April 19, 2012

Calamity at the Coke Museum

I almost went to the ER in Atlanta.

That kinda sounds like the title of an unsuccessful Country song.

I was visiting a friend who doesn't like to be referenced on the internet, so we'll call him Cory. Cory was living in Atlanta working in an industrial parts company.


This is what I imagined him doing each day:

For some reason, I pictured everything at his job being in black and white. I actually think it kinda was. Once while he was there, a co-worker threw up on himself and then asked Cory what he should do. Cory said that he should go home and change clothes.

The main thing I wanted to do in Atlanta (and the main reason I even went) was to go to the Coke Museum. I absolutely love soda. I mean, I'm bonkers about it. (To read about the complications this has caused, click here.)

The Coke museum was all I could think about beforehand. 

The night before, I found it hard to sleep.

When we got there, I was in a state of all out panic about getting unlimited samples. I was sincerely afraid some important machine part would break and they would have to close it down. I lost all sense of decorum.

Just before I became completely unhinged, we reached the soda room. It was heaven.

I began to furiously drink all the soda.

Cory and I drank so much soda, we had to sit down and take a breather. Despite the discomfort of millions of bubbles expanding the walls of our stomachs, we went back in for more. It wasn't even enjoyable at a certain point, but that didn't stop us.

When we couldn't take it anymore, I drank a few more samples and then we waddled off to the car. That's when things went really wrong.

I literally had to lay down in the back seat as my stomach felt like it was about to burst inside my peritoneal cavity. I was actually pretty scared.

At one point, Cory and I considered whether or not I needed to go to the ER. We were really close to doing it when I decided I didn't want to deal with insurance and the co-pay.

Fortunately, the pain subsided about an hour later and I lived. Interestingly, the bubbles had expanded my stomach so much that I became ravenous and ended up eating a full order of Chinese take-out and a half of a baked chicken.

I didn't learn any lessons from any of this.

April 8, 2012

Skydiving - The Activity During Which You Really Don't Want Things to Go Wrong

And wrong they went!

I'll explain.

My friends decided that they would surprise me for my birthday by taking me skydiving. All they told me was that I should keep Saturday morning open and to wear athletic clothes. Naturally, I respected their wishes to keep it a secret.

Persistence and perceptiveness prevailed, as I determined who the weaker of the two was. 

He crumbled like a cookie.  

I was devastated. I took this news basically as a death sentence.

For the next 48 hours, I walked around like someone on death row. I stopped eating. I stopped sleeping. I kinda stopped breathing. And most surprisingly, I stopped doing homework.

I got real philosophical.

When we arrived on site, I was feeling pretty loopy, not having eaten or slept in two days. While everyone else was starting to get nervous, I was barely coherent, which was fun.

When the plane got up in the air, I learned that my friends had paid for a lady to jump with us and film us on the way down. Her name was Delfina, which sounded like something straight out of Mario Cart. You can't make this stuff up.

At about 14 million feet, they strapped us to our instructors. One of the them was literally asleep the whole way up in the plane, which didn't inspire confidence. 

The other instructor kept talking with the pilot about all the flips, twists, and other maneuvers he was planning for the jump. This was also disconcerting.

When we jumped, I vomited everywhere.

Finally, it was time to land. Despite the parachute, skydivers still hurtle towards the earth at a surprising speed. They are supposed to pull tightly on the parachute cords just before the landing, which slows them down and makes the landing, well, survivable. Apparently, something called a crosswind can interfere with this and cause a crash landing. 

So can not-paying-attention, but nobody asked me.

As my spine squashed into the earth like a plastic cup in a trash compacter, my only thoughts were of how my parents were going to kill me because I had signed away any ability to sue anyone ever again in my life on the skydiving waiver.

Somehow, I was able to shake off the full body pain long enough to snap a photo with my friends.

I think the best part was when Delfina came out from the editing room (still in her skydive outfit) and put the freshly cut dvd of the jump on the t.v. for all to see. It was set to techno music. Talk about a gem of a dvd.

I'd definitely recommend skydiving. Just maybe not in Chester, South Carolina.