Last night I picked up two young couples and one young 5th-wheel at the Inner Harbor and drove them to their dorm at Hopkins. The 5th-wheel paid for the ride, of course.
The women couldn’t even walk a straight line to the car, which would have been funny if it hadn’t been so sad. The 5th-wheel — we’ll call him Front Seat Man — sat next to me in a posture I am more than familiar with. “This dude is going to blow chunks,“ I thought and stepped on the gas.
Hurrying up 83 the couples in the back talked and laughed wildly while Front Seat Man looked worse and worse. “Paula,” he said quietly and I figured the girl in the back named Paula didn’t hear him. “Paula,” he said again and after a beat I wondered, “wait… is he saying ‘pull over’?”
My suspicion was confirmed when he began heaving, trying desperately to keep his mouth closed. No worries, I’ve been trained for such things.
Quickly, I reached for the seatback pocket to grab my medical grade vomit bag. Unfortunately, the woman who wasn’t named Paula was in the way, her knees redirecting my hand from the seatback pocket to between her legs and up her skirt. “Excuse me,” I said, “can you move for a second?“ She did, I grabbed the bag and handed it to Front Seat Man who, by that point, had a mouthful of his own vomit.
Snatching the bag he filled it without a drop landing on my upholstery. Everyone had become silent, as if this embarrassing display was an audition for minor part in a morbid Shakespearean play.
After his shockingly long and rather revolting audition, Front Seat Man sat back and breathed with relief. “Feel better?” I said. “Yes,” he replied and the communal jocularity ensued once more.
My refreshed and quite sober sidekick told me what a great guy I was when we arrived at the Hopkins’ dormitory. The two couples agreed, patted my shoulder, showered me with accolades and promised to give me 10 stars as they Fell out of the car and stumbled toward the building door.
I’m still waiting for the stars — and the possible sexual harassment claim from the woman who wasn’t named Paula — but at least my car smells of nothing. Especially not vomit.