I used to be addicted to the health department inspection reports. I couldn’t remember the name of the streets I took to work, but I knew which restaurants to avoid. I’ve had food poisoning. I was too sick to go to the hospital. It was horrible and left a lasting impression. One year, the restaurant at the zoo failed their inspection. This was just before the event which I coordinated every year. I made a mental note not to eat or drink anything at the zoo. That same year, there was disharmony between the zoo and the people who rented us the very large tent for our event. Both sides were appeased by my offer to stay at the zoo the entire day before the event and monitor the tent installation. Sit on a boulder and watch a tent raising? Easy. I didn’t think ahead enough to consider that I needed to stay hydrated on that unseasonably hot southern day. Doug called me on the phone several times during the day to check on me and try to convince me to get something to drink at the zoo. I insisted everything was fine. Doug knew before I did that I had a problem. By the time he arrived at the zoo to rescue the damsel of stupidity, I was throwing up and disoriented. I got to spend an hour on a cot in the zoo’s very clean medical station, drinking their water. Doug drove me home and then returned to spend almost the entire night at the zoo setting up for the next day’s event. Doug would never tell, but he is very good at rescuing me when I do something stupid.
I try to avoid the health department reports now. I’m pretty sure that there is something I don’t want to know about all restaurants. Since I get to eat out somewhere between seldom and rarely, I would prefer to just enjoy the luxury of not having to wash the dishes afterwards.