Friday, May 23, 2008


Warning: Rated G for Gross

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

“It’s called vermit,” Danny offered, “Not vomit. When you throw up a bunch of frogs like that, I mean.”

I didn’t care what it was called. I just wanted to get this taste out of my mouth. I blew my nose again, so hard I thought I’d have a stroke right there on the salesroom room floor. It didn’t do any good. I still felt one of them wriggling around in my sinuses.

“Those are pollywogs,” Carol said, pointing the toe of her shoe at my puke.

“Still vermit,” Danny said. “You been eatin’ tadpoles, Marcus?”

“It’s the curse,” I said. I shuddered. My nose burned and dripped with . . . Snot? Bile?

The salesman edged ever closer. Royal blue shirt and stars and stripes tie. Still figuring out how to deal with us and my mess.

I waved him closer. “C’mon over. Watch your step. I apologize. I’ll be happy to clean it up. I don’t s’pose you guys sell wet vacs?”

“No sir.”

“It’s my wife,” I said, which made him look at Carol. “No. That’s not a wife, that’s Carol.” Carol kneed me, almost sending me face first into my own biological spill. I regained my balance but not without putting my right boot into it. The little squiggles had stopped swimming around in there, at least. “Wife’s some kinda Super-Wiccan or something, I don’t know. Cursed me this morning.”

This he understood. He had those tired, baggy eyes that explained him. “Going through a divorce?”

“Man, I wish. Nah, I just forgot to put my clothes in the machine last night.”

He nodded. “Say no more. I’ll get paper towels and a garbage bag.”

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