"Here," she said, and held the bag of Cheese Puffs out towards me as I approached.
I'm no dummy. I stopped and backed off and Sweetie in response jabbed them at my face so the opening of the bag was put around my chin and I had no choice but to inhale.
Which was mean because...
...the Cheese Puffs smell like farts.*
*I am aware that the subject matter of this blog is getting increasingly gross. I blame it on the fact that it is approximately March 23 -- I'm too lazy and seasonally affective disordered and cabin feverish to even know what the date is anymore -- and there is still four inches of snow on the ground and it's 24 degrees today. Somewhere, the sun is shining and people are outside laughing and skipping, probably, and basking in the warm glow of the life-giving golden rays that gleam down upon them, wearing shorts and t-shirts and thinking "How wonderful life is! How special!" Here in Wisconsin, there is snow and all is poop.
That is the newest entry on "The Great Ranking Of Problems:" smelly Cheese Puffs. Although maybe it should be smelly things that ought not to be smelly, in general, since that seems to be the way the trend is going.
Here is a list of things that smell awful with no reason for doing so:
1. Egg McMuffins.
2. Boiled eggs.
3. Cheese puffs when first opened.
4. Lately, Hershey Bars when first opened, too.
These things did not always smell this way to me, and I am worried that this is a side effect aging. Maybe, as we get older, things start to smell more and more disgusting? Things that aren't disgusting already, I mean? Fish, for example, has always smelled disgusting, but that is because fish is fish, and fish are gross. But Cheese Puffs and Egg McMuffins are not gross or disgusting. They are more towards the wonderful end of the spectrum:
I mean, Egg McMuffins would not be all the way over to the right hand side, but they wouldn't be anywhere near the left-hand side, either. And yet, they're edging that way, or have moved over there, because some years ago -- way back before I was even married to Sweetie, when I lived in a small crummy apartment on the bad part of town only we didn't know it was that bad, and she lived elsewhere in a nice apartment on the nice part of town, we were for some reason at my apartment, and I went across the street to get her an Egg McMuffin for breakfast --
-- that is how you know you're not living in a great neighborhood: there is a fast food restaurant across the street. But I liked the convenience.--
--and then I went out for a jog and then I came back about twenty minutes later and the entire apartment stunk.
It was the Egg McMuffins, and also the beginning of the long slow decline into a stinky seniorhood. For some reason, eggs were first. Egg McMuffins were the first, and then eggs came along, but for a few years at least, that was it. It was limited to egg-based foods for some reason smelling terrible, which was okay because the only time it really affected me was if we made egg salad at home, something that we only do really when I wheedle Sweetie into it, because when I make egg salad it is bland and hopeless.
Literally hopeless: my egg salad is so bland it seems to sap one's will to go on. I'm not sure why that is. I make it the same way Sweetie does, I think, with the exception that I boil the eggs into submission because I am not 100% sure how long it takes to hard-boil an egg and let's face it, neither are you or anybody else in the world. Nobody really knows what's going on in that egg, and to be really really sure that it's hard-boiled you have to see inside it. Which you can't do, so you have to guess.
And don't go on with your "science" this and "two minutes" that. I am aware that in theory you could know that the application of a certain level of heat for a certain amount of time would hard boil an egg, but (A) I don't know how long that is and I refuse to be the kind of person who looks up how to boil an egg because that seems like admitting defeat, I'm not sure by who I would be defeated but I am totally sure that it would be a defeat and (B) how do you know your water is that hot? Or not that hot? The only thing you know for sure about boiling water is it's at least 212 degrees (Fahrenheit, which is the only degrees temperatures really respect.) but it could be hotter, maybe, if you are way above sea level. Or less hot. I'm not sure how that works. Or where I am above sea level. See how complicated this is? Suddenly I've got to use Higgs Bosons to make some egg salad, and they don't even exist!
