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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1230873-Stop-the-Car
by Kenzie
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Biographical · #1230873
I forgot to tell him about my affliction. 2nd Place Winner - Bad Trips Contest
Stop the Car!
By Marilyn Mackenzie


Some people had fun that day. My ex, for example. He socialized and partied, while I pranced around trying to find parents, siblings, parents and grandparents for the pictures. Just when I thought I had everyone gathered, someone slipped away and I had to start all over again.

There really was too much booze circulating at the reception. Perhaps if we – my parents and I – had been paying for the alcohol, there would not have been quite so much. But tradition said that the groom’s parents paid for the booze, and pay for it they did!

I drank some champagne, of course. I had to participate in the toasts. Later, I grabbed a glass of punch and spat it out as I shrieked to my mother, “Mom, this punch was spiked!”

“I know, Marilyn. We’re keeping the kids away from it.” Mom patted my arm and said, “It was a beautiful wedding, Marilyn. Just beautiful. And these people will be here until there is nothing left to drink if you don’t get out of here.”

She was right. I went looking for the socializing groom and found him downing shots with some guys from work. We danced the last dance, said our good-byes and headed for the elevator. We were spending the night in a hotel just down the road, then taking off for Niagra Falls in the morning.

The hotel provided another bottle of champagne for us and we drank that as we sat in the middle of the bed opening cards. Our take was about $1200, half in cash and half in checks. Not bad for 1973. Plus we still had all the wrapped gifts to open. I began to think that maybe all the falderal had been worth it.

We opened another bottle of some kind of booze. I don’t remember what it was. I was only 21 and my new spouse would be 21 in a few months. We didn’t have much experience with drinking. Soon we were nodding off, without the slightest interest in getting cozy. Well, there was time for that later.

I woke the next morning in big, big trouble. First, I had a hangover. My first, I guess. Secondly, I was also experiencing mid-range menstrual cramps. That meant that within the next 24 hours….well, you get the picture. What a great way to spend a honeymoon.

I called room service while my new spouse was in the shower, requesting strong coffee, buttered toast and aspirin for me. The clerk asked it I might also want to try a Bloody Mary, saying that sometimes it helped to drink the next morning to get the blood flowing again. Or some such nonsense. Right. I declined that suggestion. For my spouse, I ordered a normal and huge breakfast. If I couldn’t be all cuddly, I knew that food was the next best thing for him.

Soon we were speeding down the highway. Well, we were speeding as fast as a 70’s VW bug could speed. I was totally unaware of the scenery, but I did know that we were going up and down hills or mountains. Well, we tried to drive up and down the mountains.

My new spouse and I had not made any long road trips together, and I forgot to tell him about my affliction – carsickness. He soon found out. Add normal carsickness to being hung over and having cramps, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

In order for us to make any progress in the VW, we had to speed downhill and hope that the car would travel at a decent speed up the hill as a result. The problem was that just as we gathered enough speed going downhill to allow us to make it uphill, I shouted, “Stop the car!”

Not knowing why, he quickly pulled the car onto the shoulder of the road and looked at me quizzingly. “What?”

I didn’t have to respond. I couldn’t respond. I quickly exited the car and leaned over and spilled my guts on the side of the road.

“Oh. Better now?”

“I think so.”

“Okay.”

Off we sped. Well, no, we didn’t speed. Rather, our VW bug slowly crawled up the next hill with traffic piling up behind us.

We did speed down the next hill, made adequate time up the next hill, then were soaring down another hill when I shouted again, “Stop the car!”

“Again?”

“Yes! NOW!”

This time, I opened the door and leaned out and tossed my cookies – well, buttered toast, I guess – on the ground right outside the car.

“Gross!”

“Yes, I’m sorry.”

“Do this often?”

“Um…yes.”

“And you didn’t tell me because…..?”

“Gee, we’ve know each other for so long, that I thought you had heard all the stories…of how we traveled and us three kids all got sick, and…”

“Never mind.”

Up the next hill we crawled. This time, an angry 18-wheel trucker behind us. We knew he was angry because he told everyone on the CB radio about the stupid white VW bug that couldn’t make it up the hill.

My loving new spouse pulled off the road at the top of the hill. “But honey, I don’t have to barf right now.”

He remained silent. He pulled out a bag of chips with just a few crumbs in the bottom and handed it to me. “No thanks, I think I’ll pass.”

“That’s your vomit bag.”

“What?”

“You heard me. Vomit in the bag. It will take us days to get to Niagra Falls this way. I have to get up speed going down hill in order to make it up the next. Barf in the bag.”

We sat there for a few minutes, waiting to see if I might have to empty my stomach one more time before taking off again. I didn’t.

Until….we got going down the hill – faster this time, in fact so fast that I worried that we would be pulled over for speeding. Sure enough…

“Please stop the car.”

“No. Use the bag.”

“That’s gross.”

“Tough.”

Soon I complied. I had to. I filled up the bag, then folded the top over a few times to try to keep the messy stuff inside, along with the horrible smell. Now the car smelled like…well, like puke. And that’s enough to make anyone have to puke all over again. Right. “Honey, I think I have to puke again.”

Somehow, he reached behind him and found another bag of half-consumed snacks. “But honey, there are pretzels in this bag.”

Oh well, too late. I folded the top of that bag down, hoping against hope that the smell would disappear within the bag. It did not.

The road leveled off, the speed limit signs told us to slow down, and a small town appeared in the distance. My happy new spouse stopped at the gas station and proceeded to take the bags of puke and throw them in the trash.

“Hey buddy. Those trash cans are for customers. You gonna buy some gas?”

“I don’t need any gas yet.”

“Then you can’t use the trash cans.”

“Hey, pal. There is puke in these bags and I have to get them outta the car.”

“Sorry. Trash cans are for customers.”

“Fine. Filler’ up.”

“Right. Check the oil?”

“No thanks.”

“Check the tires?”

“No thanks.”

“Wiper blades?”

“NO! I just wanted to throw out some trash. How much?”

“That will be 47 cents, sir.”

“All I have is a twenty dollar bill.”

“Gee, sir, I don’t have much change. Had a bunch of customers with big bills yesterday and the banks are closed until Monday.”

“Gimme what you can.”

“Okay. Here’s fifteen dollars. Where you headin’?”

“Niagra Falls.”

“Honeymoonin’?”

“Yes.”

“You don’t seem very happy. Did the little lady drink too much last night?”

“Just give me the money.”

“Stop by on your way back and get some gas or maybe I’ll have change by then. I’ll remember you.”

“That’s okay. Keep the change.”

“You sure you don’t want your oil checked? I feel really bad about not giving you enough change.”

“Forget it.”

And with that, my new happy husband tried to squeal rubber. Tried. But that’s not something at which a Herbie car is adept.

The rest of the trip? Well much of it is just none of anyone’s business. We were on our honeymoon, after all.

But for those of you who are curious, we did make it to the Falls. Have you ever been? There’s one place where you can get really close to the awesome and mighty, rushing water. It’s rather scary, actually.

And that’s the last place and time that I barfed. Right into Niagra Falls. What a trip!


Now...we were talking about that trip we're going to take. What do you mean you changed your mind? Hey, that was a long time ago. I don't get carsick anymore. Well, not much.




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