'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
A RECIPE FOR DISASTER
Recently I did something rather bold and dangerous: I volunteered to cook dinner a few nights each week.
Actually, I made this same offer about ten years ago. At that time, our kids were past grammar school age, so my wife went back to work full time. We now were leaving the house at the same time in the morning to go to work, and coming home exhausted at the same time each evening. But once we got home, our routines were slightly different. I would sit on the couch with the newspaper and call out, “So what’s for dinner?”
My wife, who was not sitting on the couch with the newspaper, but rather out in the kitchen trying to whip up something for us to eat, would reply in a quivering voice, “Oh, something I’m sure you’ll enjoy, dear.”
I found out afterward the reason here voice quivered was because of a Dr. Strangelove-like internal struggle she was having, as her right hand reached for a butcher’s knife while her left hand restrained her right arm and reminded her that even justifiable homicide was sort of a violation of the Ten Commandments.
Back then, when I finally realized our routine was kind of unfair, I volunteered to make dinner. But when I put a can of Dinty Moore beef stew in the microwave oven for eleven minutes on high—still in the can, unopened—we never did eat that night because we spent the whole evening pulling pieces of shrapnel from the kitchen walls.
My little faux pas (French for “dumb like a fox”) got me off the hook for a while, but now the unfairness of the situation has once again, um, shall we say, come up for discussion. (A little home repair hint: spackle nicely covers up those butcher knife holes in the wall just above one’s head by the couch.) So, in the interest of fairness (and self-preservation) I have again nobly volunteered to make dinner.
The first thing I did was make a list of the various dinners I confidently know I can prepare (especially now that I understand cans must be opened first before they’re put into the microwave for eleven minutes on high). Here is the entire list:
At first I was rather proud of myself. Seven different meals. Theoretically I could make dinner every night of the week. And as a bonus, I pointed out to my wife, certain words she abhors are noticeably absent from my list: McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and KFC.
However, for some strange reason she was not impressed. So here’s the situation, folks. I need help. I need my loyal readers, all four of you, to send dinner recipes to me at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
I’m open for all recipe suggestions, as long as they meet certain minimum requirements: they must be really tasty, really easy to prepare, and really easy to clean up afterward. If you send in some good stuff, I’ll achieve two goals: I’ll be a hero at home, and I’ll be able to milk your email responses for at least two more columns. So don’t be shy, send in those recipes.
Oh, and one more requirement: only recipes that do NOT require butcher knives, please.
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