Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Quotent Quotables: Next time I'll tell you about other gross problems I've had.

It was so hot you could hear the mayonnaise go bad.
-- Hungry, from "Thunderstruck, And Other Stories" by Elizabeth McCracken.

Three times in my life I've eaten mayonnaise that's gone bad. The first time time was when we took a family trip to South Dakota as kids, and we had some food in a cooler to eat lunch with at a park. The mayo had turned, as they say, and we ate some and everyone got a bit sick. That trip wasn't memorable for that, but it was memorable for my mom expressing bitter disappointment in us kids when we visited Spearfish Falls, and she wanted us to go under the waterfall for a picture. The water was extremely cold, and we didn't want to, so we complained our way through the picture.

The other time was on Xmas Eve, when I went to my brother Bill's house the year he was going to host. Xmas Eve was a big deal in our family, and I'm not sure why Bill got to host it that year; traditionally, when we were kids, the event had traded back and forth between my parents and my Uncle Joe's house, as he and my mother engaged in a fierce rivalry to be the head of the family after my grandma died.

Bill had made some dip that he served in a bread bowl. I arrived in the afternoon and ate some, and then got violently sick on the way back to my 1-room apartment in the bad part of town. Later, I asked him how long the dip had been out. He said since the morning.

The third time was my fault. In law school, they'd been handing out free sandwiches for some group, and I took one (it was wrapped), put it in my backpack and later on transferred it to my 'fridge in my apartment in the bad part of town. The next morning I had it for breakfast, and it must have spoiled while in my backpack, because I got supersick again. Sweetie, who I was just dating then, came all the way from her house (about 60 miles away) to help take care of me. She always said I couldn't have had food poisoning because I either did, or didn't, have a fever. I don't remember which it was but whatever condition I had, Sweetie said was the opposite of food poisoning.

In the story, [SPOILER ALERT!] a grandma is taking care of a her granddaughter because the girl's dad -- grandma's son -- is in the hospital. The girl doesn't eat the mayo, but while they're at the party the dad dies in the hospital. Either way, mayo at a party seems like it's a bad sign.

As further proof of the evil qualities of mayo, consider this: when I first began dating Sweetie, I went to Thanksgiving at her parent's house, and I brought with me a can of jellied cranberries, my second-favorite thing about Thanksgiving. I suspect that my mother-in-law saw that as an insult, and has been trying to passive-aggressively pay me back since then for the (perceived) insult. (I only brought them because Sweetie said she made her own cranberry sauce, and I thought everyone [mostly me] should also have some that came from a can).

One year, she handed me a plate of what looked like jellied cranberries and said "Oh here, try some." When I got suspicious because serving canned cranberries was out of her nature I said What are they?

"Beets," she said, and I passed.

Another year, even worse, she presented a Jell-O (TM) mold, cranberry colored with white cream in the middle and orange flecks here and there.  "It's cranberry Jell-O" she said. "I figured you'd like it."

I started to serve myself some and asked what the orange flecks were.  "They're carrots," she said, before admitting that the center of the mold, the white stuff, was mayonnaise.


Liz A. said...

I've never been able to abide mayonnaise. It's just... Ick.

I'm strange. Many of the things that are staples in most people's lives I can't stand. Mustard. Coffee. (Hot drinks, generally.) Soda.

Andrew Leon said...

Mayo in jello! That's...
I think I want to be sick just thinking about that.
It sounds like the start of some horror/sci-fi thing.