The Philosophy of Vomiting - Poll (No TMI)

I was being sick in the lavatory earlier today when the name of Bricker sprang immediately to mind.

In December 2007, Bricker produced a Staff Report entitled Did Lupe Vélez really drown in the toilet?. It is an excellent work, if I may be so bold, but there is one point on which I disagreed with the author at that time in Comments on Staff Reports, and continue to disagree with him after today’s vomitfest.

Anyway, I’d like to find out how many posters are in danger of drowning to death in shallow waters when losing consciousness while being sick, and how many are not.

Please note, I have no interest in sordid details like the the colour, volume, and texture of the vomit itself. Or the sound you make while you are doing it. Or what caused it. I merely concern myself with the position assumed, the location of your centre of gravity while so doing, and whether you are likely to drown or be discovered slumped on the floor if consciousness is lost.

This thread could save your life.

I think I am safe, since (if in my own home) I’d use a waste basket or bucket near the toilet rather than the toilet itself. After all, you need to be prepared in case you have one of those horrible “coming from both ends” illnesses.
(sorry if that turned things TMI for some).
Oh, and hope you feel better now.

I never drape myslef over the toilet. Even when I feel like my stomach’s literally being pulled up into my mouth through my esophogus, I’m inches above the rim and my body mass is well away from the bowl.

Agree with Bricker, but the next time I’m barfing and wishing I was dead, I’ll try to lean forward further.

I’ve puked more in the past 7 months than I had in my entire life to this point (yay pregnancy!) and I’m pretty sure that most of my weight is on the floor when I do it.

This post is going to be unique for mentioning Bricker and P. J. O’Rourke and yet having nothing to do with politics.

Anyway, P. J. O’Rourke related a story in one of his earlier writings about passing out after a long drinking session with his head upside down in the toilet bowl. He claimed that the water only came up to his eyes.

I too have had occasion to fall into the toilet bowl after vomiting. When I was a teenager I suffered from migraines which often made me violently ill, and after one of these queasy bouts (I did flush first) I slumped onto the toilet. I noticed (well, more like eventually came to the conclusion) that my neck was stretched out over the toilet seat lid, which was uncomfortable. My immediate reaction was to move forward. Great, now the crown of my head is in the water. But here’s the thing: the only “comfortable” way to dunk my head in the water was to tilt my head so it was upside down, in the same way P. J. described. It would have been very difficult to go face-first into the water. Vindication for Bricker, I think.

When I go for the Technicolor yawn, I have been known to rest my right arm on the far edge of the biffy and place my forehead on my forearm. Thus, if I experience a further wave of nausea, I can barf with minimal effort. I am still kneeling on the floor, however.

My upper body is heavy enough to possibly hold me with my head in the toi-toi if I fainted or something, but my shoulders are too wide and my neck too short that I can see myself drowning. OTOH, there is a partition wall to my right in one of our relief stations, and I can envision an awkward enough position where I was wedged in place such that my lower body weight would not pull me out of danger. However, I would have had to puke up a considerable volume to raise the liquid level in the bowl high enough that I could drown in it.

I wonder if Ms. Vélez perhaps choked to death on her vomit (a la Jimi Hendrix) and it was incorrectly reported as drowning. Cause of death would be the same in both instances, ISTM. Or, perhaps she accidentally or deliberately flushed prematurely, and her hair dragged her in? I have no idea how long her hair might have been. but I imagine if you were doped up enough on barbiturates, you could be held in that position without being able to free yourself to drown, or asphyxiate, because you couldn’t wake up enough to clear your airways.

N.B. some time ago, I was unfortunate enough to experience the “exuding from both ends” kind of illness that lavenderviolet mentions. My idea was to take my seat on the potty, and then vomit thru my legs, thus killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.

This was fine in theory, but I failed to take into account the unlucky effects that chills have on one’s ability to vomit accurately. I also proved to my own satisfaction the unhappy fact that, once one has begun a simultaneous poop-and-puke, it is exceptionally difficult to stop it until matters have run their course for the moment. This is unfortunately true even if the combination of chills and flinching after puking on one’s own leg, cause one to fall off the toilet and onto the very cold, hard floor.

