Undercooked pork – when meat goes bad

“I think the red dye must have faded,” I told my husband as I stared at the package of hamburger. It had only been in my refrigerator one day, but it had gone from red, to brown, to gray. At that point it went from the fridge to the garbage. I draw the line at eating anything that looks like something I dug out of the cat’s litter box.

I could understand meat metamorphosis if I didn’t have a refrigerator. That was the case in Shanghai recently, when Miss Chen got up to go to the bathroom during the night and found that a slab of pork on her kitchen table was glowing blue. Perhaps it is the tradition in China to hold a wake for dead pigs before eating them.

Photo from Slash/Food

At any rate, since the FDA was not available to slap a quarantine on Miss Chen’s apartment building and surrounding neighborhoods, local authorities did the next best thing. They sent a swarm of reporters and leading scientists the next night to examine the radiant ribs—which were still on her table. In China, quantum physics is not nearly as exciting as raw meat.

The air of excitement and the unspeakable stench were palpable. In the end it was determined that the ghostly glow was caused by phosphorescent bacteria. Yes, they discovered that raw meat attracts germs like flies to poop.

Meanwhile, I had underestimated the amount of garbage we can fit in a tall kitchen garbage bag before having to take it outside. The next morning, the smell of dead cow residing in my trash brought tears to my eyes, and my neighbors threatened to call the Homeowners’ Association. Since being on the HOA’s hot list holds all the appeal of an IRS audit, we sent the offending meat by-products to the local landfill, where even the seagulls wouldn’t touch it.

Moral of the story: take care when you buy meat from a place that also sells car tires. And if your pot roast starts glowing in the dark, send it to China. The physicists there have way too much free time on their hands, and the seagulls will thank you for it.

Stayin’ Alive

Not only is it tax day, it’s the day I get to return to the DMV for the second time this week, because one day in hell is never enough. Like roughly 97% of the customers at the DMV on Wednesday, I was turned away as a suspected terrorist, as evidenced by my lack of proof of insurance.

It seems that my insurance company neglected to send the official electronic okey-dokey, to prove that I was paying out the nose for my chance to spend a huge deductible if my car door gets dinged in the parking lot. With just one phone call, three customer service reps with thick accents, and 20 minutes of elevator music, I found someone willing to flip the magical switch at the insurance company.

There are specific things that you can do to make another wasted day more interesting. Before walking into the DMV, you need to paste a creepy smile on your face. It makes the workers there wonder what you’re thinking. If you reach into your coat pocket for a used Kleenex, you’ll get to watch them all duck and cover.

The workers themselves are carefully trained never to crack a smile. Their permitted facial expressions range from angry, to comatose. Anyone caught being cheerful has to administer driving tests to the blind. You have only to try to merge onto the expressway to know that there are many visually impaired drivers on South Carolina roads. Obviously, they all had proof of insurance.

Short of self-medication prior to “take a number,” there is little you can do to make your trip to the DMV more pleasurable. I plan on starting a sing-along for all the people numbers D148 to D316. If we all hold hands and sing Kumbaya interminably, maybe the workers will be motivated to keep the line moving along and get us out of there.

If I don’t post a blog on Monday, you’ll know that I’m either still at the DMV, or I’ve been incarcerated for singing folk songs from the 60’s in public. I hope they don’t throw me in the same cell with the people who are missing their marriage licenses. They tend to be Bee Gees fans. I can only take so much “Saturday Night Fever.”

Stayin\’ Alive

What portfolio?

Can I include the lint-covered breath mints in the bottom of my purse in my net worth statement? There’s probably a pie chart for that. Enjoy a sneak peek of my upcoming book, I Never Drove a Bulldozer / There’s a hole in my bucket list.

I don’t do toilets

The grocery section of Wal-Mart is riddled with little cardboard booths, manned by bored looking representatives passing out free samples of mini-pizzas and lime Jello. Yesterday I was taken aback when I saw a booth hawking toilet clip-ons.

The young man at the booth looked understandably embarrassed. He had obviously drawn the short straw on product demonstrations that day. I couldn’t think of anything that would entice me to stop in a busy supermarket and sniff urinal cakes. Did the manufacturers really think that toilet bowl cleaners were an impulse purchase?

