I’ve been having food issues this week, which is to say that food is being weirder than usual. I mean, food is always a little weird when you think about it, like who was the first person who decided that eating something that shoots out of a chicken’s ass would be a great idea? Yet here we are, eating all-day breakfast like there’s no tomorrow. At any rate, I try to avoid the really weird sh*t, like peas, and I generally don’t have any issues. But this week, I’ve been making terrible food choices:
1) I love olives, especially ones stuffed with things. I used to buy this one particular brand that was stuffed with ancho peppers, but the company that made them discontinued them, which is always the way with virtually anything I like. So the other day, I was in the grocery store and saw olives stuffed with piri piri peppers, and I thought, ‘How much hotter could they be?’ Have you eaten one? Are you shaking your head at my childish naiveté right now? Are you picturing me screaming and swearing? (If you are, I hope I’m wearing something ridiculous like black leather chaps and a floral shower cap, to complement my very poor piri piri pepper eating decision.) It took over an hour before my mouth stopped feeling like a backyard barbeque. Never again.
2) On Tuesday, I needed yogurt for the morning because I was staying overnight in Toronto. I spent ten minutes looking at yogurt in the grocery store—why are there so many damn types of yogurt? But I finally picked one that said it didn’t contain any added sugar and it came in a four pack instead of a lifetime supply. It claimed to be raspberry. The next morning, I tried it and just about gagged. Have you ever accidentally drunk milk that was 2 weeks past the expiry date? I haven’t personally, but I’m guessing it would taste better than that yogurt. I went around my office exclaiming, “This yogurt is terrible! Does anyone want to try it?” because that’s what people do, but I had no takers. Until I passed by the cubicle of a new member of my team, who said, “Oh, I like that kind!” so I gave her the other three containers, and she OFFERED TO PAY ME FOR THEM. I did not take any money from her, just for the record.
3) Later in the week, I bought some raspberries. I like to eat fresh fruit every once in a while so that I don’t get scurvy. When I was a kid, I watched a movie about Captain Cook, and ever since, I’ve been paranoid about scurvy. Or maybe I just like saying the word ‘scurvy’. Either way, I bought raspberries. I took them to the kitchen at work and rinsed them in their container, then I sat at my desk all ready to eat them, when I noticed something crawling on one of them. I put on my reading glasses to get a better look and realized that it looked like a small worm. I went out and asked the very nice gentleman I work with to verify that it was indeed a worm, which he did by saying, “EW.”
Me: What should I do?
VNG: I think it’s OK to eat the rest. Just throw away the one with the worm.
Me: But I don’t want to kill the worm. It’s gone through so much already. It’s a survivor.
VNG: You could put it in that plant over there.
Me: Great idea! And the raspberry will decompose and become fertilizer for the plant. It’s a win-win.
4) The funniest thing that happened with food this week is that my team surprised me with an amazing cake that they had made to celebrate my second novel being released. That’s not the funny part—in fact, I was so taken aback at their thoughtfulness that I started to cry. I work with the best people and I am eternally grateful for that. The funny thing happened after we started cutting the cake. I said I would go to one of the other departments in the secret agency and invite them to join us, because the cake was gigantic. So I went to the other side of the office and said, “Hey, there’s cake!” to which I got soundly SHUSH!’d by the people there.
Me (whispering): But there’s cake.
Colleague 1 (whispering): Yes, we know!
Me: Why are we whispering?
Colleague 2: It’s cake for Suzanne. It’s a surprise!
Colleague 1: It’s her birthday. SHHH.
I should point out that there is another Suzanne in our office, so despite it being a bizarre coincidence, this made sense to me, and then the people from the other department decided to come and ooh and ah over MY cake even if they were saving room for the other Suzanne’s cake. But things got more confusing later:
Colleague 3: Hey! Happy birthday!
Me: Oh, it’s not my birthday.
Colleague 3: But somebody said there was cake for you.
Me: Yes, but it’s to celebrate my book.
Colleague 4: Hey Suzanne, happy birthday! Where’s the cake?
Me: Sigh. Right over there.
And it was the most beautiful cake anyone has ever made for me.