Jon de Vos: They squash bugs, don’t they?
February 2, 2012
If you throw down a gauntlet, it’s sure someone will pick it up.
You may have already heard that I’m surrounding myself with supporters of Orange as a Disagreeable Food Color. This rapidly-expanding movement is founded on the premise that ex-con, Martha Stewart, was released from prison way too early. In her magazine, distributed to hundreds and hundreds of readers, Ms Stewart embraces orange food, calling it ‘autumnal’ and ‘artisanal’ and other gang words she learned in the pen. The gauntlet, incidentally, was a heavily armored glove that knights of olde wore in battle. It was designed so that when the fist was clenched the armored finger-guards became dangerous knuckle-dusters.
Sadly, my wife has been bewitched by Ms. Stewart. Drawn in by Martha’s grand portrayal of everyday life as a cross between the Duchess of York and Betty Crocker, my wife recently made a dinner of squash lasagna. I may have mentioned that fact in this very space earlier. Well, one month later, I had barely recovered from the ordeal when she announced, “We’re having company for dinner Sunday. I’ll need a little help tomorrow. My friend is on a diet, eating nothing that ever had eyes, so I’m a bit challenged for a dinner plan.”
I paused my movie, “That was totally unprovoked. Why would you say something like that?” Actually those were the words in my thought balloon. What came out of my lips was, “But I already had plans and what kind of weird people are you hanging out with?”
Every married guy knows that “company coming” in Marriaguese means that the husband will be expected to blow a perfectly good weekend mopping floors and changing light bulbs. But wait! It gets worse. She dropped the M-Bomb:
“I know! I’ll make that same delicious Martha squash lasagna recipe. Except this time I’ll use tofu instead of sausage.” Double whammy.
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“But . . . think of my plans. And haven’t you ever seen pictures of baby tofu? They have big, pitiful eyes. Soulful. I’ve seen pictures.” I paused to take a breath, “I know! We could have spare ribs and she could have a peanut butter sandwich. Peanuts don’t have eyes.”
Thank you for your input. About your plans: I hope they included a lot of vacuuming.”
“So it’s a Martha recipe?” I said, “Gee, I didn’t know she was out.”
“I’ll add a lot of broccoli this time,” she said, ignoring me.
“Broccoli? In squash lasagna? Doesn’t yellow and blue make green? Wouldn’t the orange and green produce some sort of ghastly sea-foam blue? I couldn’t eat orange food but the thought of eating something blue just makes me bilious.” The temperature dropped as she stared for a moment before turning all, “why don’t you go sweep the garage floor” on me and started throwing out orders like the maniacal German dictator I saved her from becoming.
When one knight picked up the gauntlet that another knight had thrown down, it meant they accepted the challenge to a duel. Then they drew broadswords and hacked at each other until one of them lost their head.
I thought of my lost weekend, remembering that every silver lining has a big, black cloud in the middle.
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