Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I must learn how to shop

In many ways, I'm like Tarzan, or maybe Nell, the title character in that Jodie Foster movie; by all legal definitions an adult, yet utterly lacking in certain simple, basic areas of sophistication that civilized human beings take for granted. One of those areas being the use of very simple tools, including the Big Basic Three; hammer, screwdriver and pliers. I have been known to attempt to substitute any or all of those tools for each other. Another area being shopping. I'm just now starting to figure out some of the subtle nuances I wasn't aware of before, such as loading up on mass quantities of things isn't necessarily a great idea, even if there is a pretty terrific deal involved. Case in point, the Special Of The Week at the Land & Sea Market is incredible. Check it out:

8 Sirloin Burgers or 1 lb Bratwurst plus
2 Stuffed Chicken Breasts (11 varieties to choose from) plus
4 Chicken Burgers or 2 lbs Ground Chicken plus
1 lb Deli Ham or Turkey or Ground Sirloin plus
½ lb Signature Apple Walnut Chicken Salad or ½ lb Spinach and Artichoke Dip or 1 lb Greek Potato Salad
WITH YOUR CHOICE OF: 1-1/2 lbs Cooked Baby Back Ribs or 2 lb Chicken Wings or 1 lb Red Snapper Fillet

For...are you ready for this? Sit down because you won't believe it...$24.99!!!

I know, right? Impossible, or at least impractical, to pass up!
The problem is, being the sole resident of a single (human) resident household, this is far too much food to eat in a reasonable amount of time. Sure, much of it can be frozen and thawed out later, which I did, but not everything will work that way. So last night I decided to have some of the Apple Walnut Chicken Salad (an item not suitable for freezing when I bought it) for dinner. I looked at the container and it said "SELL BY AUGUST 4th". With yesterday being the 8th, I reasoned that "SELL BY" doesn't mean "EAT BY" and there must be a little margin for error and I was still well within a seven day range, so it was probably good to go. But for safety sake, I thought I'd better try a little sample first so I just tried a forkful. The first thing I thought upon tasting it was "wow, this is really spicy! Is it Cajun style?", because everything inside my mouth immediately began tingling. It kind of tasted like what I imagine the sparks coming off a saw sharpening machine must taste like. That was replaced by a really sour taste. I'm pretty sure everything that ever goes bad turns into some form of vinegar because while there may or may not have been any in there before, there definitely was some now. I figured that must be the apples decomposing. It took less than a quarter of a second for me to figure out that if the apples had turned, then surely the chicken couldn't be in good shape either and that could be really traumatic. Problem was that whatever had initially stunned me had numbed my mouth like Novacaine, or more accurately, the stings of hundreds of little red ants, or one scorpion. So now as I'm trying to spit it out, my lips and tongue are impaired and not cooperating with each other in effectively ejecting the contents from my mouth. As a result, it was less an emphatic spit of toxic material being expelled quickly than a lazy tumbling of partially chewed food falling out of my face and into the sink. I immediately washed down what was left with a big glass of milk...after checking the expiration date.
Next time, I will definitely eat the Apple Walnut Chicken Salad first.

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