Billy Goat's Grudge (Part 2)
Friday, January 14, 2011
The sounds and images of that night still haunt me. The guttural moan. Hubby's body crashing to the ground. The sight of his naked body lying face down on our bathroom floor. (Read: Billy Goat's Grudge)
It took me weeks to recover from the fright of seeing Hubby lying motionless on the ground.
I made him promise never to eat Birria again. We had two little ones at the time and I was too young to be a widow.
Hubby kept his true to his promise for a few years.
Occasionally we would attend a party where Birria was served, but Hubby always declined a plate, no matter how much he loved it and longed to savor the rich flavor.
Of course, there were those who tried to convince Hubby that no harm would come to him. Even worse, there were others who tried to convince him that the pain, stomach problems, sweating and fainting were all a small price to pay for such a delectable dish.
Again, Hubby was pretty good at ignoring the convincing arguments.
Until one day, his own mother offered him a plate of Birria for breakfast.
It was her birthday. How can a son refuse his mother on her birthday? Besides, I was at home tending to our one year old son and would be none the wiser.
Hubby paused for a moment to reconsider his hasty decision, but the intoxicating aroma of the stewed goat meat, tomatoes and spices proved too much for him. After the first bite, he wondered how he had denied himself this pleasure for so long?
In a matter of seconds, Hubby forgot all about that night that he passed out in the bathroom. He laughed and joked with the rest of the family and enjoyed the delicious meal his mother had served.
Not even thirty minutes had passed, when Hubby glanced at his watch and noticed that it was time to open the shop. He thanked his mother and bid everyone farewell.
Somewhere in the twenty paces that it takes to get to our house, Hubby had an unsettling feeling in his stomach. It was barely 9am, in the middle of January and Hubby was sweating like it was a hot afternoon in May. Hubby was not feeling well. The sidewalk and street were spinning in circles around him. He raced to the bathroom, where he spent the next 20 minutes embracing the porcelain throne.
Hubby was glassy eyed and weak. My sister-in-law and I helped Hubby to the bed and called the doctor. By the time he arrived Hubby was unresponsive. The doctor struggled to find his pulse. It was faint. Hubby was very ill and needed an injection to cure him of his intoxication.
What was supposed to be a celebration for my suegra's birthday, turned into a silent vigil. The family took turns watching over Hubby as his body lie still in our bed. On more than one occasion, my suegro had to leave the room, because he couldn't bare to the sight of his youngest son lying motionless and unresponsive.
It wasn't until 8 hours later that Hubby began to move and open his eyes. The doctor checked his vitals, then explained to him what had happened. The doctor then instructed Hubby to NEVER eat Birria again, because he might not be so lucky the next time.
Not everyone has such a strong reaction. Hubby's is an isolated incident. But the kiddies and I aren't willing to take any chances. To us, Birria will always be Death on a Plate.