MEATWATCH: Norovirus

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Look, we know what you’re thinking: This is by far one of our worst pun-based ideas. But Greg gets real pissy if we don’t let him just go to town roasting something, both literally and figuratively, every thirty days or so. And so we present: [checks notes] the dang Norovirus?!?!

I did not do this on purpose. I did not get a disease as a Bit. It’s a fair question, but I didn’t. However, never let it be said that I passed up a good piece of Content. Here’s my review of the norovirus: it’s bad.

My problems started Saturday night, when I woke up at 3am with what I thought was the common problem we all have from time to time, “too much spaghetti”. After rolling around and grunting about it for a while, which usually solves the problem, I quickly realized I had bigger issues. I’ll spare you the details but I think you know what was about to happen.

After about the third mad dash, I grabbed a bathrobe, made a mattress out of wet towels, and curled up to sleep on the bathroom floor. I was starting to get worried about running back and forth from the bed and whether I’d be able to make it without rocketing barf all down the hallway, or tripping over a rug and then rocketing barf. It’s been a while since I slept on tile, and time has not softened the cool caress of marble’s hard edges, nor has it improved my flexibility. My legs are still sore, as my body feels the need to punish me, when this was its doing in the first place. I was eventually able to migrate back to the bed, but by then I was drier than beef jerky, and all I could do at this point was beg my wife to bring me water.

By Sunday afternoon, thinking I’d expelled whatever evil was still inside me, I was left wrung out but otherwise stable. I thought I was out of the woods after watching a couple episodes of Columbo, but when I felt that old familiar rumbling, I asked my wife to grab me a trash can, just in case. About three seconds after she left the room, a sudden wave of liquid shot up, and I had to clap both hands over my mouth, cheeks bulging, to contain it. After unloading into the nearest recycling bin, I gurgled out a meek “too late” and collapsed onto the floor. In that moment, I surrendered fully to Goblin Mode. And here’s the thing: you’d think this would be cool, right? That becoming your grandest dirtbag self would be extremely fun, or at least funny? But somehow, it’s not. Maybe it’s because I’m just now seeing how it is from this side of the fence – being sober as a Judge and still having the ability to form persistent memory, while still utterly incapable acting like a normal human being for one minute – but this is news to me. Being a scumbag who can’t function actually sucks?

I’ve had years of experience being a shambling wreck, back when I’d somehow autopilot my way back to bed after a detour for some Advil, but this time I could at least sleep well (not that I actually slept well, but you know what I mean) knowing that it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t have too much whiskey and fall down some stairs, and while I did still wake up and retrace my steps to figure out where I’d gone wrong, the questions were of a wholly different nature. It was a spoiled hamburger, or an ice cream man who didn’t wear gloves, that got me. This is good because 1. not my fault, and 2. having someone to blame opens the possibility of revenge. None of this made the projectile vomiting any more fun, of course, but in these circumstances you take solace where you can find it. I didn’t ruin our vacation, it was that asshole doorknob that I touched before I rubbed my eyes.

I’m largely recovered at this point: no longer will I be shidding out of my doodoo ass, and solid foods have stopped violently ejecting themselves. I only feel like regular amounts of shit some of the time, and much worse other times, particular after eating. I figured I’d be hungrier. Sunday I had a combined total of about 10 Saltines and 4 glasses of electrolyte water, and it gave me precisely enough energy to weakly nudge the cat away from my head in between naps, and nothing more. I went to bed at 10pm, and I could easily have slept until noon.

I’m still keeping my distance from my wife, which is in many ways the strangest part of all this. Muscle Wife is currently 29 weeks pregnant, and the last thing she needs is to catch any highly-contagious stomach bugs, so between now and whenever I’m a couple of days post-symptomatic I’m lurking in the unused corners of our home and disinfecting everything I touch. I’m not allowed in the kitchen, and I’ve been sleeping in the spare room and using my own bathroom. I feel like a ghost: moaning in the shadows about my suffering and pining for my lost wife, while she goes about her business.

I keep telling myself that this is worth it, and I’m not being paranoid, which is true – it is, and I’m not – but it’s strange to be on the receiving end of being taken care of, after seven months of – and this is paranoid – rushing to lift everything that weighs more than five pounds, and trying to keep her away from any chemicals harsher than rubbing alcohol. It’s just as well for her, that I’m locked in a room: I’m not good company right now, with the complaining and all. While this is probably good practice, getting used to having a weak thing in the house that can’t take care of itself and just wants to watch TV, I’m sure she’d rather be enjoying her last weeks of functional independence instead of ragging on me to drink more goddamned water.

I’m sure I’ll learn to trust food again some day, but that will happen after I graduate back to things with flavor. For the time being I’m subsisting on the blandest possible diet. Today I risked it all to have a bowl of cereal. This sucks.

Thanks for sticking around, and making this column what it is: a little-read corner of this website that exists solely for me to waste your time and get yelled at. If you have questions or comments, let us know at, or right here in the comments. Meatwatch is here to help.