As I swallowed a heavy hit of burgundy and opened wide to begin dining on what would be my fifth peanut butter, margarine and Strawberry preserves sandwich of the day, I paused, just a little to reflect upon my good luck (the kindness of an omniscient creator if you prefer) that had probably saved my life ten minutes earlier.
Ten minutes earlier, I had been spitting spoiled rotisserie chicken from my mouth into the kitchen sink. I was drinking cold tap water, swirling it around in my mouth, determined not to swallow a drop and expectorating (spitting, if you like tractor pulls) it with the chicken, and feeling pretty durn dumb for having gone as far as putting the leftovers into the microwave to heat.
It wasn’t the grocery store’s fault; it was mine. In a tolerable week I try to eat one rotisserie chicken over two meals, usually on two consecutive nights after coming home from AeroKnow Museum and usually after refrigerating the breasts remaining on the carcass after the first meal of freshly rotiss’d legs, thighs and wings. I had shopped Saturday, had picked up said chicken — I’ll call him “Wilburrr” along with three small prepared salads which I fear may become more addicting than ice cream. I had purchased a seafood salad and a chef salad along with Wilburrr and a gallon of Carlo Rossi Burg’y. I drove home trim, sharp and happy that I KNEW there would be enough dressing for the salads and the wine would hold me until Thursday.
Also in the kitchen I had a loaf of Bunny Whole Wheat Bread that had been in the house untouched for a week, and the ingredients for some damn-tasty peanut butter sammiches. Thus have I described to total food content of my house last Saturday at 8 pm.
Part one of r was delicious, still warm from the grocery store heating lamps where they are displayed for easy pickup by Register #1. Sunday, I had the seafood salad with all the Kraft Catalina dressing I wanted. I was GOING to have the rest of Wilburrr Monday, but I was home hot and licking my wounds from another thorough “basting” at my employer. I ate the chef salad. Wilburrr’s two breasts, which I had left covered but unrefrigerated in the kitchen . . . . . well, I didn’t give it any though. I simply wanted to leave the woeful regret of consciousness to embrace sleep, but only after nutrifying my body. I am nothing if not nutrified.
Tuesday I did something I seldom do: I took two peanut butter sandwiches to work with me and enjoyed them for lunch. I keep a jar of Jiff extra crunchy in my desk drawer at “emoplyeur incroiable” and most lunches there. I simply eat it from the jar on a butter knife I stole from a former housemate. Getting the whole sandwich deal on a workday made me feel significantly self-affirmed. I enjoyed it. Some day I will do it again.
The day at work went to hell in a handbasket. I’ll spare you why. By the time I arrived home about 8 p from the airport museum I was ready for Wilburrr.
But Wilburrr was not ready for me.
In recent weeks . . . after DECADES of cutting rotisserie chicken meat from the bone after heating it, I’ve discovered it’s easier to separate it from the bons before I heat it and simply enjoy it without the necessary blade action during TV time in the livingroom. Last night, I approached Wilburrr, still under the clear plastic dome where he’d been sitting since Monday morning . . . . .
and almost coughed when the aroma from the spoiled chicken hit me like a ton of tax returns. I picked up the plastic platter and sniffed closer. The gravy and droppings in the bottom, normally gelatin like and jiggly, were a brown and cloudy liquid, not unlike what I’d expect to find near the bottom of the Marianas Trench off Japan. And equally appetizing.
Even so, I’m not one to surrender without a fight. I pulled the meat off the bones, put them onto a real stoneware plate and put the mushy heap into the microwave for two minutes. I thought maybe the cooking would eliminate that horrible aroma. I removed Wilburrr’s remains and put a small piece into my mouth, hoping it would taste better than it smelled.
In less time than it takes to tell, I KNEW I was in deep unhappyland, and I began expectorating it into the sink, drinking water and swirling but NOT SWALLOWINGYOU STUPID AYDYIT! (talking to myself) . . . . and finally I was done. I knew most of it would not reach my gastrointestinal track. And I know you don’t want to know this, but I will tell you anyway. During my “morning constitutional” before showering about 7 today, looking into what I was about to flush from a safe distance, there was undeniable evidence that some of Wilburrr had stayed with me. I won’t tell you how I knew, so don’t ask.
Since it was dinnertime, I made three peanut butter sammiches and enjoyed them with my friend Carlo Rossi. As I opened my mouth to begin savoring my fifth peanut butter sandwich of the day, I had a thought.
“Cheeses, (I call myself Cheeses a LOT lately) . . . Cheeses, this would make a nifty story for my next Honey & Quinine.”
Live long . . . . . . . . . and proper.