© 2014 Aaron Atkinson

Cola Bowl

11:30 a.m. – We’re invited by our friends from church to go with them to the Kansas City Ethnic Festival.

11:31 a.m. – We agree to join them.

12:15 p.m. – We arrive at the Ethnic Festival. It’s pretty neat. There are booths from 40 different countries from around the world, most are selling food. It reminds me of an ethnic Renaissance Festival.

12:30 p.m. – It’s lunch time. We’re hungry. I’m nervous. This looks like food poisoning waiting to happen. I go with something safe – hummus and pita bread.

1:30 p.m. – It’s hot and crowded.¬†We’ve had enough and we leave.

5:30 p.m. – We arrive at Laura’s parent’s house for family dinner. It’s ‘build a baked potato’ night. Laura’s cousin brings a bottle of Coke to share. She’s the only one who drinks it.

7:15 p.m. – The family leaves. Nobody wants the leftover Coke. Laura’s Mom starts to pour it down the drain. It reminds me of an article I read on the Internet about using Coke as a household cleaner. I stop her from pouring it down the drain and bring the bottle home.

8:00 p.m. – I pour the reminder of the coke into our toilet bowls. They’re already pretty clean. Thirty minutes later I flush and the Coke has worked. They’re super clean – almost drink-ably clean.

12:23 a.m. – I have a dream about bad hummus that’s been handled without gloves, using non-refrigerated ingredients, that I’ve eaten after it’s been left to warm in the sun. I dream that I’m about to throw up.

12:25 a.m. – I wake up. I’m sweaty. I feel heavy and hot. Waves of nausea wash over me. I try to ignore it all and go back to sleep, but there’s no holding it back. I’m going to throw up.

12:28 a.m. – I curse the Ethic Festival and its hummus, race to the bathroom, leap over a sleeping Indie, flick on the light, flip up the toilet bowl, get down on my knees, lean towards the toilet and pause to give thanks for that Coke. Never in my life have I thrown up into a cleaner toilet.

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