And then, as they say, you find out who your friends are. I am morally certain that my wife does, in fact, love me, as she did not run out of the bathroom screaming upon learning why I was in there so long, and why I stank like a wino after a three day bout with gangrenous bowel disease.

But I digress.

I believe Bricker has the right of it.

Glad you have recovered, Chez.

Thank you. :slight_smile:

One aspect of the Vélez incident I had minimised in importance on first reading is that she was pregnant at the time of her death. Depending upon how far gone she was, this circumstance might lend more weight to the ‘slumped on the floor’ school of thought.

In any event, it would seem my vomiting technique is at variance with the norm.

That said, if you are like me and you can get your head inside the toilet bowl (a discovery I have made by taking careful measurements as opposed to practical experiment) I imagine that to drown, the slope of the bowl would have to be gentler than those I myself have experienced. This would allow the face to reach the bottom of the bowl and, if there was enough water there, drowning could occur.

Are toilet bowls made to any standard dimensions and, if they are, is the intent specifically to protect the user under some lavatorial health and safety legislation? If that’s the case then I’ll have to agree that it’s vindication for Bricker.

I wouldn’t drown.

Right now, because of weird toilet fu that is preventing the tank from filling properly (our float is going through some midlife crisis or something), only someone with the smallest, pointyest head could drown in our toilet. It would take effort.

Only once have I dunked myself face-first in the toilet… Hooray for learning experiences! I was just out of High School and I polished off a bottle of Yukon Jack with some Mountain Dew. At some point while worshiping the porcelain god the room spun violently and flipped upside-down, throwing me face-first into the water. I was only partially conscious until the shock of the cold water hit my face. I slept in the tub that night. I don’t drink heavily anymore.

If I’m sick enough to be vomiting, you can bet I’m not exerting my thigh muscles any more than necessary. My ass remains firmly on the floor, with my chest leaning against the rim. At most I’ll kneel, but sitting on my heels.

Puking on all fours sounds really uncomfortable.

I know that if I were puking over a toilet bowl, I would have no part of my body touching the toilet or the floor around it. This could have something to do with having all brothers. I would remain on my feet and lean on the nearby vanity.

Purgatory Creek, who has not puked since approximately 1988

Ah yes- we refer to that as “two exits, no waiting” in our house.


That’s the way I was brought up.

Your mother would be proud of you.

laughs I honestly don’t recall my mother giving me any input on the proper form for puking. I think I’d have found it rather odd if she had.

I pretty much sorted my “technique” out for myself, based mainly on the fact that when I’m nauseous I’m curled up into a little ball. That and, no matter how clean the pot (and it wasn’t very clean after the first “session”), it stinks, which makes the nausea worse, and I like to be able to remove my head from anywhere above the bowl with minimal effort. So if I’m already sitting, I can just lean back, or lean forward to do business, and it takes almost no effort or time at all.

In my younger days I would usually try and delay, outwait, fight to urge to vomit with every fiber of my being, the end result of which was being so weak and nauseous that I would be knees on the floor and hands on the toilet rim by the time the inevitable occurred. That kind of proximity is never pleasant.

Now if I ever feel I will eventually be sick I go ahead and provoke the hurl while I’m still of a mind and spirit that allows me to only bend over the toilet enough to complete a full toss while remaining standing and with my head no where near the rim. You don’t get any backsplash, you’re not eyeballin’ ground zero for someone else’s #2, and your hands stay clean in case you need to put a finger down your throat. A much better approach all the way around.

For the double exit illnesses, someone once told me that the best thing to do is straddle the toilet backwards, with the lid off the tank. You puke into the tank, crap into the bowl, and afterwards a few flushes will clear out the tank. I have not, thankfully, had occasion to try this.

Good lord, that’s horrible. All you have to do is sit on the john and lean your head into the bathtub.

Bathtub too far away? Simply buy a smaller house.

I thought a woman’s center of gravity is over her hips, which would make it pretty much impossible to slump forward into the toilet were she to pass out anyway.