July 22, 2009

When Food Attacks

I had a couple of requests for the story about the butter in the tea. Unfortunately there's really not much of a story to it. And this is why, out of a fit of blogging desperation, I will also be writing about ketchup.

I know you are on the edge of your seats.

This post is also inspired in part by my family who has gone on a blogging boycott. Apparently. They have refused to do anything remotely interesting or funny. I'm certain they are trying to punish me, but I'm not sure for what. Probably because I haven't made the strawberry shortcake that they keep expecting me to make. I'd make it... if only they'd do something funny.

In fact, I whined about it today to Rob:
Me: I'm pretty disappointed in you people. You've not done or said anything bloggable all week.

Him: And your point is...?

Me: That's my point. You need to do something funny. Or say something.

Him: How about bull penis?

Me: I've already done bull penis. (He snickers.) Well, you know what I mean.

Him: Penis penis penis penis.

Me: Okay, now it's getting more interesting. What else?

Him: Nothing. That's about all I've got.

Me: Penis?

Him: Yeah.

Me: Well, that's pretty good, I guess.
So, because of all that, I have to tell you three really lame stories about food.

* * *
Similar to the mayonnaise buying incident, I recently went crazy buying butter because it was on sale. I love real butter and it's expensive. We keep our butter in the door of our fridge and currently where we keep it is packed with five boxes of butter. We also keep pitchers of tea in the fridge. I recently found an entire stick of butter bobbing, wrapper and all, in a fresh batch of tea.

I was puzzled, thinking it strange that perhaps one of the kids had put butter in the tea. They sometimes do weird things, but that didn't seem like their style. After a bit of investigation I finally figured it out. It was a serendipitous reenactment of Newton's First and Second Laws of Motion. Someone yanked on the door of the refrigerator creating a force which compelled one stick of butter in a state of rest to gain enough acceleration and velocity that it flew through the air landing in the tea where it floated around a while until I noticed it in there.

I've had this same fridge for years and years and I've stored the butter in the same place all this time and suddenly now the butter is coming to life and pirouhetting around the refrigerator like it's auditioning for the Nutcracker Suite. Well, what my family is lacking in pizazz these days, I'm making up for in butter. Go dairy!

* * *

You should learn something from my mistake.

Once I was taking a client to lunch. We went to a nice casual place where we ordered burgers and sandwiches, fries, drinks, talked about the houses we were looking at and other local topics. I grabbed the ketchup bottle and vigorously shook it up at which point the lid that was not actually screwed on went flying toward the client followed by an eruption of ketchup. Fortunately and miraculously I was the only one who ended up covered in processed tomato.

The moral of this story is make sure the lid is screwed on before you start shaking the bottle.

* * *

I got fixed up on a date with someone. I was in my 20's and in college and a professor of mine in one department asked me out on behalf of another professor in another department. (I thought that stuff stopped after you were in junior high but apparently it can extend way out to tenured college professors with PhD's.) I declined at first since I was actually in the classes of both professors, but finally accepted as the semester wound to a close and we had finished up all our classwork.

The date was pretty much a disaster from start to finish. Nobody's fault except that I am a complete dating disaster. I'm not good at it. I'm not socially graceful. He was a sweet and intelligent man, but if it's even possible he was more awkward than me. Doomed from the start.

We decided to meet for brunch at this great little local place. They had awesome food and a harpist or some other live orchestral instruments playing while everyone ate brunch. Somehow I managed to oversleep. A lot. Like nearly an hour. I called the restaurant right away and thought surely he wouldn't still be there. He was. He was still waiting! I was mortified and kept saying, "Tell him I'm sorry, tell him I'm so, so sorry and I'll be right there..."

He was gracious and I was overly apologetic. We tried to make small talk. No chemistry for me, but he gave it an excellent effort that made me wish there were chemistry. He said all the right things, was complimentary and picked interesting topics. After a while I'm sure he got that it wasn't going anywhere.

We finished our breakfast and stood. He reached to hug me, sweeping a glass bottle of ketchup off the table. I watched it flip end-over-end in slo-mo and crash down on the flagstone floor, exploding in a blast radius of red tomato. It was on me, on him, on about four people that were sitting near us, all across the floor, on the pedestals of several tables. There was glass everywhere and there he and I stood in the middle of the blast pattern, him with his arms open and leaning toward me but frozen with a look of awkward embarrassment on his face, me with my hands over my mouth, eyes wide in a horrified stare. My eyes darted back and forth at all the people who stared at us like we were rampaging Neanderthals who had invaded their upscale Sunday brunch.

