Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Coleslaw Incident

One thing that you would probably enjoy knowing about me, is that I am a fucking clumsy ass mess. Really, at any given time or place, I'm a 108lb bull in a china shop. By body is perpetually covered in horrifically unsexy bruises from run-ins with furniture, gym equipment, walls, canines, and any other object that might have a chance encounter with my person. I am not exaggerating this whatsoever -- to the extent that my doctor once prodded me to admit that I was a victim of domestic abuse. The latest crop of bruises include some scabby ones on my wrist and forearm from falling off a barstool. It was not one of my finer moments, considering that I wasn't exactly drunk at the time.

Luckily for me, I'm also fairly resilient. I've never broken a bone despite various feats of injury, which include getting thrown on my face by a wave as a kid, and having my braces insert themselves into my lower lip, getting hit head-on by a truck (a truck!) on my bike when I was 15, and the recent incident with a patch of ice that sent the bone in my elbow tearing through both my skin and a $150 cashmere sweater.

Some of the clumsiness is inherent -- after all, I was born pigeon toed. This was self corrected after the torment of junior high set in coupled with threats of surgery from my parents, who hated having a "defective" kid. But some of it is just plain laziness. One thing I would probably benefit from learning is not to pick up containers by their lids. This morning while preparing breakfast, I sent an entire canister of oatmeal careening to the floor. Sophie looked at the mess, and then with perfect comedic timing, darted her head up to look at me, eyes as wide as dinner plates. Since it was just oatmeal, (and not broken glass like the last time this happened) I laughed. This seemed to rest her nerves, and she tentatively approached the mess on the floor. Only after I said, "It's okay, you can have some" she gingerly tasted a nibble and then looked up at me again, confused as to whether or not she was supposed be be enjoying this impromptu snack.

As I was cleaning up dry oatmeal this morning, I got to thinking about the Coleslaw Incident. The Coleslaw Incident was one of the most fantastically outstanding messes I've ever had the good fortune of making in my entire life. I can't think of too many complimentary things to say about my mother, but if nothing else the woman makes a mean fucking coleslaw. The perfect combination of sweet and savory -- my mother's coleslaw is a finely-shredded (no prepared bags for this lady) work of art.

It was on Easter Sunday a few years ago, and Mr. Salty and I were once again grudgingly spending the holiday at my parents house. We got there early as usual, with the intention of pulling our typical "eat and run." So the two of us sat in the family room, bored out of our skulls while my dad was upstairs getting showered and dressed and my mother was in some stage of holiday meal preparation. It suddenly occurred to me that the kitchen was unoccupied, so I decided to sneak the coleslaw out of the fridge to score a little taste.

It should be duly noted, that when my mother makes coleslaw, she doesn't fuck around with quantity. If she's gonna shred and chop all of the shit, she's gonna make it worth her time. So I pull an enormous, lidded tupperware bowl out of the refrigerator containing no less than a gallon of coleslaw. I am not making this up. I set it down on the counter, and with a serving spoon dug out a heaping spoonful. Instead of doing the rational thing, which would eating the spoonful of coleslaw, and then putting away the bowl of coleslaw with two unoccupied hands, I instead chose to attempt to hold the bowl still with the elbow of the hand holding the spoon while I tried to squeeze the lid back on with my free hand.

Well. As I pressed on the lid trying to affix it to the lip of the far side of the bowl, the bowl did pretty much exactly what the laws of physics would have it do -- which would be shoot out like a greased pig from between my elbow and side, coming to a brief Wile E. Coyote stop in mid air, before plummeting straight down to the kitchen floor.

