Warning: The following post contains descriptions of behavior almost certainly not condoned by the Church.

I owe New Jersey an apology. I didn’t mean to cause any harm, and I certainly meant no disrespect. It all happened so quickly.

We set off, late at night, for the long drive back to Boston from Washington, DC, with three young kids in the back seat of a beat-up old mini-van. One of the kids was sick and had already thrown up all over the floor of a crowded rest area in Maryland. It was an unpleasant sight, but mercifully, it put us on notice. I made sure we had a few plastic bags on hand and then headed back onto Interstate 95. The long stretch north through New Jersey loomed ahead.

Shortly after crossing the Delaware-Jersey border, the incessant “Are we there yets” and perpetual whining requests for more food were interrupted by the wretching sounds of a kid vomiting behind me. Surely the vomit making it into the bag was a perfect instance of Elder Bednar’s “tender mercies.” But we now had a problem: what looked to be a solid liter of vomit in a flimsy grocery bag and still at least six more hours of travel. My mind raced through our limited disposal options, all poor. I looked with grim intensity out the window into the darkeness. A late-December rain was now showering our asphalt path. My mind lingered guiltily on the option that would otherwise be unthinkable. No. I couldn’t do it. It was too disgusting. Too classless. Too irresponsible. Maybe even criminal. But the stench from the vomit bag was nauseating. My wife and children pleaded for me to do something, anything, to relieve them of this sickly menace. I hesitated only a moment, and then made my move decisively. After a quick surveillance to ensure we were a safe distance from other traffic, I quickly rolled down the window and heaved the vomit bag out into the cold New Jersey night. There was silence in the mini-van. We didn’t look back. It was done. Or so we thought.

Twenty minutes later, more vomiting. Another bag. This time there was no deliberation. Roll down the window, extend the arm, release. We traveled onward. Incredibly, another bag, another toss. Vomit flowed like a river. By the time we finally reached the George Washington Bridge and crossed through New York City, I had strewn a total of four vomit bags along New Jersey’s primary transportation artery.

I wasn’t proud of what I had done. I was a desperate man, trying to protect his family. They say that “Jersey Girls Ain’t Trash. Trash Gets Picked Up.” But vomit bag trash? Who’s picking that up? What kind of irreparable harm had I wrought? Someday I hope the Garden State will forgive me.