This story begins with bacon, which SHOULD mean it’s a happy story, but I am all about the plot twist, yo.
Bacon! We love bacon. (Well, not the vegetarian. Though she does still comment that it smells good, which is fascinating to me.) Once upon a time while on one of the awesome summer family trips with my folks and siblings, someone purchased turkey bacon from Costco and I relentlessly mocked this choice, because BACON IS FROM PIGS and TURKEY BACON IS AN ABOMINATION and probably makes the baby Jesus cry. I am ardent about my pork products, you understand. But lo and behold, this particular turkey bacon was 1) actually yummy, 2) much cheaper than real bacon, and 3) marginally healthier than pork bacon. The next time we went to Costco, we bought some, which—because it was Costco—was something like 5 or 6 pounds of delicious fake bacon from pig-turkeys.
For the first however many packages, I would pull it out on a weekend and make some with pancakes on a Saturday or whatever. Last weekend I noticed we were down to the last package (“Hey Otto, we have to go to Costco! BACON EMERGENCY!”) and I had a brilliant thought: Why not cook up an entire package one day, then reheat a couple strips for Monkey every morning with his breakfast? I don’t possess the time or alertness to fry bacon on a busy school morning, but 20 seconds in the microwave I could manage. And Monkey needs the calories. BRILLIANT.
[Sidebar: Neither of my children are big breakfast eaters. Chickadee typically has a protein bar—a.k.a. the highest amount of protein in the smallest portion of food possible—and I bake a batch of whole grain/fruit/nut/whatever-we-have-on-hand muffins every weekend and Monkey will then deign to eat a single muffin each morning and then declare that he is “stuffed.” I suppose I could put a pepperoni pizza on the table every morning—that’s one food he’ll eat until it’s gone or he falls to the floor in a food coma—but adding bacon to the muffin/milk he’s already consuming seemed like a more prudent choice.]
I cooked up a whole package of bacon on Sunday. Monkey and I ate some and I put the rest in a container in the fridge. As planned, I’ve been giving him a couple of strips every morning, and he’s delighted. It would’ve lasted the entire week (the bacon, not his delight, though maybe that, too?), but last night for dinner we had soup and salad… and first Otto said, “Hey, I bet some bacon would be good on this soup” (it was) and then Monkey and I decided we each needed some bacon crumbled on our salads. Dinner was delicious. (The soup was a sweet potato coconut milk concoction and it was a keeper, plus I did a HUUUUUGE salad with tons of veggies because my new year’s resolution is to make sure every dinner takes me at least an hour to prepare and the kids complain about it.)
This meant that when I pulled out the bacon container this morning, there were three strips left. I heated them up, gave two to Monkey, then decided to eat the last one, myself. I was already showered and dressed (a rarity for me on a school morning!) because I had an early appointment, so I scarfed down my super-balanced breakfast of… ummm… that lonely strip of turkey bacon, quickly washed my hands (bacon is greasy), grabbed a mug of coffee, and headed out.
As I drove along in my car, I noticed my lips felt pretty chapped, so I dug around in my purse to find some lip balm. Eyes on the road, hand in my purse… it took a while to find it. As I raised it to my mouth, I realized my fingers still felt sticky. Perhaps in my rush, I hadn’t washed them very well. Oh, well. I continued navigating traffic and after applying Carmex to my lips, licked my fingers, because BACON, and also, it’s not like I have a sink in my car.
My fingers didn’t taste like bacon, or anything, really. I put the Carmex back in my purse. Still, a minute later, I realized my fingers STILL felt sticky, so I licked them again. And STILL MY FINGERS FELT STICKY, WHAT THE HECK, so finally I looked at my hand (duh).
My hand was covered with blood. HILARIOUS. And by “hilarious” I mean “could only happen to me.” Near as I can figure, when I was doing the blind digging around in my purse, I got a tiny little cut right up in hangnail territory on one of my fingers. And then I proceeded to bleed like a hemophiliac because of course I did. By the time I noticed this, I had also dripped blood onto my jeans in three separate spots. Awesome.
Still driving, I managed to grab a paper napkin from the glovebox and wrap up my finger. A quick survey revealed that I’d only bled on my jeans and my coffee cup, and not on my car or my purse (small favors). Okay. Manageable! I was almost to my destination, so I would tend to my jeans when I got there.
I pulled into the parking lot and turned off the car. I checked my napkin-swaddled finger; still bleeding. I decided I have leukemia, because I am calm and logical and not at all a hypochondriac. Then I looked in my purse for a Tide pen. I was still digging when I remembered my last Tide pen incident and with a stab of panic I wondered if I’d remembered to replace the horrible-smelling, old pen with a new one. Had I?? I couldn’t remember.
It turns out, I’M A GENIUS. I had indeed thrown away the horrible pen and put a new one in my purse. I was early for my appointment and I had a fresh Tide pen and I was going to save my jeans.
Tide pens have a hard plastic tip that’s retractable; you push it on the fabric, the tip retracts, and that releases the cleaner. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. UNLESS YOU ARE ME, and you have somehow grabbed the only Tide pen in the universe where the tip is retracting and shaking the pen reveals that said pen is indeed FILLED with cleaning substance, yet NONE OF IT IS COMING OUT. If anyone else in the parking lot saw me this morning, they would’ve witnessed a woman becoming increasingly more frantic while stabbing herself in the leg over and over and over. By the time I was ready to give up and go inside, the liquid began to trickle out, and I was able to treat the blood spots, which was nice, because I’m pretty sure I have giant bruises underneath the stains, now.
And then I spent the first 10 minutes of my meeting recounting the story of how the happiness and joy of bacon led to leukemia, excessive bruising, and almost ruining my favorite jeans.
And that’s how I ended up at Trader Joe’s after my appointment, buying chocolate-covered potato chips. I HAD A ROUGH MORNING, OKAY??