The Charles Incident

20 01 2012

This is the chronicle of what we now call The Charles Incident.  It was a major event in the lives of Charles, Chris, Michael, and myself.  Thanks to the Incident, we have accomplished the first 50% of college.  Contrary to popular belief, you do not actually need to do classwork to graduate.  You need two things:  a trip to the ER, and a road trip.  This accomplished the former.  The latter 50% was accomplished this past May on our roller-coaster riding road trip.

I’ll start this by saying that if you don’t like meat, then stop reading this.  Ok, that’s a lie.  Keep reading.  But if you don’t like meat you won’t get the full context of this.  Why would you not like meat anyway—you guys are weirdos.

There is a restaurant in the Gladstone area (suburb of KC) called Em Chamas.

Em Chamas is a Brazillian steakhouse, so they call it, but in reality is actually an entrance into heaven.  A heaven of meat.  During KC Restaurant Week (a week in which area restaurants give out good deals) during February 2010, Scott Bennett took us to this wonderful place.  Here’s what they do:  they bring you meat.  15 different cuts of the most wonderful steak, ham and chicken, I assume made by angels in the back.  The dudes come around with swords of meat saying “Would you grab for me please?” and then “You’re welcome.”  Well, only one guy.  Those were the two phrases he knew in English, we think.  But anyway, what he meant was for us to take our tongs and take the fresh, hot meat off of the slab as he was cutting it.  It was beautiful.

A selection of meats--ham, sausage, top sirloin, chicken, and a few others

Along with the meats, there is a fantastic salad bar with delicious mashed potatoes, cheese, salad, and various fruits/other things.  This combines to make a Mozart symphony in meat form, and the coda is decadent mango cheesecake.  We all went home on a meat high.  It is one of the most content moods of my entire life.

After round one of heaven, we couldn’t wait to go back.  Of course, this place is expensive, as unlimited meat of this quality dictates.  So, on Mothers’ Day, we went for round two, for an end of school night-of-deliciousness celebration.  Michael and I took Charles and Chris, who weren’t there the first time.  We had high expectations.

When we get there, we were seated, as we had a reservation.  Once we were seated, we partook in the great salad bar, and then proceeded to receive our meat.  It was wonderful for, oh, half an hour.  Charles even sent a picture of beef wrapped in bacon to his dad to taunt him.  Then, all of a sudden, Charles spit his meat out onto the plate.  Some more stuff kept coming.  Michael, Chris and I had no clue what to do.  I thought he was spitting out his water that he had just drunk, but it kept coming.  He played it unusually cool, excused himself, and went to the bathroom.  The rest of us just shrugged and kept eating.  What were we supposed to do?  It was expensive (and good) meat.  We kept thinking he would come back out and eat with us.

Where is he? At least we have meat...

We were wrong.  An hour and a half later, he was still in the bathroom.  Throwing up.  And…the other end too.  I believe the euphemism would be “releasing the wookies…vibrantly.”  Throughout his pain and discomfortcomfort the rest of us were still eating, hoping he would come back out.  Now, you can stop your self-righteous thoughts.  We were not jerks.  In that situation there is nothing, really, to do.  Delicious steak, or go in the bathroom with your extremely sick friend and be powerless to do anything?   Easy choice.

So, eventually Em Chamas closes.  This is 9:00 p.m., and we had been there since 7.  Charles is STILL in the bathroom.  Eventually I call my parents and was all like, “WHAT SHOULD I DO CHARLES IS DYING???” and stuff.  We decide the best thing to do was to get him to the hospital, if he was able to be moved without an eruption happening.  About 20 minutes after the place closed, we take him to the hospital on Barry Road, a short 10ish minutes drive.

By this point, Charles had managed to keep everything inside of him for a fair bit.  But he was not doing well.  He was shaking like we suddenly transported to the arctic, and almost puked in my car a few times.  But we (and by we I mean I) drove very quickly to the hospital, hoping someone could help him.  I cut someone off while merging onto the highway, speed a little, and apparently went the wrong direction into the hospital.  But I didn’t care.  I was transporting my friend to help.

The person who took this deserves a medal


We get to the hospital, and they ask Charles to explain his situation and sign a form or two.  This is a lot harder when you are shaking like your very own self-contained earthquake during a rave party.  The rest of us wait.  After a short while he is admitted into the ER and he kindly invites us to come back to the room with him.  Why he did this I’m not entirely sure, as by this point it’s looking like a botched attempt on his life and I personally don’t like people who try to murder me; I certainly wouldn’t invite the prime suspects into my hospital room.

They decide to give Charles an IV of fluids because he was extremely dehydrated.  He was at dangerously low levels, which is what happens when liquids come out of one’s body for a lengthy period of time.  Not knowing how long he would stay there, but determined to support our friend, Chris and I went to Liberty to get study materials while Charles slept, waking up randomly and then falling asleep again (as per Michael’s description).  Eventually, after becoming rehydrated, they required a urine sample.  Charles prepared to excuse himself to go to the bathroom when the nurse told him, “Oh, that’s not necessary” and then promptly pulled a toilet out of the cabinet.

I don't know about you, but this is pretty awesome.

Thankfully, Charles was devoid of nausea these past few hours, thankfully.  Eventually the health dudes in the ER said that Charles was clear to leave.  We were somewhat confused by this, as they had yet to figure out why the sickness had begun.  Clearly it wasn’t food poisoning—the rest of us ate the exact same cuts of meat and were fine.  Charles, feeling mostly in good health at this point, said he didn’t care.  So, after midnight, we went back to Jewell, stopping to acquire a prescription that had been given to Charles.

Thus, the story comes to a close.  In the car on the way back, Charles again reiterated how strange it was that he had not vomited any meat.  We posited that it went to ‘hammer space’, or the place available to all cartoon characters in which all sorts of random things are stored but take up no room.

At 1:30, I was going to bed in my room in the 4th floor.  I got a text message from Charles.  Wondering what could possibly have been said that hadn’t already been thought that night, I opened it.  It read it with disgust yet relief because it signified the finality of the ordeal; it said:

“The meat came up”




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