Food Fight!

You are probably thinking that I am going to regale you with the many high school adventures I had with food fights.  Firstly you would be incorrect as we never had food fights in my high school cafeteria.  Secondly, I can’t throw straight!  (You can confirm that with my dart-playing partner.)  So, what food fight am I referring to?  Let me gently guide you back to your childhood for this one.  If that part of your life has bad memories then you can easily relate while watching (your) children.  Here we go.

Close your eyes and think back to a time when you were playing with your brother or sister or cousin or neighbourhood kid.  Now, recall when a bag of chips came out.  The bag was cautiously opened by an adult to ensure minimum spillage.  The glorious contents of the bag were then deployed into an awaiting cavernous bowl.  YES!  Junk food!  Chips!  Woo hoo!  You would think this would be an amazing event and all would be happy.  NOT! Why?  Well, if there was a younger (spoiled) sibling it got ruined.  Who got the biggest chip?  Who got the chip with the most flavour toppings on it?  Once you got down to the end of the bowl, how could it be divided evenly?  Does this sound like your family?  Chips were a special food group in our humble abode.  Now, let’s ramp up the crazy and discuss the genius solution that my brother and I came up with in order to ensure equality.

Me:  There aren’t too many chips in this bag.

Bro:  I know.

Me:  Our two cousins are here so we need to make sure we share or we’ll get in trouble.

Bro:  I know!  Let’s crush the chips so there’s more of ’em!

Me:  Great idea!

Well, truth be told, we actually had our cousins help us crunch up the chips into bitty pieces so that there would be more pieces for everyone to share. Genius right?  Perhaps, but eating chip crumbs wasn’t that great.

Now, let’s discuss family meal time.  How about that can of pork and beans!  I loved this canned delight!  Honestly, when I saw that on the dinner table I was mega-excited!  As a child I loved the thickness of the sauce and how tasty it was.  However, there was a glitch…pork.  The can stated there was “pork” and beans in its innards.  How true!  Imagine a family of six.  Two adults and four children.  There was a “pork” inside.  One “pork” in the pork and beans.  Who would be lucky to get the “pork”.  If you have never had the honour of digesting the contents of a can of pork ‘n’ beans, you cannot really understand the need to be the “Chosen One” to get that insignificant little fatty piece of bacon.  You want Food Fight!  Bring it on!  This was where the debate began of who was worthy.  To this day, I view this canned good as a vessel of divisive evil.

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Moving right along we come to the eternal evil: CEREAL!  I do believe that serial killer was hatched from the word CEREAL!  From childhood to grandparenthood I do not find that cereal has good qualities.  I shall explain.

Cereal commercials show the benefits of these boxed glorified sugar bandits.  They contain fibre, vitamins, iron, petroleum, fairy dust and other things we know nothing about.  For some reason, as children, the FUN cereals were the ones that led to the most trouble.  Do you recall “Count Chocula”?  Healthy breakfast?  Heck no!  We wanted it because it would make chocolate milk.  When my mother actually bought a box we children stood there in awe trying to figure out the type of hostage situation we would have to deal with.   There it was.  The box of our imagination.  It was in front of eyes.  Not only did we get our dream cereal but there was a prize inside!  Oops.  There was the catch.  Since we were only permitted about a 1/4 cup of that prized cereal to mix with our Rice Krispies and Honey Comb cereal we had no idea who would be the lucky one to get the prize.  Dissension occurred.  What if Mom picked the youngest child out of pity?  What it the child with the best grades got the prize?  What if it meant being nicest to mom?  What were the rules to getting the prize?  You want insane behaviour?  Find a child surrounded by other children competing for the two-cent prize in a cereal box.  The rules changed.  You were never ready.

The same deal for the Cracker Jack box.  Lovely box with caramel popcorn.  There was a prize inside.  Gadzooks!  If one child got the prize there was always a fight.  Honestly, the prizes were crap, but it was always about who got something more than the other kid.  You solo kids…you missed out on all the drama in life.

 

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The same holds true for marshmallows in hot chocolate.  You had better ensure that each child gets the same amount of marshmallows in that brown frothy goodness.  That is a misstep that parents make and it leads to traumatic psychiatric treatments.

Popsicles?  Same drama.  For some reason that mixed box of popsicles should only contain purple and red.  Why is there an orange flavour for children?  In the olden days only red and purple were of any use.  They were like the gold bullion of frozen sugar water. Orange?  Bleh.

