Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Vomit Test

My nephew has recently started understanding that certain things are funny. As a result, he's big into laughing now. Last night, we really had him going. Something about bringing our heads really close, really fast without smashing them together just does it for him. He handled his mirth well - laughing as hard as he could until the only possible next move was completely emptying the contents of his stomach all over me. 

He handled it with panache. Quick, quiet expulsion and then he was back to laughing. Honestly, it took me a second to process what happened. 

But what I'm sure was my comical expression of horror as the realization dawned is not the point of this retelling. The point is laughing not only until you vomit, but through the vomiting itself. 

I mean, that is a high level of merriment. We've all laughed until our faces hurt. Or our stomachs cramped. Or maybe even until our bladders weakened. But throwing up and smiling about it? I don't know about you, but I haven't hit that tier of excitement yet. 

I have, however, decided that I'd like to see every fictional character have a moment like this. Okay, it doesn't have to actually involve vomit, but I'd like to see a character so overjoyed by something that in that moment no adverse thing spewed at them is enough to make them stop smiling. That would tell us a lot about the character. What passes his or her vomit test? What is it that can make him or her that completely happy? 

And then, because I'm mean, I'd like to take it away from them. Because if something can make you smile through vomiting, I'm willing to bet you'd do a lot to get if back. 

And that's a story in which I could really get invested. 


  1. Your nephew sounds so cute, I love it when little kids and babies laugh, it is adorable.
    And now, the Author in me wants to try out your idea of making a character that happy, and then taking it away. Authors can be so mean, but it is so fun!

    1. It is! You get to have your very own evil villain moment. Not entirely sure why, but whenever I'm being meanest to my characters, I always picture myself as a cartoon. Kind of Ursula crossed with Mother Gothel - calling them poor, unfortunate souls while trying to convince them that I only want what's best.