Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

February 8, 2014

Potluck dinner, minus the luck

(Continued)

When you think about it, there’s really no good answer when a guest asks you if you got violently ill after your meal together. If you say “yes,” you’re admitting that you poisoned a guest. If you say “no,” they may think you did get sick, and just don’t want everyone to know.

We tried to remember if we all ate exactly the same things that night, and were pretty sure that we did. When I volunteered to drive him, he said, “Thanks, you’ve done enough.” What does that mean? He was probably thinking, “Why should I give that clown another chance to kill me?” I’ve always heard that “No good deed goes unpunished,” but I never quite knew what it meant until today.

John left the hospital this morning after three days of observation. It was not food poisoning; it was something totally unrelated to dinner at our house. Still, we all know how these kinds of stories can get twisted around. By the middle of next week, it’ll be all over town that we tried to kill him and that he barely escaped with his life. And his next-door neighbor is a lawyer. Who hasn’t been to a restaurant and accidently asked for an “evidence bag” when you meant to say “doggie bag”? I had eaten the last of the cherry pie while John was in the hospital, proving that it was blameless. And delicious. But I could see how a clever attorney might accuse me of destroying evidence.

But actually, I told him, he should be thanking me. What if this had happened while we were on our cruise? We could have been out at sea when this hit, two days away from the nearest port. He didn’t buy it. If he catches the latest norovirus on our cruise, will that somehow end up being my fault? Instead of the guy who was coughing up a lung behind him on the flight down to the departure port?

Contact Jim Mullen at JimMullenBooks.com.

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