Rodeo season was in full swing. In the spring of 1980 I was traveling with Gary Toole from Mangum, Oklahoma. We had ridden in Lake Charles, Louisiana then drove most of the night to Ft. Worth where we met a pilot from my hometown with our plane to go to Tucson to ride that afternoon. We made a routine stop in Albuquerque for fuel and to stretch our legs a little bit. Walking down the hall of the airport there was a strategically placed vending machine with several choices of food, none of which looked edible to me. One of the choices was the Green Chile Burrito! First time I’d ever seen that in a vending machine! We made a quick restroom stop and then headed back down the hallway toward the plane. Gary stopped at the vending machine and started digging in his pocket for some cash. He retrieved enough cash for, not one, but TWO of the Green Chile Burritos! As soon as he pulled them out of the machine I took one look at ’em and said, “MISTAKE”! (to which he paid absolutely no attention to at all) Well, he microwaved those burritos up just right and in nothing flat we’re back in the plane headed for Tucson.
I’ve always had a pretty strong stomach, not much makes me sick. In fact I’ve only thrown up 5 or 6 times in my whole life. But the one thing that will make me give it up…..is to be around someone else throwing up. Yep, that’ll do it for me every time. I don’t know, maybe it’s the sound of someone gaggin’; it’s the smell of it for sure….but nothing can get to me any quicker than that!
After driving all night we were both dead tired. As soon as we cleared the runway I immediately went to sleep. Gary, as soon as he wolfed down those burritos, was going to get him some sleep too. We were about 30 minutes from Tucson when ‘that’ smell I was just talking about filled the plane. I woke up and looked across at Gary. He’s found a small zip-lock bag, about sandwich size, that had a good size tear in one corner. He’s got the hole pinched off and he’s throwing up in this teeny-tiny zip-lock bag! (which by now is full …and running over!) The hole in the bag is too big to get completely shut off by his thumb and forefinger…..so the puke is running down his hand, down his elbow and dripping in the floor of the plane. Well, I guess you know what that means for me!! I immediately grabbed a denim jacket and pulled it over my head, and plugged my ears all at the same time. It’s gettin’ serious for me now! I’m not sure what I had to eat the night before but I gagged it all right up to my gizzard about 40 times before we FINALLY got on the ground in Tucson. I never did throw up but I was as close as you can possibly get for 30 minutes.
Why do I tell this story, you ask?? Just to give you a ‘heads up’. If you’re ever in the Albuquerque airport and a hunger pain hits ‘ya…….avoid the vending machine, microwave, Green Chile Burritos at all costs!!