."

This sort of hyperbole go hand in hand with office banter. "I'm going to kill my colleague", "I'd rather quit than compromise" "I'd just as soon shoot myself than go through with that proposal" and so on. The more boring and rote the job, the more XTREME!!!! and violent the accompanying ultimatum.

However, at that moment, I was not exaggerating. It was all quite literal; I was about to lose my lunch, blow chunks, drive the porcelain bus, technicolor yawn, make pavement pizza, call Ralph on the Big White Telephone. As soon as I stepped out of the cafe, my mouth started watering like someone turned the faucet back there. It was only the dress rehearsal; I spat out onto the pavement inches past the door. I was able to make it back to the office restroom, but not without making a pit stop at every tree along the way like an anxious stray dog.

Once I got properly situated in a restroom stall all bets were off.

My boss couldn't believe but simultaneously relished my "reaction" to the news he delivered. He thought it was fabulous and poetic. I tried in vain to convince him that I must have eaten something past its prime. But he preferred his interpretation, that I was so disgusted that this employee manipulated her way up the ladder, I threw up on the spot. Sure enough, when asked why I was absent in a meeting that afternoon, he explained that I became physically ill upon hearing of the injustice.

I do not wear my emotions on my sleeve this way (no pun intended), but I gotta say that it was uncanny timing.

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