Features

Stories from the Midway

Girls' Night Out

Stories from the Midway
Illustration By Robert Faires

We decided to have a "Girls' Night Out." Not that most of our tomboy Catholic high school nights out weren't already girls' nights out by default, but on this one in particular, it was decided to exclude boys -- all mention of boys, no slut-wear, no make-up, and eating whatever we wanted. And cigars. Pizza, root beer, stogies. We consuming so competitively, so heartily, so masculinely, that perhaps a night's ribaldry at a local traveling carnival was not the best plan.

Oh well ...

Stuck-up, pesky pissant Mary and I got stuck on the "teacup" ride together. You know, the one that spins around a bit on its own volition until you yourself spin the inside wheel to make it careen that much faster? Now, this was after a good few stomach-churning turns on the Himalaya, a nauseating round on the Rok N Roll, and a throat-tightening twist on the Tilt-a-Whirl.

One thing was clear. Mary wanted to introduce me to that popular teenage pal, "ralph" ... you know, Ralph Hurley. So with all her scrawny-armed might, she attached herself to the inner wheel and turn, turn, turned. The background of twinkly faerie lights blurred into a background of laser razors. And just like in that Byrds song, I learned that there is a season and a time ... for reverse peristalsis. But not quite yet. The ride slowly ground to a halt and we began to disembark. Before I could let the 12-letter epithet aimed at Mary slip from my lips, someone caught my eye. It was Carlos, my buddy Maggie's supposed boyfriend -- with another girl. And the fellow next to him was the guy with whom I had made out intensely just the night before at a sleepover at Maggie's, where the boys crawled in through the window for a rousing round of "Seven Minutes in Heaven" -- he too, with another girl.

Then it happened.

What issued forth from my lips was no epithet. It was a firehose. It was a magnificent stream-of-consciousness spew, manifest in the form of pre-chewed pizza, A&W, and wiggly bits of Phillies Blunt. It was the Ol' Faithful of projectile puke, that measured, would've surely landed me in some Guinness book. Fortunately for Carlos and crew, my comet of vomit fell a good yard or two from their feet. With that, and newly cleared gullet, I grinned, waved at the boys, and gleefully pranced off to the next ride.

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