Now this is where the fantastic part comes in -- somehow, amazingly -- the trajectory, velocity, and position of the Earth around the sun made the conditions just right for the bowl of coleslaw to literally explode. It looked like a coleslaw bomb went off in my parents kitchen. There was not a conceivable surface in the room that was not completely covered in coleslaw. It was on the floor. It was on the ceiling. It was on the counter. It was on the underside of the counter. It was in the crevices of the cupboard doors. It was on me, totally caking up my right leg. It was matted in Sophie's fur (who was present for the day's festivities) and from earlier in this story, is pretty much accustomed to the sort of thing happening by now. If Mr. Wizard (God rest his soul) tried to recreate this scene, I assure you he would fail. It was just fucking incredible.

And I was just fucking horrified. I think a little wheeze of air came out from between my lips as blinding panic set in. As I took in the state of my parent's coleslaw covered kitchen, for a moment I completely forgot that I was a 26 year old who could leave whenever I wanted and imagined the obscene degree of ass kicking I was about to receive. But then as the menagerie of animals came running in for their Easter feast, and I witnessed the now two dogs and two cats furiously eating coleslaw off of the floor -- I remembered that I was an adult, so, tough shit mom and dad. Only then did I burst out hysterically and manically laughing before going to find my mother by calling, "Ohhh Mo-om!" in a sing-songy voice.

The the end, there was still enough coleslaw left in the bottom on the bowl (I told you, it was a lot of fucking coleslaw) to salvage for dinner; and I have to say it will probably go down in the chronicles of my personal history as the best Easter ever.


MEECH! said...

Laughing... so hard... can't ... breathe....

Oh my god, I have such a quirky aversion to touching milk with my skin. Was there a lot of cream in the slaw? If that had happened to me, I would have been crying with my leg in the sink. "Get it off, dear Jesus, get it OFF !" Scraping at it with a spatula, taking off the "infected" layer of skin. Then hosing down the what I could of the room with the sink/spray thing before hiding outside in the arbor vitae. Oh yeah, I would do that.

Slaw-coated pets, oh my god. (x_x)

litelysalted said...

Yes, very creamy consistency, due to the fine chopping I mentioned. You would have died.

The animals were eating coleslaw off of each other. It might have been sexy if it was A.) people and B.) something other than coleslaw.

onthevirg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
onthevirg said...

That's a hilarious story. Don't feel bad, my initial reaction would have been panic that my mom was going to throw down the whoop-ass too.

Kimberly said...

Ha! I wish I would have been there or that you would have at least taken a picture. Good stuff.

TK said...

Wow. Sadly, I have just come to the conclusion that you and I can never hang out together.

Why, you ask? Because we would achieve a collective clumsiness of epic proportions. Buildings would fall, cars would burn, and food would be splattered everywhere.

That story is absolutely brilliant.

Vermillion said...

Good Lord.

Everyone at the study area is now looking at me because I cannot seem to control the laughter.

COLE. SLAW. EVERYWHERE. It is too much. I am afraid to picture it in my mind, for I might keel over and you will have my blood on your hands. Your clumsy, coleslaw-caked hands.

I hope you are happy with yourself.

beth said...

What you forgot to mention in this story was how your awesome sister helped you clean the whole goddamn kitchen from top to bottom afterwards...

litelysalted said...

It's true, guys. She did help clean up, and she's also awesome.

And tk, if we ever hung out they'd have to raise the terror alert to magenta.

Natalia said...

I'm with TK.

One time I managed to knock down a 6 shelf library display on the supernatural. All by myself. In about 4 seconds.

Jayne said...

Oh sweetie- I'm exactly the same way. Just this past weekend at the beach, my dad pointed down the bruises all over my pale legs and looked at me with a concerned look. Without missing a beat, I just said "Chez beats me."

And also without missing a beat, my father asks, "well what did you do to deserve it?"

the reason we could joke about this? because my parents know that I am "the clumsy child," the only non-athlete in the family, and the one to blame whenever anything was/is broken/spilled/chipped/ tipped over/tumbling across the kitchen floor, etc., and also the one whose voice has echoed throughout their household for 28 years with "ow" and various obsenities.

but I try SO HARD to be graceful.