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It didn’t feel like one of those days

Did you ever do something really, I mean monumentally dumb? The kind of bone-head thing that makes you want to bang said head bone against the wall? Well, I apparently am gifted that way…

It all started a couple of days back, when I bought a big spiral sliced, honey baked ham at the grocery store. You just can’t beat those for making the best ham sandwiches, and along with the ham I got all the necessary stuff to dine on yummy ham hoagies for a couple of days. It was really, really good … well except for the night before last when I was bringing one in after toasting it in the oven, and the foil tore and I scattered it across the driveway.

I should explain, because this will become important shortly, that I live in a very small trailer – trailer as in RV, not mobile home – and my kitchen is actually outside. Okay, technically I have a kitchen inside too, but it has a tiny little range that requires propane, and if I had the propane and lit the oven, it would burn up all the books I have stored in there.

Anyway, so last night I did what I usually do when I buy a big ham and there’s just a bit of it left, I made scalloped potatoes. I went to the store and got a bag of potatoes and some sweet onions and the various other ingredients I needed. While I was there, I saw they had some steaks marked down in the meat department, nice thick sirloins. They looked really inviting, but I just hate to freeze a good steak, and I really needed to go ahead and finish off that ham.

Then it came to me! I could get the steaks and have them for dinner, but still make my beloved scalloped potatoes and stick them in the fridge for the next day. It was brilliant, because I would have yummy food and not have to cook for two days at least!

I was feeling quite proud of myself after I got home. I stuck the steaks in the fridge, put some charcoal in the chimmny starter to get nice and glowy, and then went to work peeling and slicing potatoes, chopping the onions and cutting what was left of the ham off the bone. I put everything together in a big foil casserole pan, covered it and stuck it in the oven.

Next I turned my attention to my steaks, seasoning them up before slapping them one the grill. I had a nice hot bed of coals and it didn’t take long at all to get them cooked, cause I like my steak to moo when I cut into it. Once my electronic meat fork indicated they were a perfect 145 degrees I snatched those babies off the grill and put them on a plate and then literally skipped inside to enjoy my meal.

They were delicious, if I may say so myself. I’m a pretty good cook all around, but I am really great with the grill. While I enjoyed my dinner I flipped on the TV to watch Ghost Hunters and kept my attention bouncing back and forth between that and chatting with the gang in the TSSD chat room. They were some pretty big steaks and so I ended up sticking the left overs in the fridge.

It was time to get to writing then, so I started tapping away at the keyboard. After a while, my good friend Jennifer Brock came into the chat room and we started talking. I was in a particularly gabby mood last night, but of course all good things must come to an end. A little after 3 AM I said goodnight, then I got all snuggled into bed and went to sleep.

It was almost precisely two hours later, just after 5 AM, when I snapped wide awake from a sound sleep as I realized I had left my yummy, delicious, oh-so-anticipated scalloped potatoes and ham baking in the fucking oven for the last TEN HOURS!

But wait, couldn’t you smell it burning you ask? Of course I couldn’t smell it burning cause my stupid kitchen is OUTSIDE! I’m sure all the wildlife in the area smelled it burning, but not me. I’ll bet the dogs smelled it burning, but did they come and give me a polite little bark to alert me? Noooo, of course they didn’t! They bark when people walk by on the street, they bark when people go by in their boats, hell they bark when the wind blows but when something really important comes up do I hear even a little yip?

Well, needless to say there was no salvaging my yummies. The potatoes were now brown and leathery, the ham and onions had cooked down to form a pink, gelatinous substance and the sauce … that must have been the black, crusty stuff. I’m trying to find some lesson in all this, some deep, philosophical truth I can take away from this incident. Maybe I could use it to emphasize the dreadful, harmful potential of the Internet and how it can grab us and bind us while poor, defenseless potatoes are tormented in pink gelatinous ham-onion goo. I could probably draw a parallel between our crumbling society and the fact that we can’t even count on our canine friends to watch our back. Or maybe I could …

No, no, I think I’ll just stick with this. Don’t put your kitchen outdoors.

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