duck-shaped pain


16 April 2001
Enforced Soda Fun

Dinner yesterday was a big production. Even though there were only going to be three people for dinner, and even though the day simply hadn't been much of a concern before, say, Saturday afternoon, [1] Easter dinner still had to be made.

I found the last roasting chicken in town. This involved going to three different stores, and I finally ended up with an enormous 8-pound bird. It was much larger than it sounds -- I thought momentarily that it was a mistake, a turkey in a chicken's packaging. Its sheer size is probably what led to it being the Last Chicken In Town -- people knew that this wouldn't be a piece of meat they could boss around in the early hours of Easter morning, so they went off to search for a docile ham elsewhere in the store.

Asparagus also needed to be located. I was leaning towards some other vegetable, since eating the last bunch of asparagus in the house was a lot like eating a grove of pocket-sized oak trees. But after some searching, I found some asparagus for sale which had been grown within the same zip code as the store. The little bundles of pointy green lumber for sale at Safeway came from somewhere else, from a different time zone or country, possibly. But, logically enough, the asparagus grown within cat-swinging distance cost about three times more. I bought it anyway.

So, chicken. Asparagus. I also made spinach, corn and red pepper risotto. Stuffing and rolls came pre-made: there's only so much I can be expected to do before noon. I got the better of the enormous slab o' bird and it came out extremely tender. I was happy.

My grandma liked the meal, as far as I could tell. She also asked me if I had the "wrinkly lips" yet (?????????). She likes to open closed doors and peer into people's bedrooms, but I caught her before this happened. "I'm just looking for the bathroom" -- like the bathroom isn't in the same place it's been for the last 23 years. Anyway.

One stop on the chicken quest was Sam's Club, where I didn's find a chicken, but did end up buying an enormous wedge of Parmesano-Reggiano cheese. While I was there, I got very hungry. The free food samples available weren't plentiful enough, so I ended up getting a hot dog. I don't mind their hot dogs too much -- they're big and long and are all beef. When a hot dog is made entirely out of one species of animal, I can mentally relax a bit. Not like that ensures one's hot dog is less anus-free than other, mixed-species hot dogs, but it's amazing what one's mind can gloss over.

The hot dog came with a drink. I got handed a soda cup of enormous proportions. Had I filled it up with soda and drank it, it would be not quite largest soda I've ever partaken of. [2]

But I'm no longer a large fan of soda. It's okay, but it makes me feel all sugary, so I usually try to limit my consumption of non-Orangina soda. Right next to the soda fountain was a water fountain, so I filled up my cup with ice and then with water. I mean, I paid for the cup. I can do what I want with it.

Which was, unknown to me, a large breach of Sam's Club protocol. I sat down with my hot dog and an employee came over to me, looking all anxious.

"Is there something wrong with the pop machine?" she asked me. Handfuls of other people were filling their cups with no problem, so I wasn't sure why she was asking me.

"Uh, no," I replied.

"Well, I see you didn't get any pop."

"I didn't really feel like drinking any."

She looked at me, as if she was going to accuse me of something. But, instead, she walked off and nervously inspected the pizzas.

[1] For example, I hadn't even remembered that it was Easter. I only thought of it as my day to do my taxes, and since I actually did them on Friday, I was all set to have a day of total relaxation.

[2] The largest soda I've ever been involved with was much, much larger. Embarassingly larger. Carry-only-with-two-hands larger. 1,000,000 mgs of caffeine larger.

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