Sunday, April 24, 2005


Deep in the Heart of Texas, Part 1: Yee-[Hoarf]

So, last Saturday, the Cognito Clan headed down to Austin, Texas, for our April vacation. It got off to a bit of a rough start; I left my bag, with all my clothes, toiletries, etc., on our initial flight. We were able to retrieve it on Monday, but I had to subsist on my brother's clothes until then.

As we pulled up to our house on the edge of New Braunfels, we all thought, "This is what the vacation site raved about?" Then we say the back. The guy who owned the house, Merl, had basically assembled everything and anything he could out of mortar, pipes, tin, and the refuse of a lifetime's garage sales and flea markets. The effect was awesome.

The first few days, we hung around with our relatives from San Antonio, who had heard of our plans and decided to rent the apartment adjacent to our house. That night, we ate at the Grist Mill in Gruene. The restaurant itself was great, but the food wasn't up to what we were expecting. The town, however, was that bit of Red State Americana you just can't get up in Massachusetts. Why don't more small towns up here have general stores?

Monday, we went into Austin, retreived my bag, and bummed about. We went to a museum about the history of Texas, ate at Hut's Hamburgers (as recommended jointly by Jon Stewart and TWoP forum posters), and drove around UT Austin, which Brother Cognito considered possibly attending. We also visited HEB's Central Market and Whole Foods, and if you don't think supermarkets can inspire awe, you have never been to these two. God, the cheese aisle alone... I ended up taking home a jar of White Chocolate Wonderful that will no doubt turn me into Kirstie Alley, but it's tasty, so who gives a fuck. That night, we went to Lockhart, TX, for the kind of Texan barbecue that's world famous. Indeed, it was.

Then came the night, and the first signs of distress. At around 1 AM, I woke up with pains in my stomach. I ran to the bathroom, pooed, and returned to bed- where it started again, not two minutes later. So this cycle continued for two fucking hours: me feeling a pain, me running to the toilet, me gingerly returning to bed, me feeling a pain again, me cursing God, lather, rinse, repeat.

The next morning, we drove about Hill Country, ate at a nice Mexican place, and visited a spring. We stayed up to watch The Daily Show after we heard that Ratzinger had been declared Pope. Then the real "fun" started.

As I was lying in bed, thinking about X-Files episodes that never happened involving Mexican street gangs and La Santa Muerte (this is what happens when my mind wanders), I began to feel stomach pains, which only got worse. Finally, I ran for the bathroom, and tossed. Only to have it happen again- twice- within the next hour. Then the fever chills started.

Thus began the Carnivale of Symptoms. Stomach-ripping nausea, chills, chills and fever, weakness, fatigue (well, that was mainly the product of staying up all night hunched over the toilet, but still), higher fever, and another bout of vomiting for good measure (after I'd tried to force down the only food I'd had for eighteen hours: an English muffin with cream cheese). The next morning, however, I was all better.

Because it had jumped to Mother Cognito.

The next day, Brother Cognito was the one who was sick. But would he get better in time for what we considered the crowning part of the vacation? Find out in our next episode!

Justin, if that is your real name, this post was hilarious. I'm sorry you got so sick, but your telling of the tale is priceless.

Loved it.

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