Big Dog Down

Los Angeles

A horrendous stomach flu is ravaging the West Coast, and my digestive tract is ground zero. After waking up violently ill with high fever, I somehow manage to trek from my hotel to a nearby 7-Eleven to pick up an array of stomach medications and electrolyte-rich sports drinks.

Next to the 7-Eleven is, somewhat miraculously (a hallucination?), a great-looking place called M & M Mississippi Home Cooking (5496 West Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, California; 310-215-8186).

This find under these conditions could only be providence, and providence must never be ignored … however much I’d like to run screaming in the other direction. So I stoically pull myself together and walk in to place my takeout order. In light of my utter lack of appetite and stomach like a vortex of everything evil, I stick to vegetables …

... plus the good corn muffins that came with:

I don’t eat very much, and am not of much mind for detail, but I manage to grimly determine that this is some relatively serious soul food.

I somehow get back to the hotel, where I spend the better part of a week not venturing from my room and consuming only Pedialyte and Gatorade. My sole contact with the outside world comes from the increasingly urgent pounding on my door by housekeeping ladies who’ve begun to wonder whether to ask the rescue squad to break in and remove the corpse.