21 January 2008

Strange brew

At the beginning of winter, I always make a point of stocking up on the stuff that makes winter illnesses survivable: pain relievers, chicken broth, tea, Saltine crackers, Jello...you know the sort of thing. Components of the basic BRAT diet, plus stuff that someone with a cold or influenza would like.

Well, the son got sick on Saturday afternoon (I'm still wondering if I could plead "justifiable arson" if I set the kids' bathroom on fire for sanitation purposes. Probably not. I guess I'll stick to bleach. But it does occur to me that I might start my own line of residential fire hoses for people remodeling their bathrooms). I went into the pantry, ticked off supplies on my fingers, and realized that I didn't have any soda and there was a sad lack of cleaning supplies. And disposable gloves. Love my disposable gloves.

So I made a list for the spouse, and asked him to run down to the nearest store.

Asking the spouse to go to the store is usually dangerous, and a mission I only allow him to undertake in the most dire of circumstances. He generally comes back with the things I ask him to get. It's the stuff that he comes home with that I didn't ask him to buy that's the problem.

Man Food.

Our house is not what I'd call a junk-food-free zone. Granted, I like organic, I like healthy food, but grapenuts and granola I'm not (Grapenuts are ok, but granola... *shudder*). I make cookies and scones and coffee cake, and occasionally, that delightfully repulsive onion dip made from sour cream and soup mix, but yeah, I stock more fruits and vegetables than processed snack food. I am the primary shopper, so I have the greatest say in what comes in the house. Doritos don't (the spouse can have them at work). Dried fruit does. Poptarts don't. Oatmeal does. Jarred nacho cheese doesn't (because I can and possibly will eat it out of the jar with a spoon). Artisanal cheese does (I could also eat this with a spoon but at $20 a pound, I'm less likely to).

There are certain food items the spouse can't resist. Beef jerky, sticks made out of unidentifiable animal parts loosely termed "beef," Nacho Cheese Doritos, Pringles, cinnamon rolls. He believes in the four food groups all right: beer, mystery meat, salt, and sugar.

But he had a better card to play this weekend: fast food.

"Well, we're all going to get sick," he told me yesterday, "so let's just eat stuff that we don't really care about ever eating again."

I nodded; there was a certain logic to that.

"And anyway," he finished, "the game is starting soon."

Which is how I ended up staring down a Big Mac for the first time in years.

And while he was at it, he brought home a heat-and-eat pepperoni pizza from the grocery. He was almost rubbing his hands with glee. Football, man food, and heck, what was a little Norovirus? He'd be going out in style.

We've just about gotten to the 48-hour mark with no further casualties, and I'm cautiously hopeful. The son is sitting in state, watching Mr. Bean and sipping chicken broth, while the daughter has gotten all the noodles and chicken from the same soup. I'll be in control of dinner tonight, so we'll still be eating things that no one particularly loves, but this time it will be Mom Food.

Go listen to some good music: "Strange Brew" from the album Disraeli Gears by Cream.

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