Thursday, August 6, 2009

Don't Accept Spaghetti from a Stranger

My boss at VE- Nick- found out early this week that his Grandmother passed away. We all offered condolences and offers to help in whatever way possible. My way to help came about in taking every shift at VE this week, open to close, from Tuesday onward. Normally Juliet (the other shift manager) would be able to help out with some of those, but she's teaching our kid's climbing camp every morning and can't go overtime, so it's all on me.
Now, I've done a few days where I open at B&N 7am to noon, then do VE 1:30 to 9pm, but I've never done as many in a row as this. Tuesday and Wednesday were semi-okay (Wednesday started to feel long) but today I'm really starting to get burned out. It's not even like I've been able to just chill and knit- we've been so busy I barely had time to wolf down a can of cold spaghettios last night while standing and getting waivers filled out between belay tests. One of my buddies saw this sad pathetic excuse for dinner and offered to bring in something for me tonight, as he likes to cook but doesn't enjoy only cooking for one. Since I knew my fridge was starting to look rather empty, and that meant less time for me to worry about making food during my tiny breaks, I accepted happily, looking forward to tonight's meal.
He showed up promptly around six, carrying a container with whole wheat spaghetti and sauce and a container of cantalope (yum!). He explained as we both sat at the counter with forks poised and ready that he felt the sauce had been a bit bland when he first was making it, so he added some Cayanne pepper to it. And some Tabasco sauce. "It's got quite a bit more zing now," were his exact words to describe it.
I didn't think much of it and dived right in.
First bite- delicious. I haven't eaten something that wasn't out of a can or from the B&N cafe in awhile, and in comparison this tasted like heaven. Two or three more bites in and I started to notice how much my nose was starting to tingle. Or how my face was beginning to feel hot.
Five bites. My mouth was feeling quite hot now when I swallowed.
Six bites. Wow, my nose is running like crazy but my sinuses cleared up and I can smell everything.
Nine bites. My face is so hot I can't even feel the tears running down my cheeks. I have to chew with my mouth open just to be able to breath properly.
Ten bites. My buddy practically snorts noodles out his nose he's laughing so hard as I fumble with the lid of the cantalope container because with no water, anything I can lay hands on has to be some relief from this pain.
I have to admit, I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to food. I'm a full-blooded Scandanavian, and though that's probably not a great excuse, it means that my body really isn't used to handling spices or hot stuff. I'm the kid that bawled after eating two Hot Tamales at the same time. So usually I try to avoid things with too much kick, but I was unable to this time. And since my friend made it special for me, I finished every bite of that pasta. I probably won't have functioning taste buds for a week, but it doesn't matter.
Moral of the story- if a friend offers to make you food, be sure to know what you're getting yourself into before you agree, no matter how nice or sugar-coated the offer is.

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