I can’t blame you if you don’t believe me on this one. I scarcely believe it myself. Naturally I don’t want to believe it. I wouldn’t even be considering it at this point if my brother, my sister, and I had not talked about it many times.

To whit: my mother did not allow us to throw up. Crazy, right? At least I warned you that I was about to make a preposterous claim. I mean, how can you stop a child from throwing up? Because of the diminutive size of a child’s GI tract, the vomit is shooting out before they even know it’s coming. That’s certainly how it went with my kids.

At some point, my kids have thrown up on every single surface in the house, including into the kitchen sink, and, when I was sitting on the floor, my head. I distinctly remember the glop in my hair and then its oozing down my face under my glasses. Even though when a stomach bug was going around, I’d leave a sand bucket by their beds (their favorite color of course), their preferred place to throw up was bed. This included sheets, blankets, quilts, pillows, stuffed animals and the rug.

Do you believe a human being can actually be evil? If not, you should. Hopefully you’ll never have to live with one as I did, but I can assure you that you’ll encounter them. Recent research posits that 1 in 25 people are psychopaths (the clinical term for evil). Only a few are murderers; most inflict their venality on living people. Children, students, employees, the meek – these are their particular targets.

Evil people are terrifying, but not in the way lions are terrifying. They are snakes; they hide in the grass and strike when you least expect it. As opposed to snakes, however, they can be quite charming when doing so will serve to entrap their victims. 

My mother literally scared the barf out of her children. The superhuman effort and discomfort of swallowing it back down was somehow easier than facing the brutality of her rage.

When I got to college at 17, I promptly caught a stomach virus and threw up. I do remember distinctly that I had no idea what was happening.

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