Tuesday, June 25, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on June 2nd, 2015, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 16, Issue 13 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 16, Issue 13

No thanks; I just ate


Here’s the deal: my wife won’t eat anything you cook. Nope. She won’t do it. It has absolutely nothing to do with being a vegetarian, a fear of GMOs, or only eating organic food. In actuality, my wife is a total foodie; she’ll eat just about anything—the more GMOs the better. Well, she’ll eat anything as long as it didn’t originate from your kitchen.

My wife doesn’t know you. She doesn’t know if you’re the type of person who lets their cat walk on the kitchen counter. She doesn’t know if you cut your meat on the breadboard. She isn’t positive that you wash your hands between every egg you break. Salmonella could be running rampant in the crevices of your kitchen counter. For all she knows there could be Ebola in your pantry. It’s too risky to enjoy a dinner salad at your house; death could literally be hiding under the lettuce.

Because of her kitchen quirks, my wife is a real fun time when it comes to going to a barbecue. “Honey, the Smiths want us to come over for some hamburgers and beers.”

“Do they want me to bring something?”

“No, they just want us to come by and hang out by the pool. It’s casual.”

“Hmmm. Well, tell them I’ll bring a fruit salad and some cheese and crackers.”

“They didn’t invite us over to cater for them, they just asked for us to come by.”

“I’m bringing a few things anyways. That way I’ll have something I can eat. They have a dog you know.”

“Honey, I don’t think they’re going to put their dog inside the hamburgers. They love Rufus.”

“I’m just not sure they’re careful enough when they’re making the hamburger patties. Rufus likes to sit in the kitchen near the meat.”

“Yes, because he is a dog. Whatever. Fine. We’ll swing by the store and get you something to eat.”

Not to say that the store’s deli kitchen counter is any cleaner than the kitchen counter inside the Smiths’ house. Chances are it isn’t. But in my wife’s defense, the store doesn’t have dogs running around while they make deli meat trays, therefore my wife will only be enjoying food at the barbecue that she brought to the function herself.

For the same kitchen cleanliness reasons, my wife isn’t a fan of potlucks. If she even hears a hint of a potluck, her response is: “I’ll eat before we go.” Our kids’ school does lots of potlucks for awards presentations or fundraising events. I think they’re nice. Each family will bring a home-cooked dish to support the school, but my wife walks around searching for a platter that came straight from the store. Not only does it have to be store bought, it can’t have been opened yet. If she sees that some high school kid put his hands on the food first, she will skip dinner.

“Honey, these homemade cupcakes that Mrs. Jones brought are delicious.”

“I’ll never know. Mrs. Jones has cat hair on her sweater. I’m not eating her cupcakes.”

“Cat hair is what makes them so delicious, Baby. Honestly, they’re fine, have a bite.”

“Not gonna happen. I don’t want food poisoning.”

“You don’t want food poisoning, but you don’t mind if your husband eats the cupcakes and gets food poisoning?”

“We had a good few years together.”

The greatest irony about my wife not eating any food from a kitchen other than her own is that she loves restaurants. I mean, she really, really loves them. Any excuse to have someone else cook the food and do the dishes and she is there. Yet she has no idea how clean those dishes are or how much of a sterile operating room the restaurant kitchen may be. Obviously, she has never worked at a restaurant or ever seen inside what a commercial kitchen looks like. If she ever did, I think she would die. Trust me, the cooks are not washing their hands between every egg they break for an omelet. Nobody inside a restaurant kitchen is making sure the raw meat doesn’t touch the raw fish before everything hits the griddle. They cook everything to 900 degrees and hope for the best.

Ironically, my wife, whom I love, who won’t eat a single cookie lovingly baked in your home oven, will eat a polish dog from a broken hot dog stand, a burrito from the rustiest taco truck, and have a teenager drive all over town with her pizza riding on the front seat of a not-so-clean car. In fact, my wife prefers to choose the most desolate and rundown Mexican restaurants. If the place looks like the cockroaches are winning the war near the dumpster behind the kitchen, she will yell out, “Stop the car! That place looks like it probably makes the best Mexican food!” My wife loves Mexican food—as long as you didn’t cook it at your house. Somehow my wife has drawn a line between personal kitchen cleanliness and the cleanliness of a commercial establishment. This is a ridiculous line filled with ludicrous ideas about cleanliness and reasonableness, but this is my wife’s mind we are talking about. Reasonableness has nothing to do with it.

Is it reasonable to have a food preparation phobia but love restaurants (where you can’t see them prepare the food) but at the same time completely despise buffets (where you can see the food directly in front of you)? My wife says, “Yes, that is perfectly reasonable. Everybody knows I don’t do salad bars.”

“Why don’t you do salad bars?”

“Obviously too many people touched the serving spoon or they may have sneezed in the mashed potatoes. Gross.”

“Honey, what do you think makes the buffet potatoes taste so good?”

Rob is at the Smiths’ house enjoying a Rufus burger. If you like Rob’s storytelling then check out his novel Cadet Blues available on amazon.com.

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