Imagine a trip to the Virgin Islands at only 13 years old. The sun, the sand, the opportunity to try a Pina Colada… it was a dream come true!
Sure enough, when I was in seventh grade my parents took my older brother and me to St. Croix for a family vacation. There I indeed got to try my first Pina Colada while munching on fried conch as I listened to island music.
And oh how sad we were to find out our hometown experienced a major snowstorm, causing us to be stuck in the Virgin Islands for one more day! With this wonderful opportunity for extra sun, I decided to “lay out” to get the best suntan possible before I went back home.
Remember, I was young, stupid and… a redhead.
By the time we got on the plane the next day I was covered in blisters and was running a temperature. Sun poisoning had set in as my stomach began to roll.
Halfway through the flight, lunch was served. Between the smell of the airplane food and the effects of the sun, my stomach finally chose to rebel.
With a hurl on deck, I panicked. “Don’t throw up, don’t throw up,” I chanted in my head. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead as I clenched my fists and prayed.
And then it happened. The most awful sound came out of my mouth as I choked back an unwanted explosion. “ARRRG-HOOP!” <swallow> <panic>
My brother heard the noise, laughed and repeated it as loudly as he could – ARRRG-HOOP! – not realizing I was about to lose everything in my stomach.
He then turned to me still laughing, just as I grabbed the bag to throw up my island breakfast.
I’m not sure who made the worst face. Me in mid-vomit, my brother in disbelief of the poor man next to me who had just been served lunch. It was a flight none of us would soon forget.