There are two things I will never consume again. Two things that will always elicit a physical (and very negative) response if someone even utters the words: Goldschlager and Reuben sandwiches. I just got chills and that nails-on-a-chalk-board feeling. Like, in my soul.
We all have these things. Food scars (or drink scars if the shoe fits). For some, it’s tequila. For others, spaghettiOs. For my brother, it’s watermelon. For me, it’s a drink with “real gold flakes” and a sandwich with fermented cabbage – go figure.
It’s not their fault. I mean, I don’t think EVERYONE agrees that Goldschlager and Reuben sandwiches are inherently evil. Obviously, I didn’t think so in the beginning or I wouldn’t have this story to tell. But, if you ask me now, today? Yeah…they’re the devil. Beelzebub in food and drink form. The Prince of Darkness with gold flakes and the archangel of sandwiches. It’s a no for me.
Goldschlager has been a longer standing enemy of mine. I am not going to reveal the specific date because, remember that time I said I was trying to be a GOOD influence? <wink> Suffice it to say, I was a younger me. Anyway, I was at a Christmas party with my boyfriend at the time. Anyone know why we always say “at the time” when we refer to exes? Is it to be super sure that everyone knows we’re not referring to our current love interests? I guess. Dunno.
So, Christmas party.
It was a small affair. Just a couple dozen college kids that I had never seen before. My experience with drinking was, shall we say, limited. I don’t know that I had much more than a sip of mom’s strawberry daquiri at a family get together, to be honest. So, I wasn’t really interested in knocking back shots or tapping the keg. Can I be candid again here? I didn’t have a beer from a keg until I was in my 30s. I have NEVER done a keg stand or chugged from a beer bong. This is not to say I’m a prude or judging anyone for engaging in these uniquely college behaviors. I just…never did. This should give you a sense of my tolerance. It was as unformed as my political ideals.
But then someone brought out this fancy looking bottle with all these little bits of gold leaf floating around inside. It looked like Christmas in a glass. ‘Tis the season??? I was egged on by my peers to try just a little. It tasted like slightly sweet and spicy cinnamon which, on it’s face doesn’t sound bad but I can tell you that I’m getting all twitchy and nauseous at the memory. Next thing I knew, I was I-don’t-know-how-many shots in and feeling like the version of Rudolph when they all realize his nose lights up. EVERYONE was my bestest friend in the whole wide world!
About an hour later, I hit the wall. Or rather, the wall hit me. I had no choice in the matter. At some piont, three evil sorority sisters convinced me that I needed to lay down…in the bath tub..and drink milk. In my version of the story, they’re evil because what kind of warped logic makes you think that drinking a half-gallon of milk will help, well, anything? Their intentions might have been noble but somehow, I doubt it. The next thing I remember was waking up under a Christmas tree and looking up to a rather large stranger who said, “Are you my Christmas present?”
I made it home safely, though I recall an ill-advised Whataburger stop and fighting with my boyfriend…uh…at the time. The next day went pretty much as you’d expect. I felt horrible and my pores emitted odors of cinnamon, french fries, and regret. A whole lot of regret.
The Reuben Sandwich incident occurred a bit later. It was my second or third date with my boyfriend…at a different time. He wasn’t really my boyfriend technically but I was wearing him down. This story will perhaps help you understand why that took about, oh, five years.
He had tickets to Six Flags.
Are you mortified at where this story will lead yet? You should be.
Up to this point (mmmm…we’ll go with 21ish), I had loved Six Flags. I went all the time and my favorite ride was the Texas Giant although, by the time of this date, there were flashier and sexier rides. The Texas Giant, which is now a steel roller coast, was originally known for being the tallest wooden roller coaster in the world. It would throw you around like a snotty bull in a rodeo. No hoops, no going backward – just a classic (and painful) roller coaster. There is really no point in my sharing this with you other than to give props to a roller coaster I used to love.
Before we get to the fun part, I suppose I have to explain how the Reuben Sandwich came into play. We needed lunch before we went to the park. That’s it. Simple. Did I have a fondness for Reuben Sandwiches? Not particularly. I can’t tell you why I didn’t go with a burger or a turkey and cheese – something straightforward. I knew said “boyfriend at the time” was a cook so maybe I thought Reuben sounded fancy or sophisticated? Who knows. I can tell you what I now know, however. A Reuben, which consists of swiss cheese, rye bread, SAUERKRAUT, CORNED BEEF, and RUSSIAN DRESSING – is NOT what you should consume before having your insides jiggled around like jello for 3 hours.
It just isn’t.
But I was fine after lunch.
Until I wasn’t.
The unfine-ness occurred right around the time he talked me into trying out the new roller coaster – Batman: The Ride, an inverted roller coaster rising to heights of 100 feet and reaching speeds of 50 mph. It was definitely no Texas Giant. And what I mean to say is that the Texas Giant is like a sweet little carousel by comparison. In Batman, your feet are dangling in the open air and as you’re catapulted through inverted circles, you are also twisted this way and that.
Perfect when you have a stomach full of a poorly thoughtout lunch.
So, what did I do friends? I got on the damn ride, is what!
And honestly, the ride itself was fine. It was a hoot, as us old timers like to say. Nothing bothered me so long as we were moving along, wind blowing in our hair.
But then I stepped off and we weren’t down to the base of the ride before I blacked out and fell on the sidewalk. Yep, you heard that right. I blacked out – something that never happened to me before or since. One minute, I’m Lindsey, the next minute, lights out! All I remember after that was yacking all over my date’s tennis shoes and then being embarrassingly escorted out of the park and back to a dark room in my apartment, alone of course.
I have not had Goldschlager or a Reuben sandwich since these incidents. And, as I think about it, I don’t believe I’ve ridden a roller coaster since then either. Life has gone on just fine, thank you.
Mom says her story involves hot dogs and a tilt-a-whirl though she seems to have made amends with hot dogs. I wonder what her secret is?
What’s your “never again” story?
Do tell, pretty please.