TURNING your tripe inside out through 24 hours of chills and fevers is a most unpleasant experience, not least because the onset of the first, genuinely virulent symptoms ruined a good game of golf. Up until then, all through the early morning, there had been nothing more than a sensation of vague discomfort, a general but growing unease. By the third hole the dawn’s distant rumble of gastric discord achieved a sudden and explosive force. There was no option but to abandon the round – it is very difficult to hit with force and accuracy when on all fours -- and stagger homeward, a journey interrupted five times by the need to pull over and commune with the gutter.
The rest of the day passed, quite literally, in a haze of misery and self-pity. The only cheerful moments came when two other members of the previous night’s gathering each rang up to report similar symptoms, although none so debilitating as the poor Professor’s. Misery loves company, and that plate of soft shell crabs – the one dish all the afflicted enjoyed – kept the phones running hot all night.
Isn’t food poisoning supposed to come on strong, working its wickedness within the first few hours? Not in every case, apparently, because it was a good 12 hours after settling the bill that the microbes (or whatever) began their rampage. Readers of a medical background who might be eager to explain the time lag should stow it. The past 36 hours are best forgotten