It was an ordinary Sunday. You know, teachers calling saying they won’t be there and subs nowhere to be found. (I know you understand and it makes me feel better to say it.) I am busy upstairs greeting and helping as needed, when the custodian asked me a question, “Mr. Mark, do you know where the child is that threw up?” “What? Yikes! Yuck!” I loudly responded, “No, not up here. Check in the preschool.”
Howard quickly left and I thought, “I’m so glad I’m up here!” The truth is, I’m a sympathetic puker. If I see it, hear it, or remotely smell it, I start gagging. To the point I can taste the juices. Oh no! I’m kind of talking myself into it right now. Thank goodness I didn’t have that problem upstairs and I wasn’t about to leave knowing toxic waste could be lurking downstairs.
The next day about midmorning, my preschool associate asked if I heard what happened. I had no idea what she was talking about so I said, “No.” When she mentioned the little girl that hurled. I was shocked (I’m pretty convincing.). She explained that all of a sudden she got sick and vomited into the tub of Mr. Potato Heads and all their little parts. I had a slight heave just talking about it. I asked if she cleaned them up, but she was called away before she could check and just now remembered.
Does this mean they are still sitting in a tub somewhere? She answered, “I guess so.” (Like it was no big deal.) She continued, “We should go check.” I thought, “NO WAY! You should go check.” I reluctantly agreed and began walking with her toward the preschool kitchen where I was sure they were lying in state. I mentioned that if no one has touched them for 24 hours, that it would be a lost cause and they would need to be trashed. She mentioned putting them through the dishwasher to sterilize them, but I couldn’t quit thinking about the crime scene and walking in on it.
I mentioned the little gagging issue I have. With each step getting closer I thought I could already smell it yet we were only halfway across the church. She giggled as if not to believe me. She assured me, “It’ll be okay Mr. Mark. You’re so funny.” But I was at def-con four and we weren’t even there yet. As we opened the door, I pulled my shirt up over my nose in hopes that smelling my deodorant would mask the blinding stench of upchuck. My eyes were beginning to water as I nervously opened the door to find the shocking sight. They were all cleaned.
They had been bleached and washed, and laid out to air dry. As it turns out, our people have been listening and following the rules of hygiene and safety. I was so proud as I pulled my head out of my shirt and smiled. I was about to cry just seeing the wonderful sight laid out before me. I love my church and my workers.
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