Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Frozen Boxes

Sometimes I give Kathleen a ride home from work.
So there we were, driving down Ogilvie Road and talking, and she says, “You know, there’s a sale on those Swanson TV-dinners you eat at lunchtime every day of your life. Loeb’s got them at $1.50 right now.”

“What?” I hyperventilated.
“Yeah! A buck-fifty. Not bad, huh?”

NOT BAD?
My God!
My first thought was that it might be worthwhile to buy a separate deep-freezer to put them all in. I will buy 200, no, 300 dinners…. etc., etc.
My second thought was to speed up so I could get rid of Kathleen faster, and head to the nearest Loeb store.
Which I did.
It was true.
There they were. In all of their artery-clogging glory! Wonderful mountains of Swanson© products.
All types of species.
I pretty much emptied the bin and made my way to the cashier.

The place was busy. I all of a sudden became sort of….. conspicuous.
People, the kind that actually buy produce, were evaluating my hoard of… frozen boxes.
I glanced at a few of these people and had this mental image of my face probably looking by now like one of the Swanson serving trays! Instead of eyes I’ve got a mound of mashed potatoes on one side and a pile of corn in the other, and a bright little nose of red fake-cranberry dessert in the middle!
Below all of this, I’m grinning like a Salisbury steak!

I piled it all on the conveyer belt, clunk, clunk, clunk!
The cute little Oriental cashier rang it all through.
We’re both stuffing it into plastic bags and I felt that some words of explanation were in order.
So, glancing at this one guy now lifting onto the counter his basket of stuff containing things with leaves on it, and like dirt still hanging off the ends of whatever it was… I said, “I’m quite the chef.”
Thinking I am making some sort of serious statement the girl says, “Ohhh! You are chef!”
Me: → “Umm. No, actually I…”
Cashier: → “You like cooking. Like chef.”

[I now suddenry rearize that she know very rittle Engrish rangrage!]

But I have committed myself to some kind of joke here and so, looking back at the lineup of folks behind me for some support, [and getting none at all, not one smile] then back at the girl, I exprain to her…. “No. See. When I said I am a chef I meant it as a joke. What I mean is…. I CAN’T COOK! SOMETIMES I EVEN BOTCH THESE THINGS AND DON’T GET IT RIGHT!”

“Yes. You cook!” she says, sliding toward me the last packed bag.

I would have literally ran away but I had too much stuff to haul out of there!
Weighed down with frozen boxes.

***********

6 comments:

Sam Houston said...

Boy, does that bring back memories. My mother was such a bad cook that I actually preferred those Swanson TV dinners to her cooking...what a treat!

Matt said...

Sometimes TV dinners aren't that bad. I enjoy quite a few of the selections. The turkey is actually tasty, although I won't venture the pasta!

BTW I've got your short in the e0mail but my printer broke down so I have yet to print it out. I have to pay proper respect and attention to your writing so I need to wait until I have a hard copy of it and read it. :)

stefanie said...

Heh, that's a funny story!

I have happy TV dinner memories from childhood. I loved the mashed potatoes and my dinner always had to have chocolate pudding for the dessert or I wouldn't eat it. But best of all, when we had TV dinners, we actually got to eat them while watching television! May seem like no big deal, but there was a rule at my house that there was no TV during dinner, so TV dinners were really special :)

Beth said...

That line about speeding to get rid of Katherine faster? You are so bad and you make me laugh - out loud.
And I would have smiled if I'd been behind you in the checkout line - again, I would have laughed out loud!
(Maybe at you? Not with you?)
Enjoy those dinners, buddy. You make me feel great as to my culinary skills.

cipriano said...

Memories.... like the corners of my mind..... misty water-colored...

Thanks for your comments all.

I am right now eating one of the turkey dinners!

Cold Molasses said...

Only one thing to say...9-1-1