City Paper is not for tourists
“The last time I was in Little Rock, I vomited,” I informed my bandmate. We sped east on Interstate 630 towards the Arkansas state capital.
“What led you to vomit?” my bandmate inquired.
“The circumstances behind my regurgitation were mysterious,” I replied. “When I arrived in Little Rock, I had a hankering for Spicy Hot V8. Accordingly, I visited a 7-Eleven and purchased this beverage. I consumed this Spicy Hot V8 on the spot. Then, I went to Vino’s Brewpub, Little Rock’s premier pizza restaurant-cum-rock venue, where I was scheduled to play later that evening. There, I consumed half of a large pizza. Two hours later, I became nauseated, stumbled to the parking lot, and vomited.”
“What is mysterious about that?” my bandmate replied. “Spicy Hot V8 and pizza are not meant to be combined in the human gastrointestinal system.”
“Of that, I am aware,” I concurred. “After all, I expelled these consumables from my body on to the gravel surface of Vino’s parking lot. Tomatoes, in V8 or pizza form, are acidic. If one consumes too many tomatoes, one’s system will reject them. However, when I remember that this undesirable tomato juice/pizza double-team caused me to, informally, ‘barf,’ I wonder whether there was an inherent problem with the pizza and/or tomato juice themselves. Specifically, I ask: was the tomato juice expired? Were sanitary conditions at Vino’s subpar?”
“You may never know,” my bandmate ventured.
“It’s true,” I replied. “However, I can report that I have not thrown up in the five years since my last visit to Little Rock.”
“We can learn more about why you, informally, ‘puked,’” my bandmate replied. “Tonight, we will get a pizza at Vino’s. If you vomit, you know Vino’s sanitation has been compromised. If not, we can go to 7-Eleven and purchase a Spicy Hot V8. If you vomit, you know that the Spicy Hot—-or, at least, the combination of Spicy Hot and pizza—-was the culprit.”
“You propose a field test, but cannot recreate the exact conditions of my first visit to Little Rock,” I protested. “Where is the 7-Eleven I visited? I do not know. If could find the 7-Eleven I visited, would the V8 batch offered for sale be part of the same batch I purchased in 2003? I think not. Have sanitary conditions at Vino’s improved or deteriorated since 2003? We cannot say.”
“Well,” my bandmate admitted, “we are left in the dark.”
“It’s just as well,” I replied. “For obvious reasons, I no longer drink Spicy Hot V8.”