"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes." -Walt Whitman

:malicious user:

Thursday, December 30, 2004

why the food network shudders at the mention of my name
my office has been a bit drafty lately, and the weather has been a bit wintry. at lunch yesterday i went to the supermarket, where it occurred to me that a box of oatmeal or cream of wheat or some similar hearty and hot breakfast food might be both warming and comforting. a bit of homey-ness right there at my desk. because i'm always up for new gustatory experiences, i selected a box of Wheatena, after ensuring that the stuff was microwaveable. then i purchased a jar of applesauce, to add flavor to the breakfaststuff.

back to the office, and off to the lunchroom. i followed the microwave directions on the side of the box, pouring the indicated amounts of water and wheatena into a plastic bowl. wheatena, i decided, was an italian word for "brown flakes that look like microscopic hamster shavings." bowl went into microwave, buttons were pushed, and microwaves went to work.

about halfway through the recommended cooking time, there was a noise from inside the microwave, which prompted me to stop the nuking process and open the oven door.

i believe that knowledge is a good and powerful thing, and the pursuit of knowledge has always been a driving force in my life. it is always satisfying when i can retire at the end of the day having learned something since i last awoke.

new knowledge awaited me inside the microwave. i learned that (1) my company does not provide microwave-safe bowls, and (2) wheatena explodes when sufficiently stimulated.

i cleaned the microwave, thoroughly, and decided to try a slight variation on a theme: nuking the water in the non-nukey bowl for about half the recommended time, then adding the wheatena (italian for "detonating hamster bedding") and stirring. then back into the micro for about 30 seconds.

this proved to be about 10 seconds too long.

i cleaned the microwave again.

this is the point where obstinacy turns to foolhardiness. fetching my microwave-safe coffee mug from my office, i added water from the clearly labeled hot water spigot on the coffee urn, then added wheatena (italian for "not intended for human consumption") to the mug and stirred. and stirred. and stirred. leaving me with a mug of hot water in which floated a repulsive clod of floor sweepings cleverly marketed as "wheatena".

after adding applesauce and the contents of a trail-mix baggie from the vending machine to the slurry, it bordered on edible. but it wasn't tasty enough to keep me from dumping the remainder of the wheatena box into the trash.

today i'm having pizza.
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i used to be disgusted. now i try to be amused.
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