My sweet date shrugged helplessly then kissed me on both cheeks, bent down and started mopping ketchup off my sandaled feet while the whole restaurant continued to stare. I've never wanted to disappear so badly in my life.

Do you have a story about when food attacks?


  1. No food attack stories but the guy cleaning ketchup off your sandaled feet? That made me say,"AWWWWWW!"

  2. You overslept? Serves him right for asking out a college student.
    I loved these stories!

  3. I'm quite familiar with food flying off frig doors. It comes from jerking doors open like you're on the way to a fire. Can't really think of any particular food attack story, but when I was working, everytime I wore a white blouse, food always found its way to the front of it.

  4. Oh wow - what a date! I think I'd want to disappear as well. At least he handled it well, I guess! You should join in on my What's To Eat? Wednesday if you get a chance! I just started it today.

  5. MY family's not been terribly bloggable lately, either. I think it's rude and uncalled for. When I started waitressing in high school during the summer, I spilled beer on the guys at my very first table. oops. The beer bottles just up and tipped over on my tray...

  6. I'm usually pretty graceful with the occasional moment of complete clumsiness, so when clumsiness DOES strike . . . It comes with a vengeance. I was on a date once and had ordered a glass of white wine. Well the combination of nerves and clammy hands made my wine glass slip from my hand, hit the table, and splashed all over both of us. I wanted to crawl under the table and die. Thankfully it wasn't red wine.

  7. Hahah! I would have instantly forgiven the guy after the kiss on both cheeks and the mopping! LOL!

    Me? I did the shake-the-bottle-without-checking-the-lid trick inside a nearly new Shogun on the way to an important meeting with OH. It was a hot day and we'd picked up a couple of yoghurt drinks from a roadside shop. He asked me to shake his before opening it. I shook it. We arrived at the meeting smelling of sour milk (it was a hot day, remember) and looking as if a giant baby had puked up all over us.

    Now, every time we get one of those bottles, I have to listen to 'Check the lid!!'.

    Sheesh. I only did it once ... but it's true you can never, ever get the smell out of the upholstery. LOL!

  8. Well, I've done the shaking the ketchup bottle with a loose lid thing.

    How about this? I was at my grandmother's making brownies from a box. The directions are super simple. I'd done it a million times. But for some reason, this time, when I read the instructions "Mix by hand" I took it literally and started mixing it with my bare hands. I realized my stupidity almost as soon as I did it, but the damage was done.
    My grandmother was like 'what the h*ll are you doing?'
    And I've been famous for it ever since.

  9. Sara that is hilarious!!!

    'Go Dairy!' :) hehe xx

  10. I spit up my water when I read this-

    now the butter is coming to life and pirouhetting around the refrigerator like it's auditioning for the Nutcracker Suite.

    That's great! And the professor story with the ketchup...that's just HYSTERICAL!!!!

  11. I had a similar thing happen with parmesean cheese. A cute guy from our church was over and we were having pizza for dinner. I picked up the parmesean cheese to shake up all the clumps at the bottom, and didn't realize the lid was cracked open. The cute boy was in the direct path of all the flying parm cheese. When I finally realized what I was doing, half the bottle was gone, and it was stuck in the guys eyelashes and hair, and all down his shirt. Good stuff.

  12. The incident has to do with red wine and white pants...check it out:

    It just happened last Friday.

    Food and beverages do seem intent on getting on me...
    And I have a dog who likes to swing his tail into glasses of wine (repeatedly this has happened, I am a slow learner), into blobs of ketchup on a dinner plate and drag leftovers from the garbage into the dining room on the very light colored carpet (not while we are looking of course).
    all of which accounts for why I have developed quite a knack for stain removal.

  13. Of all food, the tomato in its various forms seems most prone to attack helpless (hapless?) humans.
    Cut to upscale eatery in recently renovated Cape Town harbour. Sunday morning brunch (the favourite time for these attacks!). Tables with starched white cloths and napkins, set on a deck with Table Mountain on the right and the harbour on the left, and many many many sophisticated tourists soaking up the sun, bruschettas, paninis or any of the other Italian delights on offer.
    Me and my two kids (18 and 27) as part of the scene for a birthday brunch - so all dressed up! White frilly blouse and cream slacks. (You can hear the ominous music, can't you?)
    A lovely panini with a cherry tomato, tuna and romano filling gets placed in front of me.
    I lift knife and fork, stab at one edge in order to slice off a bit sized chunk and for no reason(!) the whole thing flips and the halved cherry tomatoes do backflips, swan dives and just plain old spins before accurately splattering all over me, the tablecloth, the person behind me (dressed in a pastel suit).

