Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Val, of the Cast-Iron Stomach

Last week, I dropped my fork at lunch.

The reaction of my dining companions was a bit overblown. You'd think a new inmate had lost his grip on a bar of Irish Spring in the communal shower. That a wide receiver had contracted a severe case of butterfingers in the end zone during the final two seconds of Super Bowl double overtime. That Michael Jackson had dangled his baby, Blanket, over a hotel balcony. Even Mr. Principal offered to get me a new fork.

"Guys! It's okay. I'll get it." I scooted my fork out from under the table with my foot. Wiped it on my shirtfront, And commenced to eatin'. They looked at me like a cat watching its owner step into a shower. Like a vegan watching a competitive eater take on the Big Texan 72 oz. Steak Challenge. Like a toddler watching an adult voluntarily receive a flu shot.

Obviously, these people had never eaten a piece of garlic toast dropped on the top step of the basement stairs. Or a slice of sausage that flipped off the top of the microwave and onto the classroom tiles. Or fed their toddler the half of a chocolate chip granola bar that he squeezed until it fell onto the cat-infested-garage floor. It's floor food, people! Not detritus fished from a cesspool or bucket of pus. Floor food!

And by the way, there's no five-second rule. It will be good for a couple of hours if you don't have indoor pets. Were you all grown in Petri dishes and nurtured under antiseptic conditions? What if you have to travel to India? And dine at a market stall on delicacies that have been marinating in their own juices under the blazing sun and insect feet? Or get invited to Korea, and are offered kimchi? Or visit New York, and the only food you can afford is a hot dog from a sidewalk cart?

Rank amateurs!


Leenie said...

I'm with you on this one. People who eat hot dogs and brats meant for the pup, or Floor Food will rule the world when the clean freak wimps die off.

I do draw the line at food covered with beach sand or campground dirt.

Stephen Hayes said...

I'm not too picky when it comes to this sort of thing. Mrs. Chatterbox is much pickier than I am.

Sioux said...

At our house, we have a two second-check-it-out rule. Having a Golden Retriever in the house (he only goes out once a month to take a dump; if he leaves the house more frequently, he loses his spot on the couch), we have dog hair on most of the floor surface.

("Hey, do you guys have beige shag carpeting?"

Umm, no. We have wood floors. That's Foley fur, not carpeting.)

When something is dropped, we wrench open the dog's mouth (he DOES leap off the couch when he hears food drop), yank it out of his gullet, and see if there is any visible dog hair attached to it. If the food item appears to be doghair-free, it can be safely eaten.

Yes, your colleagues are weaklings. Germs. Dust. Grime. Grit. It makes us stronger.

Tammy said...

As a sub, I can't help but notice that science teachers absolutely NEVER have antibacterial goop in their classrooms. That tells me something...besides the fact that eighth-grade boys think of it as weaponry, that is.

Val said...

That's a sensible standard you've set for yourself. That grit might cause dental problems.

I suppose it's a good thing she does the lion's share of food preparation. Or, if she doesn't, that she is blissfully unaware of your laxity in this matter.

All right. You take the contaminated-food cake. The one that somebody left out in the rain. You must be a true Iron Woman.

Well, sorry to be an outlier in your statistics, but of the three science teachers in my building, I alone have Germ-X. But only by the tissue box. Because we had a mini-epidemic of flu and whooping cough this year, due to people not thinking like a science teacher and getting their children a flu shot. As far as everyday germs...pshaw! The kids can marinate in that stuff and turn out tough as nails.

Let the record show, however, that I put my Germ-X away after lunch, because eleventh-grade boys sniff it, fling it on each other, use it as hair gel, and leave dollops on the floor that act as dust magnets.