Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Conspiracy of the Weather and Food Gods

This past Monday, I awoke with a clear purpose in mind: make the food I had promised to bring to the Memorial Day potluck (fruit salad, lettuce salad, and brownies). The only one that required any actual cooking were the brownies, but I still hadn’t bought the ingredients for the salads. No matter. Even though Zach was at work (and therefore had the car), it’s only a five-block trek to Aldi: down the steep hill, through a strip of woods, around the edge of the park by the cemetery, and up another hill to the store. Easy peasy.

After finishing up some other projects, I glanced out the window. The sky looked heavy and gray, but it hadn’t rained yet, so I figured I’d just zip over to the store and back on my bike. I hauled Shep (good name for a bike, yes?) out of the laundry room, hopped on, and zoomed down the hill (incidentally, I’m not in good enough shape to pedal my way back to the top of that hill— I have to walk my bike). Just as I reached the bottom, I felt a couple sharp drops of rain slap against my arms. Not feeling in the mood to turn back now, I pedaled faster. Within 30 seconds, the raindrops escalated into a monsoon, driving cold globs of water into my skin and eyes until it blinded and choked me. 

I skidded to a stop under a tree and caught my breath, yelling, “Well okay then! I won’t go to the store!” The rain immediately subsided. But then I broke my promise to the weather, and that’s when my karma started going all wrong.

Soaked completely through, I biked the remaining distance to the store, spraying up muddy water with each stroke of my pedal. At last I staggered up to the Aldi, shoved a quarter into the slot to release a cart, pulled out the cart, and rammed it toward the door. It wasn’t until then that I noticed the store was dark.

They were closed for Memorial Day.

At that point, I exclaimed, “Duuuuuuh!”, which drew some weird looks from the passersby. Reclaiming my dignity, I returned the cart and sauntered back to my bike, pretending that I was just out for a stroll.

Back at home, I changed out of my sopping clothes and wrote my dear husband a distressed note begging him to pick up some lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas before he left Walmart for the day. Then, shaking my head, I clomped downstairs to make the brownies. I hummed as I whipped up the batter.

When I opened the preheated oven, a wave of cold air greeted me. The oven was broken. 

Yeah, the food gods had it out for me that day. 

Fortunately, the story has a happy ending: Zach came to my rescue with a bag of produce, and I was able to bake the brownies at the potluck instead of at my house. Still, I guess I learned my lesson about making promises to the weather.


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