It's not that Kelly's clumsy or disorganized; it's just that bad things keep happening to her. She discovers she's allergic to shellfish at her brother's wedding. She takes a piece of cake, not realizing it's a corner piece being saved for the birthday girl. She gets hit by a bus with broken brakes.
But Kelly trundles on, hoping the karmic scales will right themselves. When she tells her dad she's touring Europe, she can practically hear him grit his teeth.
The baggage handlers in London are on strike, so she has to buy everything new before continuing to France. In Paris, her passport is stolen and the US Embassy is closed due to riots. So is the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, even the pâtisserie she follows on Instagram. The rest of her tour group leaves for Italy ahead of schedule. Kelly stays behind.
The night before the Embassy reopens, she treats herself to escargot in the hotel restaurant. They're chewy and garlicky, with a sliminess that's not at all unpleasant. She licks the buttery hollows of the ceramic plate upon which they were served. By the time she requests the check, her throat is itchy and her face is swollen to twice its usual size.
The hospital doctor scolds her in burred English. "Pure arrogance, to know you can eat no shellfish and still order snail."
"It's not my fault," she protests. "It's just that I'm perilocentric."
"This word does not exist," he seethes, while writing her the wrong prescription.