From the Lemonade Stand: 3:00 am Multidisciplinary Word Problems

(Disclaimer: don’t read this if you have a touchy tummy…)

At three am, a ten-year-old boy awakens from sleep with a sense of deep unrest in his abdomen.  He staggers out of bed, racing for the bathroom, and makes it out into the hall.  The boy vomits from a height of 4’3” with an initial velocity of approximately one meter/second.


A)    How many rooms will the vomit splash into?

  1. Five.
  2. Five plus down three stairs.
  3. Five plus down three stairs, up two doors, and onto all the baseboard.


B)    Which word best describes the odor of said vomitus?

  1. Acrid.
  2. Nasty.
  3. This question is way too disgusting to even entertain.


C)    How long will the scent linger in the hallway, or at least in the mother’s sleep-deprived memory?

  1. Metaphorical eternity.
  2. Actual eternity.


D)    If eight hours elapse after the child eats it, how will the red pepper in the child’s vomitus look?

  1. Ooh!  Pretty red polka dots!
  2. The answer depends upon the etiologic agent since infection may alter digestion and gastric motility.
  3. For the love of all that is sacred, don’t make me think about the #$%^ red pepper again!


E)    Assuming the etiologic agent is norovirus (given the predominance of vomiting over diarrhea in the symptomatology and despite norovirus’ winter predilection), how long will the child be shedding the virus after resolution of symptoms?

  1. Gross.
  2. Several days.
  3. Why aren’t we all puking all the freakin’ time?


F)    Hypothetically speaking, of course, what is the chance that the child’s father will roust himself from bed to assist with the cleanup?

  1. 0%.
  2. 0% but he will claim ignorance of the comprehensive nature of the layer of vomit.
  3. 0% but he will claim ignorance of the comprehensive nature of the layer of vomit and he will think he contributed by fetching a towel after the child takes a cleansing shower.


G)    What is the chance that the (only slightly passive aggressive) mother will blog about the wee-hours activities of her household the following day?

  1. 100%.
  2. 100%.  Public shaming is such a great tactic for maintaining marital harmony.
  3. 100%.  Public shaming is such a great tactic for maintaining marital harmony but she would like to add that the father believed (at 3:00 am) that the child had made it to the toilet in time so she supposes that she’ll cut him a little slack.


H)    Will the significant cumulative hours of couples therapy that this mother has accrued allow her to state her needs clearly next time around?  (“ACK!  I’m up to my armpits in vomit!  Get out here and help me clean up!  PLEASE!”)

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes, duh.
  3. Yes, duh, make the check payable to me for $150.


I)    What is the probability that the mother will happily snuggle her child after he is tucked back into bed, knowing full well that she’s wading into a cesspool of viral particles?

  1. 100%.
  2. 110%.
  3. What a dumb question.


J) As the mother lies in bed trying to fall back to sleep (“Hmm.  How can I turn this into a useful life lesson about the perils of alcohol overindulgence?”), which song would  best lull her into tedious oblivion?

  1. “Let it Go.”
  2. “Shake it Off.”
  3. “Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”


Musical Moment – see above

HI – so, if you enjoy reading my blog (except this one, because this one is, like, kinda gross) please consider signing up for it.  See that thing right under this post?  You enter your email and then you’ll get a confirmation note right away.  If you don’t see the confirmation email right away, look in your spam folder.  Click the link to confirm your subscription and I’ll love you forever.  And I need to love you forever after last night.  xoxo Anne.

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4 Responses to From the Lemonade Stand: 3:00 am Multidisciplinary Word Problems

  1. mom says:

    How can a sick child’s mother create such a vivid picture?? I can see the sights and smell the smells – oh dear! I think I must head to the bathroom!!! Just kidding. Do you remember our communal vomiting parties in the bathroom when you were little????
    I will love you forever!!!

  2. Mary Cole says:

    Hi Anne! I do enjoy your writing! Yours is the VERY FIRST blog I have ever signed up for. I hope you and Ace stay clear of that novo virus. I hear it is a particularly nasty Viroquan strain!

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