Beans' Brush with Death
Man, oh man. There's actually no way to post this business without the photos-- I can TELL you that I held a day-old runt goat in my arms at a cheese farm, but you really need to SEE his lippy little goat grin on film to appreciate it.
I ate so much on this trip, I can't believe I'm alive. One night I actually woke up in terrible, terrible shooting stomach pain. As I moaned and rolled like a beached whale, my mom suggested I might be having a "gaul bladder attack." WHATEVER THAT MEANS. I associate gaul bladder problems, like gout, with men like Captain Ahab or Martin Van Buren. How could a beautiful young maiden like me get a gaul bladder attack? Would I officially have to start smoking snuff and reading sequential volumes about British naval history??
It turned out that as I did every night in France, I had simply overeaten. But really really bad. The pain went away after a day or so, but not before my mom had to contemplate driving me to a French hospital to get "de la morphine, s'il vous plait." In 1998 I had my one encounter with a French hospital. I sprained my ankle dancing to Rusted Root at a house party. It was a light sprain, but the doctor put me in a full, hard, bright green leg-foot cast, and gave me a pair of polio crutches with elbow braces. Eventually I realized how ridiculous this was, sawed my own cast off with a butter knife and healed the sprain with a bandage.
I have no idea what they would have done for my "gaul bladder attack"...(in reading the following, please ascribe a ridiculous accent to all French parties.)
Mom: HELP! [dragging me in by one arm to emergency room, where everyone is chain smoking]
French Doctor: What's the matter??
Mom: I think my daughter's having a gaul bladder attack!
French Doctor: She was attacked by one of my countrymen? Have you called the police?
Mom: No, her gaul bladder, it needs to be removed!
French Doctor: Are you a trained medical professional, madame?
French Doctor [looking concerned]: Then you had better not remove her gaul bladder.
Nurse: DOCTEUR! DOCTEUR!
French Doctor: Oui, Nurse?
Nurse: There is a woman who is fresh out of Cotes du Rhone over there!
French Doctor: WELL REFILL HER GLASS, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY! Nurse! [whispering] Are you a trained medical professional?
Nurse: [whispering] Non, I am a waitress.
French Doctor: MMmmbut of course.
Julia: OUCH OUCH OUCH, my stomach still hurts!
French Doctor: Good point. Are YOU a trained medical professional?
French Doctor: DAMMIT! DAMMIT! DAMMIT!
Mom: What seems to be the problem, doctor?
French Doctor: ...nothing... The problem is, she's having a gaul bladder attack!
Mom: I knew it!
Julia: Really? A gaul bladder attack? But you didn't even examine me.
French Doctor: But I barely know you! You want to get in a little gown and play princess, you do it on your own time. YOU are having a GAUL BLADDER ATTACK!
Julia: But I thought that was an old man's disease.
French Doctor: Well, now you are the man. TO THE MAN!
[Emergency room raises their glasses, doctor puts 12 cigarettes in JULIA's mouth and lights them.]
French Doctor: And now, we will put your leg in a cast. Do you concur?
"Don't worry about me! My gaul bladder's on the mend!"