1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

Poison Clam

www.hollywoodjesus.com At least a poison apple looks pretty.

At least a poison apple looks pretty.

Just as Snow White was felled by a poisoned apple, David broke my neck with a carrot when we were toddlers. I thought I was safe by carefully examining future fruit and veggies before consuming.

My near-demise came in another form, triggered by a stale slug. It would have been nice if Prince Charming came along to revive me with a kiss, but I had to make do with an aged doctor pressing burnt toast to my tender lips.

Two days of our Maine vacation remained. We drove along the coast and stopped for lunch at a seafood shack along the roadside. Everyone ordered clams. Dad stole one from my cardboard basket.

www.lobsters-online.com Not wise to eat at a roadside shack in 95 degree weather.

Not wise to eat at a roadside shack in 95 degree weather.

Mmmm, this is so good,” he said, making a big show of eating it in front me.

“Hey, that was mine.”

I stole one of his and swallowed it down. It didn’t taste good, but I made yummy sounds anyway. I guzzled my soda to get rid of the nasty taste.

www.frontporchrepublic.com I should have spit it out.

I should have spit it out.

We stopped several times before returning to our motel, so I could throw up. I lay in the back seat with my eyes shut. Dad carried me to the motel bed and Mom put a cold washcloth on my forehead. My legs were wobbly and I needed assistance getting to the bathroom, where diarrhea joined my heaving.

The motel owner diagnosed food poisoning and sent for a local doctor. He gave me a shot in my hind-end, fed me dry burned toast for its charcoal, and made me drink strong black tea without my customary three spoonfuls of sugar. The doctor prepared to send me to the hospital, when I turned the corner and stopped heaving.

www.beforeandafterdiy.com Would not taste yummy even if it had a ton of jelly on it.

Would not taste yummy even if it had a ton of jelly on it.

I was weak, but able to continue our vacation. With zapped energy, I mostly sat around enjoying the scenery.

I haven’t let another clam pass my lips during the fifty years since. And I’ve never tried an oyster, since they look like clams. Guilt by association.

The poison mollusk came from Dad’s plate. I saved him. And I’ve never let him forget it, after all, I almost became extinct.

Lesson learned: When food you normally love suddenly tastes bad, spit it out.

Related posts: Chapter Ten: Oceanic Inauguration; Chapter One: Carrot Attack

Now it’s your turn: Did you ever have trouble with a clam or with food poisoning?

© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. mikesteeden says:

    Stories I could with a mother who couldn’t slice bread! Nice post.

  2. Oh man, I think we’ve all been there/here… Except in my case, it’s clams, oysters, spicy food, pretty much anything ha!

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      SS, you sound like my oldest son. And none of his food poisonings came from my hand! After a late night and impaired judgement, he deems it a wise decision to get fast food at a time when he’s the only customer for the past hour. Meaning that nothing is fresh. And one time he cooked a pound of bacon from the depth of his friend’s fridge. He got impatient, so he ate it barely cooked. But I have a feeling this probably sounds familiar to you?

  3. xerxeska says:

    I do not eat anything that is fished out from water. A piscatorial I am not. If I ever ate clams (heaven forbid) I would have to slide down a splintered slide and have by behind declared a “No Exit’ port..No clams in, no crap out.

  4. Mimmy Jain says:

    All the time! But not because of stuff gone bad. Every year, I seem to add a new food allergy. It’s embarrassing when I’m invited out for dinner and the host asks me, ‘So anything you don’t eat?’ I’m like, ‘Ermm, can I give you a list?’

  5. Elle Knowles says:

    Not an allergy but probably because my eyes were bigger than my stomach! Peanut putter and jelly sandwiches. That’s a no-no. I love butter with anything else, especially chocolate, just not alone or with jelly. Watermelon too! Won’t eat it.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Oh, Elle, no watermelon? I’ve puffed my stomach out like a baby-bird’s by eating so much of it. Of course, I can hardly move, it hurts so much.
      I agree with you, I won’t eat PBJs either.

  6. C. Suresh says:

    Haha! Mary – you were really shortchanged in your ‘Prince Charming’. You went through all that leaking from both ends AND Providence did not even provide you a proper Prince Charming and, instead, left you with a ‘spitting’ moral? Tut Tut

  7. Ralph says:

    I am not a shellfish fan either Mary. Ralph xox 😀

  8. Glynis Jolly says:

    Mary, we must be on the same wave length because part of the story I’ll be telling about heading north on Interstate 101 involves a similar incident. However, I will eat New England Clam Chowder.

  9. Choosing says:

    That was really bad luck! 😦 Poor you….. I can understand you cannot eat any more…. Did it stop you from stealing things from your dad’s plate though? 😉

  10. suzjones says:

    Having been the victim of food poisoning from seafood, I feel your pain. However, mine tasted fan-blinking-tastic!! lol

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