As the Rice Krispies snapped, crackled, and popped cheerfully in my cereal bowl I noticed a strange scent. Not musty, not decaying, strange. I sniffed. What was it? Another sniff. Was my neighbor getting a home perm? Shrugging, I returned to my Rice Krispies untroubled.
The following afternoon, as I watched Calendar Girls, there it was again. A noseful of unpleasant. The source was still a mystery, but it had taken on a different character, become more full-bodied. The movie was at a good part – Helen Mirren was speaking before the national conference of the Women’s Institute – or I might have investigated, you know? I really might have. Instead I forgot.
Bright and early the next morning, the cheese that was two months past expiration climbed out of the refrigerator and shook me awake. It was a lovely deep blue with green marbling.
I was immediately reminded of a Grand Prix I used to have – bright teal, the car was. Great color. The cheese, once a nice Sharp Cheddar, finely shredded with a delightful bite, was now an angry, furry, congealed lump of get that out of here.
Putting it off no longer I marched to the refrigerator and stood there, arms limp at my sides; I was scared. I don’t like smelly, squishy things. That’s why I got a divorce. No, I’m kidding, but not about avoiding gross, hairy food. I have a low gag reflex.
Twenty minutes later, in a rare display of raw courage, I opened the door to the fridge and was immediately assaulted by what I think was food. But who knows. Most of it was unidentifiable, except for half a dried out tuna sandwich on speckled, curly bread and vintage chicken salad that, I swear, flashed a set of nunchuks. Bad, bad food. All of it. We took a field trip to the dumpster and said a fast goodbye and good riddance.
This may come as a shocking revelation, but I don’t cook. Ever. Even frozen dinners are too much hassle. If I can put it between two slices of bread, I’ve got a meal. If it comes from a box and goes in a bowl with milk, I’ve got a banquet.
Dirty dishes are minimal. Guests, brave souls all, don’t linger. Meals take four, six minutes total. Easy and efficient, that’s the life. In your own best interests, though, don’t try this at home. It’s not worth the risk. Your health is your greatest asset. And all that.
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