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Transcript of an imagined phone call to poison control

Poison Control Operator: Poison Control, how may I help you?

Me: Uh, yes…my son just ate part of an old and rather stale gingerbread house…

PCO: How old, ma’am?

Me: Three years…

PCO: The gingerbread house is three years old?

Me: Oh, no. My son is three years old.

PCO: What is the weight?

Me: Just eyeballing it, I’d say maybe a pound and a half? Two pounds? Aidan, go get the scale!

PCO: I was asking for the weight of your son.

Me: Before or after a bath? Uh. About 34 pounds.

PCO: How much of the house did he consume?

Me: Well, he ate some of the roof tiles with little red and green round candies. I’m not sure what they are—roundish. Gumdrop Lane is gone, and Grampa Gingerbread is headless. His right arm is dangling by a frosting thread. Some of the icicles are chipped off. The starlight mint over the front door is streaked, as if someone has been licking it. In fact, a lot of the candies appear to have been licked repeatedly. The foundation seems unstable. I’d deem the damage to be comparible to a Category 2 hurricane.

PCO: Is he coherent?

Me: Somewhat. He keeps calling himself “The Big Bad Wolf”—is that normal?

PCO: We see it sometimes with petrified icing exposures. Gingerbread houses, in general, induce grandiose behaviors in at-risk kids, specifically little boys of preschool age.

Me: Will my son have any lasting damage?

PCO: With any luck, no. He may have an upset stomach for a day or two.

Me: So I don’t have to induce vomitting?

PCO: No, he will do that on his own, and most likely on a day when you have many activities and errands planned. Do you have any other poison emergencies?

Me: Well, there’s this fruitcake sourdough starter* in the back of the fridge…

(originally posted on December 9th, 2006 and edited* to reflect the present)

3 comments to Transcript of an imagined phone call to poison control

  • gretchen aka mopsy

    Soooo. I am going to leave myself a comment. Just to get the ball rolling. I know it’s an old post. Not very exciting. It’s brief and easy to read. No huge words or philosophical wanderings over the hills and dales of the wisdom of neo-nuclear proliferation I see happening in the third world or pacifier use. North Korea has been out of the news lately. I think we should boycott the Olympics in China. I remember the good old days of Olympic boycotts, back when the USSR was the USSR. Such a scary name for a country, I always thought.

    Let’s see…what else can I leave a comment about? I’m thinking about baking a cake, but am picturing the mess it will leave in the kitchen. We’re having homemade bean soup for dinner tonight, made from beans Tommy brought home from Kindergarten. We are calling it “Tommy’s Soup” and I hope his feelings aren’t hurt when his big brothers freak out at the sight of orange, red, and yellow bell peppers floating in their bowls.

    Aidan is home from school today—not sick. She’s having a day off due to teacher meetings. It’s been a completely useless and unproductive day for her, just like it should be. It kind of reminds me of days at home during the school year when we’d watch “The Price is Right” and eat Campbell’s soups and bologna and cheese sandwiches in our tent made out of the big green blanket. I hated when dusk arrived because that meant the day off was drawing to a close.

    Let’s see…what else can I comment about? I don’t want turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I can’t explain why, I just don’t. Beef sounds better. Turkey is so much work. My husband would die if I suggested ordering a Thanksgiving dinner from Boston Market. That would be ideal. I’d love to stay in my jammies and eat pie, watch the parade, not worry about timing potatoes or overdone rolls. You spend 8 hours preparing everything and 15 minutes eating. So wrong. Off balance. I’d rather spend 15 minutes making a giant dinner and then enjoying myself for a full day. Going on a big walk, maybe taking a drive somewhere we haven’t been?

    I guess the common thread in my comment to myself is that I am feeling lazy (except for the nuclear proliferation part).

    Which takes me right back to where I began. This post was a repeat, so lazy.

  • Mel

    lol – thank you for the laugh, i definitely needed it today!!! 😀

  • Thank you for making me laugh tonight! We had aone of those gingerbread houses too- I was never sure when exactly it was OK to throw it away!

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