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

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on June 7th, 2011, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 12, Issue 14 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 12, Issue 14

The food inspector

Krider's wife takes kitchens seriously--too seriously


My wife’s middle name is “ironic.” She earned that title by living a life littered with contradictions and complemented by a touch of hypocrisy. One example of her ironic lifestyle is the fact that she is a clean freak, while at the same time she is a complete and total slob. You wouldn’t know she liked things clean if you walked into our house and saw the mountain of laundry that permanently exists in our living room. Regardless of “Mt. Fruit of the Loom” on our couch, my wife requires certain things to be 100 percent clean. Specifically, she demands that her food is prepared in a kitchen sterile enough to rival an operating room. Ironically, she’ll eat at any fast food restaurant drive-thru and leave the wrappers, bags, and cola-syrup-stained cups on the floorboard of her car, allowing them to grow mold for a decade, without blinking an eye. But if I were to take some of that trash from her car and set it in her kitchen, her head might explode.

Because of her food cleanliness issues, my wife refuses to eat any food from even her closest friends unless she has personally inspected their kitchen. This can oftentimes be embarrassing around the holidays when people bring food over to our house as gifts. Unless my wife has already given their kitchen her stamp of approval (and trust me, the standards are almost unreachable), the food item WILL NOT be served at our house. No exceptions, do not pass Go, do not collect $200, and do not eat the pie the Smiths brought over.

Unlike the laundry or the family car, when it comes to food, my wife really does go above and beyond in her preparation of “clean” food. She washes each fruit and vegetable before we eat it. That may sound reasonable, but I don’t mean she quickly rinses them under the faucet. I mean that she uses soap and water and scrubs the vegetables. Every piece of lettuce is individually washed with soap and dried. This procedure may seem a bit extreme, but the lettuce does taste good, especially if your favorite salad dressing is Palmolive hand soap.

When my wife is invited into a stranger’s house, she will immediately scan the kitchen. In one thousandth of a second, she has rated the area on her scale of crumb factor and made her final determination of kitchen cleanliness. Dirty dishes in the sink? Crumbs near the bread board? Fluids from raw meat? Egg shells? Coffee grounds hiding behind the coffee maker? A cat that gets to walk freely on the counter? FAIL! If any of these telltale signs are witnessed, my wife will make an instant lifelong decision to avoid eating anything that was ever cooked or even set down in that kitchen.

I’ve watched my wife try to politely weasel her way out of having a “non-approved” person try to bring over food to our house for a party. Someone will corner my wife with all of the best intentions in the world, and ask, “For the barbecue next weekend, do you want me to bring a salad or some appetizers?”

My wife will quickly attempt to distract and dissuade: “No, no. Don’t bother to go to all of that trouble to cook something. Just go ahead and bring an unopened bag of chips.”

Of course the person offering to bring food will reply with something like, “Oh, I wouldn’t think of just bringing over a bag of chips. How about I put together a deli tray?”

“A deli tray?” I can see my wife’s mind quickly calculating the amount dirty cheese and unclean meats as her face has difficulty hiding the repulsiveness within her throat. My wife will try again to politely encourage any store-bought items: “You know, if you swing by Costco and pick up one of their deli trays on your way over to our house, that would be just fine.”

I’ve seen what happens when my wife’s wishes are ignored. The unapproved person will roll through our front door, holding a plate of anything homemade covered in plastic wrap. My wife will immediately intercept the item before it hits the buffet table and say something nice like, “Oh, deviled eggs, thank you! I’ll put these right out.” Sure, she’ll put them right out—right out into the garbage disposal to never be seen again. She’ll try to cover her tracks later by placing the now empty plate on the serving table and saying, “Wow, those eggs were a big hit. They went fast!” Yeah, about 3,000 RPMs fast as they spun around inside of the disposal.

My wife’s food issues aren’t just at our house—you know, the house with the laundry problem, dirty cars, and immaculate lettuce. My wife is no fun at any pot luck. Me, I love food, so I’m just fat, dumb, and happy to load up my plate with beans, hot dogs, and cookies at a Fourth of July barbecue. I don’t care who cooked it; I’m just glad I didn’t have to. But instead of getting to enjoy some all-American food, I have my wife, whom I love, kicking me and whispering in my ear, “Don’t eat the beans.  Shelly made those. I saw that crockpot, and I don’t think she knows how to wash it!” I tell my wife, “Well, a dirty crockpot must be Shelly’s secret ingredient, because her beans taste great.”

Ironically, my wife loves to eat at restaurants. Restaurants with kitchens she has never seen. Her favorite food is Mexican food. We will drive down the road, and the more rundown the outside of a Mexican restaurant is, the more she wants to go there and chow down. These places are so rough looking, she has to step over the roaches on the way in the front door: “Yum, you know the food is going to be delicious here!”


Someday Rob is going to ruin restaurants for his wife forever and give her an actual tour of a restaurant kitchen.

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