Last year at this time, the entire family was shivering and wheezing as we lurched our way to various bathrooms. Nanny and Poppy either caught the virus that felled us all like a forest of mighty oaks when they were out in Colorado or on the plane they took back to Indiana; they threw up everything they'd eaten since birth and then generously shared the bug with the rest of us, a gift for which we did not offer them gracious thanks. The two of them originally tried to blame their illness on eating some bologna that had gone past its sell-by date, but considering the fact that food poisoning isn't transmittable from one person to another, we didn't buy their story.
We were all sitting around the table yesterday at their house, reminiscing about last year and how there were only five of us there instead of our usual eleven - the other six were off clutching buckets and staring into the middle distance with hollow, haunted eyes.
"I'm glad none of you are eating the bologna sandwich this year," sighed my mother, citing our family's euphemism for barfing up one's spleen as we all tucked into the massive Christmas breakfast she'd made for us. We all nodded vigorously, chewing away, happy to be gathered in a place that wasn't littered with tissue boxes and those little papers that wrap cough drops. And the ubiquitous buckets.
I just found out that the families of three different friends spent their Christmases doing what we did last year, so I am posting this link for A Christmas Full of Bologna for them so that they'll know that others have suffered as they have.
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