St. Valentine’s Day Fiasco
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It was fortunate that Ed Nolan and his family had purchased a health insurance plan dealing with emergencies from a California Health Insurance agent, or else an ill-fated seafood feast could have had even worse consequences.
[ How to cook your own Fish & Chips ]
It was St. Valentine’s Day eve before it occurred to Ed Nolan, a diesel mechanic and family man, that the ‘holiday’ needed to be celebrated or else his wife and eight kids would feel cheated. Brought up Catholic, Ed had met his wife Nancy when they were both in sixth grade at St. Valentine’s School back in Massachusetts, where they’d been childhood sweethearts. St. Valentine, as gorily depicted in the Catholic semi-sacred tome, “The Lives of the Saints,” had been a cupid-like young teenager shot to death by bow sent arrows, according to legend. As these grisly images surfaced in Nolan’s mind, he suddenly decided, without any planning whatsoever, that he’d have to take the entire family out to eat for “St. Valentine’s Day.” As it fell on a Sunday, but for some reason felt like a Friday, he figured it had to be a “fish place” — a restaurant specializing in seafood dishes. A born procrastinator, Ed and his family ended up driving around greater Los Angeles in search of a “fish place.” Finally, Ed pulled up to a seedy-looking diner called Cedrick’s Fish Place with Chips. “Perfect,” Ed exclaimed.
The food, planks of greenish-tinged cod with murky, dark red chowder tasted good enough going down. The younger Nolan children especially enjoyed the chowder and the process of discovering what “lurked beneath” in their bowls. “It tastes funny, but kind of nice,” remarked five-year-old Mary.
A few hours later, the Nolan family en masse became very sick. A large quantity of vomit and diarrhea began to permeate their humble home. Much of it smelled like rotten fish. Ed procrastinated until his little girl began to resemble Typhoid Mary, a tragic character in history just as St. Valentine had been in his painful last ordeal. She began to develop her own greenish-tinge around the ears, nose, and mouth.
Feeling nauseous and leaking out the derriere himself, Ed drove to the nearest urgent care facility post-haste. He remembered when they’d purchased a California Health Insurance policy from an agent named “Bill.” What was his last name? “Valentine,” Ed recalled. Next year, the Nolan family would plan well in advance for St. Valentine’s Day, the family’s patriarch ruefully mused.
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