  14. I don't know if this qualifies since it was in the privacy of my own bedroom, but early in our courtship 36 years ago, my soon to be husband and I were lying in bed after - well, you know. I reached over to get a sip of my glass of wine, and forgot to sit up. I mean literally, I brought the glass to my lips while my head was on the pillow. Luckily it was white wine, because it went all over the place, mostly up my nose and in my eyes.

    I'm glad you settled the butter story - I believe I might have been the first to comment on it, and have worried about it ever since. I must admit that for some reason I thought it might be an ingredient for a smoother tea, like that dab of butter in a hot rum toddy.

    I'm thinking you need to stay away from condiments in public.

  15. Hi Wendy,
    Just linking around from blog to blog. Very impressive, and fun to read. You have written so much. Makes me believe that blogging about family is easier and better than a scrapbook. I'm glad I started, and will chronicle more of Ava's life in another blog someday.

    Oh, golly. Ketchup has been everywhere in our life. We have a 2-year old and she digs through the fridge on her own sometimes. No matter how hard we try to hide it, she can find the ketchup! Oh, what a mess.

    Take Care. I'm still doing what I do out in California.

  16. Blarney, that's bad! Ketchup is a terrible thing to spill because the results always look eerily like real carnage.

    Better luck with your butter battles.

  17. My stories just sound exactly like yours...
    I'm so clumsy that Jeremiah often suggests I wear a bib while eating and a garbage bag while cooking to keep from ruining my clothing.

    Better yet, we should probably just cover the whole house in tarps to save it from all of my clumsiness.

  18. A date with one of your professors? I don't remember this? I know it may be hard to believe, but perhaps I was wrapped up in my own drama...a couple of professors included! Well, maybe 3 or 4. Who was it, huh? Who was it?

  19. Oh, I feel so sorry for that poor ketchup professor. That's terrible.

    Butter . . . you can freeze it. But I'm sure you knew that. Did make the tea taste better?

    The only crazy food story that comes to mind is stone crabs. I was cracking one and a claw flew across the restaurant and hit a woman in the face. She looked up and around and I don't think she ever saw me.

    Once, at the beach, Mr. M put sand in an old woman's soft drink when he was three. She flew into a rage. Funny now, I suppose. But at the time, I was mortified.

  20. Glass ketchup bottles can be dangerous. Restaurants often refill the same ones which can sometimes create air bubbles in the bottle. If this happens, ketchup can shoot out like a water gun if opened wrong. I was a server in a restaurant that did this and one of the servers intentionally gave bad customers the bottles that would squirt. Heads up.

  21. "...the butter is coming to life and pirouhetting around the refrigerator like it's auditioning for the Nutcracker Suite."

    That's the best.

  22. Oh, your ketchup story is so hilariously awkward! I laugh now, but feel your pain. I would have either dashed away or cried or something terrifically unhelpful.

    I can't think of any food-attacking tales, but I'm sure pissed at mayonnaise lately...

  23. At least the guy didn't get down on his hands and knees and LICK the ketchup off your feet! Now THAT would have been crossing the line, yes?

    I just remember going out to a fancy dinner after my high school prom. I was wearing my fancy dress. I forked a shrimp that I had dipped in the cocktail sauce and moved it to my mouth, but of course, it didn't make it to its destination! The shrimp popped off the fork and proceeded to ROLL down my dress, leaving a red racing stripe of cocktail sauce all the way down the front of my dress. Priceless. Another couple that we were with tried to make me feel better by telling me that at his prom,his girlfriend cut her steak and it flew off her plate - they couldn't find it! It went under the table and he had to crawl around looking for it! I don't know if she ever ate it or what! He was a real gem to share that story and make me feel better, but I still looked like an idiot with the red stripe down my dress!

  24. Two words - Pudding Hell.

    Caused by one freckled face child in search of apple juice. Pudding cups which compromised my stainless steel in ways I didn't know could be done...


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