So what I do is I boil the eggs for a long time. Like 20 minutes. Maybe. I don't know exactly how long I boil them for. I'm not a great cook anymore because I tend to get distracted while I'm cooking. Either I'm watching Netflix on my computer while I cook or Mr F wants me to tickle him or Mr Bunches is actually letting me play Sky Racers airplanes (I always have to be the Scorpion Plane because he doesn't like that one), or something. So maybe I don't boil them for 20 minutes. Maybe it's two minutes. Maybe it's an hour. Who cares? They're eggs. I boil them until I'm tired of boiling them or I've eaten something else because I got too hungry waiting for the eggs to boil, which I tend to do because my egg salad is so awfully bland, it's really not worth eating. Egg salad, for me, is largely theoretical these days.
Anyway, Sweetie makes better egg salad than me, but not very often, probably because of the smell of eggs, which sticks around for a few days. But her egg salad is very good, and doesn't leave you feeling suicidal at all, the way mine does. I can't even bear to eat it. I am the only person in the world whose egg salad needs it's own special hotline for help.
"Hello?' a quavering voice would say when the operator picks up. "It all seems so pointless, suddenly," the person would add, and the specially-trained therapist on the other end would recommend just ordering a pizza.
If the Creeping Smell of Doom had stopped with infecting eggs, I'd have been okay with it, but, as I said, lately it has started up again, first with the Cheese Puffs, which I noticed one day when I opened a bag of Cheese Puffs for Mr F and out wafted a stinky smell, and I thought:
"Well, that was weird."
But lots of weird things happen and, frankly, lots of weird smells happen, and after I inspected the Cheese Puffs they seemed okay, and so I gave them to Mr F, but I noticed that happening a lot with the Cheese Puffs, and one day I told Sweetie about it, and she agreed with me that it was happening, which at first reassured me that I was not going crazy but then made me worry that there's something wrong, either with my marriage (why wouldn't Sweetie confide in me that she thought the Cheese Puffs were stinky?) or with our world (why are Cheese Puffs stinky, at all?) or maybe with me after all (What if I'd imagined the conversation with Sweetie and not only was the smell in my head but now I was living in an imaginary world? Is Sweetie real? ARE YOU?)
And then, one day, Mr F wanted a Hershey Chocolate Bar, which we buy in bulk. I got one out and tore it open, and it smelled weird, too. In fact, it smelled like eggs/cheese puffs!
I haven't mentioned that to Sweetie yet. I'm not sure which direction I need this to go. But the Cheese Puff smell hasn't gone away and now I'm wondering what will be affected by it next, and whether this has something to do with the Patriot Act, which everyone seems to have forgotten about what with the drones and all, but it's still out there, doing something.
Stinky Cheese Puffs, I rate you: Problem Level 115, but I'm going to upgrade that if it continues to worsen.
Prior entries on The Great Ranking Of Problems:
20. Shower spiders.72. The pen ran dry midway through my signature (legal documents)
76: Family members imposing their diets on me
99: Spousal PB&J Incompatibility.
100. Sweetie's advice to wear a sports bra while running.
103. Mail being delivered at the wrong time of the day.
115. Stinky Cheese Puffs. (Subject to change.)
173: Preshoveling & reshoveling snow.
212:: What to do about stuff I was going to buy but then it broke in the store and now I still want to buy the stuff but I don't want to buy something that was broken?
413: Guilt Over Meanness To Sentient Paperclips
. . .
502: Having to wait forever, seemingly, for Italian food to cool down.
. . .
721: Printer not holding a lot of paper at once.
...2,624: Unidentifiable Mystery Song Stuck In Head.
...5,000: Lopsided Nail Clipping.
. . .
8.766: Uncertainty over how long my magazine subscriptions last.
13,334: The pen ran dry midway through my signature (signing stuff that doesn't really matter at all, so why am I signing it?)
14,452: Worrying that there's too much peanut brittle leftover to eat before it goes bad.
15,451: Almost napping.
22,372: Having hair which isn't quite a definable color.
22,373: Having too many songs on an iPod
22,374: My iPod won't let me skip songs while running.