Deep Fried Steak


The odd, and I mean odd things that you eat while on a ranch for a business trip.

I was heading out for a quick business trip to make a presentation at a government conference, yes, sometimes they have those in the international circles on specific topics. I arrived, armed with my presentation and slides, nervous, and ready to pray to the porcelain gods. I somehow managed to keep my food down, as i practiced the presentation in my hotel room, I just wanted to do a good job, and fall asleep somewhere.

My presentation was one of the first of the conference, I somehow made it to the stage, and got through my slides, and I managed to keep water down, which was a good thing!

I got off the stage relieved, reading to actually start breathing again. My colleagues congratulated me, and I just felt a lot of weight off my shoulders. I sat down, watched the other presentations, until I got an urgent e-mail I needed to respond to. I quietly exited, and headed back to my hotel room. I got back to work.

It was getting close to dinner time, and I was supposed to be dressed and ready to meet the other conference remembers for some sort of planned outing.

I quickly got dressed and got to the lobby of the hotel where I met a couple of colleagues from other departments.

We were filed into school buses, I couldn’t imagine where we were going, because the little I had seen of the area was really depressing.

We were met by a cowboy and some robbers! Yes, we were in for quite a show. It was a full ranch, where we sat on hay bails, learned to line dance, and for dinner, we were given deep-fried steak with a fork stuck in it on a plate. I wasn’t sure what to do, i was a vegetarian, and I was in meat hell. My Mother’s voice stuck in my head “you better eat what is on your plate, don’t be rude.” so I ate it.

Within an hour, I was feeling nauseated. One of my colleagues noticed me looking a little green, and gave me some whiskey. I drank it, thinking it would probably make what ever was stuck in my stomach to come up. It didn’t.

When the night was over, we got back to the hotel, and I ran for my room. I was violently ill. So ill, that the next day, I had to ask the front desk where the nearest pharmacy was and bolt there for some necessities. The whole walk to the pharmacy, I had to stop and throw up in every garbage can.

By the time I made it to my destination, I headed to the back and attempted to speak to the pharmacist. I was handed a vomit bag, and some medicine. I somehow made it back to the hotel, only now I was thoroughly loopy. I have no idea where I left that very full vomit bag, but I managed to fall asleep on the cold tile floor of the washroom.

When I finally woke up, I was weak, drenched in perspiration, and knew I would have to get on a flight to head home.

I drew a bath, and crawled in. My body had flushed everything out. I scrolled through my e-mails and calls, my boss had been looking for me. I quickly sent him a note saying I had spent some time praying to the porcelain gods, and that he should never send me to a cattle ranch for deep fried steak again.

I guess the time difference didn’t bother him, I got a reply right away, telling me that I could count myself a part of an elite group of people who have suffered from food poisoning while working.

I made it back to the office the next day, with a  round of applause. Apparently, everyone had a story of getting violently ill while traveling for work. Not glamorous.

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