Krautmas in Peril!

Story time! I warn you this one is not for the faint of heart or stomach, but I’m posting it here anyway because I figure a little bathroom humor never hurt anyone. If you’re good with poo jokes please enjoy having a laugh at my expense.

My sister decided that Christmas Day is only for immediate family (i.e. husband and kids) and not extended family (i.e. aunts/uncles, grandparents, etc.). There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s different from what we grew up with, but it’s not wrong. It’s just different. It has however left a gaping hole in my holiday schedule and those of my mom and my aunt in the form of Christmas Day. So, we decided to start our own tradition which we refer to as Krautmas.

My mom and aunt come over and are served a German dinner of sauerbraten, sauerkraut, schpeitzle, noodles because my mom isn’t a fan of schpeitzle, a nice glass of Riesling, and apple strudel for dessert. With the exception of the apple strudel, all the recipes are ones I learned at the feet of my German grandmother in her kitchen which is incidentally the same place I learned what “scheisse” means. In case you’re wondering the apple strudel recipe I use is courtesy of the fine folks at Google.

Krautmas begins on the 20th with placing the meat for the sauerbraten in a brine made of vinegar and other ingredients which remain a highly classified secret of House Barton. It also involves cleaning my entire apartment from top to bottom to pass my mother’s white glove inspection which for some odd reason includes opening closets and drawers. Apparently in my mother’s mind this is a totally normal thing to do in someone else’s home. My sister and I have made a game out of leaving items in certain places to mess with her. She’s not nearly as amused as we are.

This year, events conspired that put Krautmas in grave peril. Twas the Monday before Krautmas and all through the house I spent 36 hours on the porcelain telephone talking to Ralph. In other words, I contracted what I can only describe as the most hellacious of stomach viruses. You know it’s bad when you’re sitting on the porcelain throne with a bucket in your lap. I was unable to make the brine and place the meat to soak it for the customary 5 days of Krautmas both for fear of infecting my loved ones with a sickness I wouldn’t wish on the cockroaches that infest my worst enemy’s place of dwelling and also because I couldn’t lift my head without feeling nauseous and no, children the secret ingredient of the House Barton sauerbraten is not vomit. Sorry to disappoint.

The Knight Bus

Nevertheless, my polite requests for someone to shoot me were denied, and the following evening things began to look up and I found myself able to stand and even speak coherently. It was wonderful! I used these abilities to talk my significant other through making the brine and placing the meat into it since he dodged the viral bullet, the bastard. Krautmas was still on! However it would face its biggest challenges the following night which proved that the virus was not done with me. Oh no! Not yet! I still had to endure hours of going to the bathroom every twenty minutes to expel liquid fire. You know it’s bad when you reach a point where you go and there’s nothing except poo dust. It was like my backdoor coughed and sputtered its last breath.

Naturally I was a bit concerned so I called the doctor in the morning. When I told them my symptoms they said that what I had was the Sydney norovirus. It’s called that because it originated in Sydney, Australia which is further proof that everything that can kill you comes from Australia. I was told not to come into the office since there’s really nothing they could do, let it run its course, drink fluids, don’t be alarmed if I don’t bounce back right away, and call back if it gets any worse. They also told me to eat bland foods. I hung up with my gurgling guts feeling like lead. Bland food? That would eliminate like ½ of my Krautmas menu! Noooooo!!!

The Burrow, aka the Weasley house because Dickens Villages are for normal people.

However undaunted and because I was desperate for relief I drank unknown amounts of water and Gatorade and rested at home instead of getting up to my normal evening activities like the radio show and martial arts training and woke the next day to the sudden realization that my guts were not gurgling, I had no pain, and I had slept an entire night without once getting up to expel something truly awful. I didn’t celebrate yet. I kept my composure until around mid-morning. I took a constitutional and *gasp* IT WAS SOLID!!!! I wanted to dance, but feared that my sanity would be questioned or someone would be convinced that I was having a seizure and call 911. However, I couldn’t contain my joy entirely so I texted my mother in all caps “I HAD A SOLID BOWEL MOVEMENT!” I don’t know what was funnier, the fact that I actually sent a text to my mother describing a bowel movement or her response which was “Praise the Lord!”

And so it came to pass that the virus from hell returned whence it came from and there was much eating of German food and rejoicing. It was a Krautmas miracle!


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