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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

You’re Late… and Why Do You Smell Like a Heineken Brewery?

I had a bit of a rough morning. Oh, it started out innocently enough — I woke up as usual, and padded into the office to check my email, look at the blog stats, read comments. Standard stuff, really. After a half-hour or so of piddle-dicking around, I decided I was hungry. So, I got up, detoured around the dog (sleeping in the middle of the doorway — I swear, that mutt has some sort of detector to determine the very epicenter of ‘in my fricking way’, so she can plop her fat ass in exactly the most inconvenient spot imaginable), and headed for the kitchen.

Once there, I snagged myself a Pop-Tart (low-fat, but frosted; I’m all about compromises), and a plastic sippy cup for milk. I had to use the ‘safe’ cup — and forego toasting my Pop-Tart — because this was all happening at around eight-thirty in the morning. And I am not to be trusted around glass objects or electrical appliances at eight-thirty in the fricking morning. I’m lucky if I can successfully operate my underpants at that hour.

(As I’ve mentioned many times before, I am under no circumstances a ‘morning person’. The world becomes tolerable at around ten, maybe ten-thirty am. Before that, I don’t want to be talked to, looked at, touched, or even erotically diddled.

Well, okay, maybe diddled. Gently. Just don’t talk to me or look at me while you’re doing it. Or wait until eleven. We’ll both get much more out of the experience then.)

Anyway, Pop-Tart and cup successfully procured, I shuffled over to the fridge to see about the milk. I opened the door — and two beer bottles from the topmost door shelf (placed there ‘temporarily’ a few days ago, when we had to cram a bunch of food on the other shelves) came careening down, past my nose and onto the floor. One of the beer bottles was fine, and suffered only moderate foamage in the fall.

The other bottle… well, let’s just say that there’s no direction in which you can stretch the word ‘fine’ to describe the state of bottle number two. Pieces of it lay on the inside of the fridge, up against the salad crisper. Much of it lay on the kitchen floor, shattered. I eventually found bits of it a few feet away, in the hall outside the kitchen. This bottle was many things, friends, but none of them was ‘fine’.

(By the way… ‘salad crisper’? Come on. Who made up that name, anyway? Some hotshot at Amana who wanted to suggest that the fridge was somehow going to magically ‘encrispen‘ the salad veggies? Please.

The drawer might be configured in such a way to keep the things crisp, or encourage them to stay crisp, but I would be extremely skeptical of any claims that the cheap, non-airtight plastic bin in my refrigerator is somehow going to impart crispness to my vegetables out of thin air. So it’s not, in the strictest sense, a ‘crisper‘.

Now, the oven? That’s a crisper. Those burners on the top of the stove — also crispers. I’ve dropped more than my share of soft, fleshy items on those things (yeah, you probably just don’t wanna ask), and without exception, they became crispy. Ooh, and flamethrowers, too — I’ve never operated one myself, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that those things are all about the encrispening.

In fact, pretty much anything with fire is a good candidate for a ‘crisper’. A plastic basket in the fridge — not so much. You can see my frustration here.)

Anyway, back to the mess. There I was, soggy Pop-Tart in hand, squinting with contact lens-less eyes at a floorful of glass shards and hand-crafted lager. Bitches. For a while, I toyed with the idea of just letting the dog lick up the beer, and then sweeping whatever was left into a dustpan. But while that would have been a very easy cleanup option, I’m pretty sure that I’d have to explain exactly how the dog came to have several bits of brown glass ground into her tongue. And that could be a tricky question to answer next time we’re at the vet’s office, so I looked for a ‘Plan B’.

Unfortunately, the only other alternative seemed to be the distasteful one — thoroughly, carefully, and painstakingly clean up the damned mess myself. At a quarter til nine in the morning. With no contacts, and therefore a non-blurry visibility of about four inches in front of my nose. Still, there wasn’t much else I could do. The mess blocked my way to the upstairs bathroom, where my contacts were. And the beer would get all sticky and gross if I left it very long. I thought of just washing my hands of the whole thing, and walking out the back door into a new life somewhere else… but I was wearing only boxer shorts and a T-shirt, and it was roughly Antarctica-minus-four degrees outside. Given that, and the fact that I couldn’t see my toes clearly, much less the road to speed away into oblivion, and I decided that I should take the hit, and clean the shit up.

It was a long and arduous process. Many brave paper towels were lost on the battlefield, two kitchen rags will never smell quite right again, and the ‘salad crisper’ is still, several hours later, somewhat damp and soggy.

(A soggy crisper. Ooh, the irony is just delicious, isn’t it? This is why I get paid the big bucks, folks.)

Anyway, after a half-hour or so of this nonsense — wiping, and sweeping, and scrubbing, and rubbing — I was finally able to call the job ‘finished’ and get the hell back to my morning, already in progress. By that time, I was late for work, so I scarfed down the Pop-Tart, took a shower, popped in my contacts, and hit the door. Though not before slipping back into the kitchen briefly, where I was smacked in the face by a veritable wave of stale beer odor. The wife’s gonna think I’ve been having secret keggers in there after she goes to work in the morning. I wish, honey — I wish.

(And actually, now that I’ve thought of it, I’ll work on making that happen. A couple of mid-morning brewskies could do wonders for my outlook on the world at that hour.)

So, that was my morning. Spilled beer, big catastrophe, late to work — just another episode in the ‘Life of Charlie’. And in the aftermath, I think I’m probably most upset about the waste of hoppy goodness. I had plans for that beer, dammit, and several of its closest friends, as well. ‘Tis sad to see a lager cut down like that, in the prime of its barley-kiss’d youth.

(Heh? Yeah? All poetic and shit, ain’t it? See? I can pull that shit outta my ass when I have to. You know.)

Anyway, that’s my story. I suppose the moral is either to always open your rerigerator door slowly and look out for falling beer, or to just never get the hell out of bed before ten am, so these sorts of things don’t happen. Or possibly, it’s to keep a spare outfit and a pair of glasses by the kitchen door at all times, so you can always get dressed and vanish forever when something goes horribly, horribly wrong in the kitchen. Hell, I don’t know — maybe it’s ‘all of the above’. You figure it out. I got a kitchen full of beer smell — I don’t have time to do everything around here. Sheesh.

Permalink  |  6 Comments

6 Responses to “You’re Late… and Why Do You Smell Like a Heineken Brewery?”

  1. Adrienne says:

    Poor beer. You know that breaking a beer bottle and threfor wasting the beer constitutes alcohol abuse.

  2. tj says:

    oh you’re killing me here. the soggy crisper was genius. sheer genius.

  3. P says:

    since the kitchen already smells like the morning after of a frat kegger, why not go all the way and install the keg fridge?!

    seriously though, you don’t start work until 10:30? man, i’m nearly half-way through my day by then…

  4. Jeff A says:

    You just never know what your going to get when you come here. It may be something as simple as a new word like boobered to something as complex as trying to settle your mind after reading the words soggy crisper together like that.

    If your going to talk about strange names for appliances why not talk on the subject of “hot” water heaters? Who the hell started calling them that anyway? Friggen moron if you ask me. And speking of oxy-morons (we were talking about them right) what the hell is a jumbo shrimp? and how do you do synchronized solo swimming? My head hurts now, I am going to bed!

  5. veezer says:

    Once, while chasing ice crystals for a liquor/cola concoction, I opened the freezer door, causing a cascade of plastic wrapped, frozen flesh. I creatively broke the fall of a rather large roast with one of my toes, causing the word broke to be an apt choice. Yow. Sadly, this does not compare to the hoppy goodness sacrifice.

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