SUMMARY:  Food fights.  Jealous food fisticuffs are all about who got what and why or who was deemed more deserving.  Perhaps the world is better off with real food fights.  Although I have never partaken in such a vigorous display of displeasure, I have seen reels of The Three Stooges throwing cream pies at many an adversary.  What did I learn?  It appears that the evil ones were stymied.  The good, although creamed, being recipients of said sugary confections, appeared to be satisfactory with the results of their actions.  In plain English:  FOOD FIGHT!!!!!   Whip it!  Whip it Good!   (Let’s “LOL” you children of the ’80s)

 

How hot was it ?

“It was so hot, that while driving home, I believe my underwear melted.”  This was the comment I made to co-workers back in 2001.  My awesome Toyota Tercel decided that since it was volcano temperature outside, it would be best for my air conditioning to stop working.  Boo hoo for me.

I believe I am a magnet for failed air conditioning systems.  Honestly.  In 2010, on the hottest day of the year, the air conditioning unit in the building conked out.  We needed a new thinga-ma-jiggy.  Since the building was old, the part would hopefully be in, (yes, hopefully) within 2 days.  Luckily, it was ONLY two days.  It was difficult trying to figure out what to wear as NAKED was not an option.  My profession (phone picker upper and paper filer) does not allow for that type of wardrobe.  As such, summer dresses that absorbed all heat related moisture were the winners of those two days.

Flash forward.  The year is 2011.  The place is still the same building.  The inspection at the beginning of spring for the air conditioning:  “Yes, it’s all working well, but your fan might need replacing in the A/C unit”.  Uh huh.  Didn’t get a good vibe off that report.  Now, what do you think happened?  Weather report:  “Heat advisory is in effect for….”   NO!  Not again!  Day one of sweltering summer and….hmmm, all is well.  Air is on.  Coolness in the building.  Great!  Day two…back in the building and internal temperature reads:  Dante’s inferno.  How comforting.  Much better news when repair technician showed up.  He had “connections” so he would be back with the part in the morning.  As in NEXT morning?  Waaaaaaah!

I do realize that it’s that time of year again.  Summer!  How exciting!  Fantastically wonderful for all you sun worshippers and pool owners.  Those who despise our Canadian winters can’t wait for this time of year.

I myself prefer fall.  That time of year when all you need is a light sweater to be comfortable.  There is nothing dripping off the edge of your nose.  There are NO mosquitos.  You rarely get sunburned in the fall.   The foliage changes to such wonderful colours.  You can sit around a campfire and roast marshmallows because it’s not too cold and not too hot.  See, all these positives.  Yay autumn!

So, you summer-loving-sun-lovers…I need you to explain to me WHY this is your preferred season?  I really am trying to find the good points, but losing pints of sweat is not a bonus in my books.  Laying very still every night on my bed, wide awake, as I wait to feel a bit of chill off the ceiling fan on my hot feet.  Even trying to find a cold spot on the bed…that’s like trying to find a parking spot at the mall at christmastime…virtually IMPOSSIBLE!  The thought of turning my stove on…ugh.  The thought of ice cream for dinner is a definite possibility.  At least I am not adding to the unbearable heat.

I am sure I will hear the lecture about the “dry” heat compared to “humid” heat.  Yes, opening my door to leave the house reminds me of opening my oven door…except there is no yummy smell.  It’s a wall of hot air that stifles my breathing.  (This is only comparable to its polar opposite of extreme cold in wintertime.  You know…that first deep breath of cold air that will make your lungs want to collapse.)

Quick flashback…remember the days of yore when there was no air conditioning?  The family would pack up bed sheets and / or the top mattress and bring it all downstairs into the cool, dank basement so that you could get some sleep.  My parents grew up with many siblings and were used to sleeping together in one room.  Ixnay for that working with our family.  There were body odours and the accidentally released (hee hee) gases that would fumigate the room.  BUT…at least it was cooler.  During the day you would pretend to get water from the kitchen sink…then sneak some open- fridge-door-cooling-off time.  My mother could hear that fridge door every time.  You tried anyway and the reward was worth it.  Aaaaaahhhh, cool cool air.

So here we are again.  Extreme heat warning.  Drink lots of water.  Find places that have air conditioning.  Don’t think about the air conditioning at work.  No need to let IT know that summer is here.   Think cool thoughts.  If all else fails, I’ll just keep checking the flyers for sales on underwear.