My housekeeping skills are a hot topic at the Center for Disease Control. I confess that I generally don’t clean my toilets until I can actually see the E coli. Consequently, I don’t get a lot of houseguests. Those hardy souls who are willing to use my bathroom have to pick up a key at the kitchen counter. They also have to cough up fifty cents if they want to use the condom dispenser (quarters only).

Women tend to be all business when they use the bathroom. My husband takes the crossword puzzle and makes a day of it. I’ve read that when flushing, tiny droplets spray up and out of the toilet. This is why I hate spending long periods in the bathroom. It generally involves doing a courtesy flush. Who wants to be sitting at ground zero when Old Faithful goes off?

But I digress.

Basically, I only want to see blue water if I’m standing on a hotel balcony in Cancun. If it’s in my toilet and I add the contents of a full bladder, I’ll never again be able to sample the lime Jello.

Lord of the pants

Denim is one of the most forgiving fabrics on the planet. What other cloth will regularly put up with fannies that test the limits of double stitching? So last December when I bent over and got a sudden draft on my backside, I knew that it was time for a diet. Yes, the fabric that can support 642 pounds of cellulite per square inch ripped.

Back in the day when I used to dance around my living room just for the fun of it, my pants fit perfectly. Never mind that pre-menopause I had a metabolism that required me to eat twice my body weight daily to gain a pound. Now when I dance vigorously around the house, those excess pounds go flying every which direction. The neighbors close their blinds and the dog hides and whimpers.

I used to belly dance in college and still have the costume. I tried it on and decided that if the size of the belly determines the skill of the dancer, I’ve still got it. Yesterday I tried a kneeling back bend and, to my surprise, I was actually able to get down and back up without fracturing my hip. But when I stood up, I was reeling around the room as if I had just huffed a whole can of spray paint (gold). Apparently, my blood doesn’t return to the vertical position as fast as my head does.

Just for the hell of it, I’ve tried River Dancing in the privacy of my own garage. As far as I can tell, it’s just a matter of moving your feet as fast as you can and not slouching. I’m sure that if I were in a basement full of spiders, I would be a natural. I have a secret fantasy that one day I will tune into the Jerry Springer Show, and suddenly the whole audience will jump up and start River Dancing to show their appreciation of the blood-letting de jour. It would be an obvious ploy to boost ratings among the two people who actually enjoy Lord of the Dance.

I’m kind of disappointed that I won’t be able to go to the annual Grits Festival this weekend. Last year they had the local chapter of the Women’s Auxiliary doing precision line dancing in the middle of the street. There wasn’t one of them under 60. I wouldn’t mind learning a couple of their moves to add to my living room repertoire.

I figure that by summer I will have danced my way to be able to zip up my jeans and have the excess girth squished out the top instead of bursting through the bottom. If nothing else, since the neighbors have their curtains closed anyway, I might just forgo the jeans altogether. I’m already used to the draft.

The friendly skies

More and more I hate flying. It’s not that I have anything against being packed in next to someone who invariably hogs the armrest, or in front of the kid who entertains himself for four hours by kicking the back of my seat. It’s the damn beverage carts. Continue reading

April fool

It is time again for all social deviants to come out from under their rocks long enough to perpetrate their sadistic cruelty on unsuspecting friends and family members. Hooray! I’m not sure when we decided that practical jokes were worthy of a holiday. Continue reading

I’m getting dizzy, and I’m not even drunk

Yesterday I joined LinkedIn, because I’m all professional and stuff. Never mind that I don’t change out of my pajamas until well after lunch, and make-up is nowhere in the equation. I’ve been social networking my ass off this week. I now have a third email account to monitor, and five randy Italian men asking me what I’m wearing (blue flannel with pink flamingos). Mission accomplished. Continue reading

Customer dissatisfaction

“I’m sorry, but a herd of angry sheep broke into the server room and chewed up all the wires,” the tech support representative said. I blinked twice, which is the sign that I’m thinking deep thoughts. How did sheep break into the room? They don’t have opposable thumbs to hold the crowbar, and are notoriously bad at picking locks. Could the friendly tech support guy be pulling my leg? Why would he tell a fib about server security? Continue reading