I was super excited about AToPA so when the day came, I grabbed my bag, biked down University, and started tasting things. The bench tasted metallic, the costume store window was dusty, the homeless man was salty, and the policeman who arrested me tasted like floral shampoo. Now I feel sick, and the doctors tell me I have a devastating cocktail of illnesses. I can’t help thinking it might be a result of my day-long tonguefest all over Palo Alto.

I’ve talked to a lot of people who also went to AToPA and none of them seem to have this problem. They’ve all been raving about the myriad tastes and cuisines they enjoyed, and while my own experience was certainly eye-opening, I feel like we were at completely different events. Come to think of it, I didn’t see any of my friends there.

The next day I wake up, my mouth coated in paint chips and dirt, when, and I don’t want to get too graphic here, but if you can imagine a fire hose spraying everywhere…well, that’s pretty accurate. I have to go to the hospital and as they wheel me into the ICU, I started regretting my decision to single-handedly spit-shine the Palo Alto Walgreens’ floor. Now maybe this is just the fever talking, but I’m beginning to believe licking fire hydrants and street signs might not be the best thing for your health. No matter what you hear about AToPA, let my story be a lesson to you: what tastes like gasoline going down, tastes like blood coming up.

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