Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Never Eat in the Dark - A Cautionary Tale

It’s almost Halloween. I’ve recently seen recipes for Dead Flies on Rye, Monster Brain Dip, Eyeball Soup, Gorilla Sweat, Bloody Fingers and Body Part Punch. I even saw one for Varicose Veins on a Leaf. Most years I’m okay with these things. I mean, we know what they really are, right? They’re just regular food items that we eat every day. But this year, I’m staying away from these kinds of treats. I had a horrifying Halloween treat type of experience in my basement about a week ago. (Insert shudder here.)

I had been planning to watch a girl movie one evening on our big screen TV in the family room. I've lived with all guys for several years now and I don’t often get to watch what I want to watch. But this was going to be my night. Then our son, Kurt, turned up at the house with a girl. They had plans to watch a movie. A specific movie. They weren’t interested in watching my movie. Kurt graciously suggested that he and his date watch their movie in the basement.

He wanted to take her down to the basement?


I couldn’t let him take her down there. If she went down there, she might never come back up. And then her roommates and family members would surely ask questions.  It’s definitely a family-members-only area of the house. It’s a guy kind of place. Joel lives down there. It has a faint smell of boy. There is almost always an assortment of dirty socks and dirty dishes on the floor.I sometimes refer to it as The Pit of Despair. But there was no reason I couldn’t take my movie down there and let Kurt and this young woman watch their movie on the good TV.

I decided to take a little snack down with me. Everybody else eats down there. I might even leave my dishes when I was done and make Joel clean them up later. He’d never know they weren’t his. I got a cereal bowl out of the kitchen cupboard. I poured in some Cheerios, some raisins, and some salted mixed nuts. My own healthy trail mix, right? It was that or ice cream and I'd been trying to make smart food choices.

I descended into the basement with my DVD. I got the movie going, wrapped myself up in a blanket and settled down on the futon. It was surprisingly comfortable. I ate my snack as I watched the movie. The sweetness of the raisins and the saltiness of the nuts – I love a sweet and salty combination. About fifteen minutes into the movie I scooped up the last little bit into my hand and put it in my mouth. I began to chew. I did not get the pleasant sweet and salty sensation I was expecting. Instead, my mouth was flooded with a terrible, horrible taste. I’ve never tasted anything this bad in my life. And that includes olives. I should have spit it out, whatever it was, into the cereal bowl. You would think I would have spit it out. I didn’t though. I kept chewing. I really can’t explain why. I think I thought that if I kept chewing I would have to get to that sweet-and-salty taste. After all, I knew I was eating Cheerios, raisins, and mixed nuts, right? I had filled the bowl myself. I kept chewing. It was horrible. And then…I swallowed. I have no idea what I ate. I was in the basement. I was in The Pit of Despair. Who knows what might have crawled into that bowl while I was watching my movie. In the dark. I had turned all the lights off. I’ll never eat in the dark again. And so much for my attempt at healthy eating; I had to eat a bowl of ice cream after all to try to get the nasty taste out of my mouth.

Four days till Halloween. If I’m offered anything called Worm Burgers or Stuffed Roaches,  Black Widow Spider Snack or Bug Guts, I’ll be politely declining.


  1. Ewww! I hope it wasn't a centipede. Have you had the Bertie Botts Beans they make to imitate Harry Potter? The centipede tasting one is the worst. I'll pray for you that it was just a bad nut or overripe raisin :)

  2. Oh my goodness!!! You make me laugh SO hard. I love your stories. You need to write a book or a column in the newspaper - something PLEASE!!! I get so excited when you have a new story to tell. Please keep writing - you make my day.