Mike Brown’s Monthly Dirt: Puke!

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You can count on Mike Brown to hold your hair back and clean up what doesn’t make it in the toilet. Photo: Mike Brown

To be a decent writer, I feel that it’s important to write about stuff you know about. Refer to the saying: “Never trust a skinny chef.” I am by no means an expert on writing, but if there’s one thing I do know a thing or two about, it’s vomit. Having hurled many, many times in my short life, I feel I’m a skinny chef you actually can trust while navigating the seas of puke. So, for this article all about throw-up, please allow me to be your chumpass.

I have no problems writing on this important topic. After years in the bartending industry, I’ve seen and cleaned enough vomit firsthand to make me immune to other people’s puke. Like how a homicide detective doesn’t get freaked out by a gruesome crime scene, the smell and audacious aroma of a lunch upheaval is just so natural to me. If I’m at any bar drinking these days, and some dipshit can’t hold his own and makes a mess of the bar, I’ll enthusiastically volunteer to clean it up. It’s one of the best ways to get free drinks ever.

I’m sure I can’t remember my very first puke, but I do remember the first time that upchucking had a positive impact on my life. I was 8 years old and in Cub Scouts. We had just wrapped up our meeting and our den mother, Mrs. Pope, was loading me and all the rest of us little rugrats in the minivan to take us to get Slurpees. I was feeling queasy from too many Capri Suns that day, so I begged to have the front seat, because when you are a dumb little kid, somehow, riding shotgun creates immunity to puking. I was denied riding in the front seat, so, on the way home, I spewed a massive puke pile all over the interior of the minivan. From that day on, I always got to ride shotgun to any and every Cub Scout event.

I also believe that puke is a universal bond between humans and their pets. Take me and my cat, Jet Pack, for example. He’s a cat, therefore he throws up. We have a pretty solid routine where he pukes about once every couple weeks from eating his Friskeys too fast, and I hesitate to clean it up right away. Unlike humans, if you let a cat’s puke dry, chances are he will just eat it up later that day. At least that’s what Jet Pack does. This is why I don’t feed him Science Diet. What’s the point of feeding your pet fancy food if they are just going to recycle it anyway?

But there are many more social dynamics to barfing than our relationships with our pets and our relationships with alcohol. Take, for example, one of my ex-girlfriends’ awesome diet that she was on for several years. The diet is as follows and, in my opinion, is highly effective: She would eat whatever she wanted, then immediately shove a finger down her throat and continue eating whatever she wanted, and get skinny in the process. Jenny Craig can eat a bowl of dick flakes, because this diet is cost-effective and somewhat genius. I call the finger-to-throat-to-puke method “pulling the trigger,” and I myself have pulled the trigger on occasion. It can be a great way to get yourself out of an awkward situation or a boring family party.

Puking voluntarily is not just important to girls on special diets. It is also an important skill for any college freshman to hone. Hence, the puke and rally. The puke and rally is an important technique in the realm of house parties and cheap booze. In a day and age where passing out and getting a dick drawn on your face impacts your social credibility and ability to get laid, the puke and rally can upgrade your status as a professional party-goer.

Here’s how to pull off a perfect puke and rally: Basically, in the middle of the party, if you feel like you might have to tap out/pass out by 12:30 a.m. and it’s only 11:00 p.m., go outside to where most of the party goers are smoking. Shove your favorite finger down your throat and unleash, promptly look the disgusted crowd in the eyes and shotgun a beer. If you can Teen Wolf the beer (don’t open it, but bite through the side of it), you will earn extra party points. Some of the babes might be grossed out, but most of those party girls are probably familiar with the diet mentioned above, and you will secretly gain their respect. Either way, emptying your stomach this way will enable you to actually drink more, hence the rally part of the equation.

This amazing house-party move can lead to an even smoother, suave move later in the night: The “hold your hair back” move. This is a tremendous bonding experience between men and women that I think sometimes goes unnoticed in our culture. There is no denying the bonding effect that holding a girl’s hair back as she kneels down and caresses your cool toilet has on a couple. Grab that girl a cup of water, and she will most likely remember you forever.

I can honestly say that I remember and appreciate every woman who has ever nursed me through a violent vomit storm. Whether I was peaking on mushrooms or actually had the flu, there is something special about that moment when you are curled up in the fetal position and that cool cup of water is delivered by a benevolent angel. It makes me feel glad to be a human and optimistic about all my future pukes.