I want you to chase your sisters until they throw up

Raymond Chen

A friend of mine grew up in a rural area. The family got their water from a well and had to fluoridate it manually with tablets.

When my friend was a little girl, she was playing around the house with one of her friends (let’s call her friend Alice). They got into the kitchen cabinet and found these candy-like things and ate them. When her mother discovered that they had eaten fluoride tablets, she called the poison control center for advice. In addition to telling her to give the girls something-or-other, they instructed her to keep the girls moving until they vomited up the tablets.

As it happens, my friend’s brother and Alice’s brother were playing outside. The boys were called inside, informed of what happened, and instructed to keep their sisters moving and try to get them to throw up.

The boys couldn’t believe their ears. You want us to chase our sisters until they throw up? This must be what heaven is like!

The boys assumed their responsibilities with great enthusiasm, chasing the girls around the yard, putting them in a swing and spinning them around, all the stuff brothers dream of doing to torment their sisters, but this time they could do it without fear of punishment. Fortunately, the story had a happy ending. The girls soon vomited up the tablets and thereby avoided two horrible fates: (1) fluoride poisoning and (2) being forced to endure torture from their brothers in perpetuity.