1. Drive up to the mountains for a two-day family getaway.
2. Spend a fabulous day at the creek, catching bugs and collecting rocks.
3. Drive fifty yards up the road to the Junipine Restaurant and, knowing better at a place that looks like it does a brisk business only in chicken strips and beer, order the smoked trout.
4. Spend the night in the bathroom of the hotel as Your Body Battles a Stomachache. (Mbot’s very favorite book of all time.)
If you take these four simple steps, you will find that your husband may whisk the weebots into the car and off on an adventure the next morning, leaving you curled up in bed like a creek bug under a rock, because you are unable to walk; you can only feebly nurse a glass of ginger-ale because your stomach feels like it lost the battle.
Of course, that afternoon, when you can barely sit upright to drive the two hours back home, you may have to field questions from the back seat. Mbot might be asking, “What does salmonella look like, Mom? Why did it attack your body? Why did you eat it?”
But when you say, through nearly-closed lips, because it seems to increase the residual nausea even to open your mouth, “Let’s just all have a quiet time. One thing about a stomachache, Moon Pie, is that it hurts your voice sometimes too, so that it doesn’t feel good to talk,” there may be a short silence and then he may answer,
“But Mom, I think your voice sounds magnificent.”
Which will not quite redeem the tainted trout, but I think it’s as close as it gets.