|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
May. 25, 2015 - 5:27 p.m.
Three weeks ago I accompanied NewWifey(tm) to "Celebrations of Needlework", an annual gathering of fat women who sew alphabets onto scraps of cloth.
New Wifey(tm) is now an established designer in this world. She was invited to attend Celebrations this year as a distinguished teacher and vendor, and to be their token thin chick.
NewWifey(tm) is considered somewhat of a maverick designer. Rather than pump out endless alphabet-on-cloth clones, she does things like sewing flowers on eggs and cross-stitching eyeglasses - the glass, not the frame - and making mini beach chairs with stitched webbing that hold cell phones, among other things. (Search "Noteworthy Needle" to see some of her genius.) She also has a line of molded beeswax thread waxers, which the fat ladies who stitch alphabets adore and scoop up like M&M's. When you see me reference things like "Tray Nécessaires" and "Rusty Bucket" in the following story, those are all her products. Just nod and continue on.
I did not want to go. Fat women and alphabets are not a few of my fav-o-rite things.
I went anyway. No, I am NOT pussy whipped. I'm not.
When we got back, NewWifey(tm) said "Do me a favor. Write up a NOT DIRTY little story I can post to my Facebook page. I'm too tired, and I think the ladies would get a kick out of hearing your take on it."
"Ok. Can I call them 'fat'?"
"Thanks". Pause. "NOT. DIRTY. Do you understand?
"Thanks." Pause. "And no swearing."
"NO SWEARING. This is FACEBOOK. All my friends will be reading this, along with my family and potential customers. I swear to fucking god, if you fuck this up for me I will rip your head off and shit down your throat. It's important to me that they think I'm a lady."
"Do any of them know you in real life...?"
She stared at me. "No swearing. Nothing dirty."
"Can I tell them about the eggs in your tea?"
Here's what she got:
"WHAT I LEARNED AT CELEBRATIONS OF NEEDLEWORK 2015, BY DANGER SPOUSE."
So NewWifey(tm) finally cajoled (read: "threatened") me into accompanying her to one of her stitching extravaganzas. Now that we're back I can tell you I took away two things from the experience:
1. You can cook eggs in an electric water kettle (but shouldn't).
2. Women are animals.
Let's start with number 1.
Ok, I'm gonna state the obvious right up front here. Hotel breakfasts are poop. There's just no getting around it. It's apparently God's will. You go to a hotel almost anywhere in the U.S. of God Bless America and it's tacitly understood that if you wake up at 5am rarin' to start stitching that "OHMYGOD IT'S SO ADORABLE!" scissor fob with the kitten on it you got last night but need to fortify yourself first with a tureen of coffee and a Florentine triple cheese omelet with extra chitlins...you ain't gonna get it fresh. The kitchen staff does not arrive at 4am to start prepping for your mania. What happens instead is the bleary eyed waiter who takes your order and assures you "Don't worry ma'am, the chef will make sure to give you extra Florentine" just goes back to the kitchen, scoops out a serving of last night's Quiche Lorraine appetizer onto a plate, opens a jar of Gerber's Strained Spinach ("now with 10% real spinach!"), pours it over the top, microwaves it, and presents it to you with a flourish...along with a bill for $6.00 (plus tip).
The first morning there I had the great misfortune to order one of these monstrosities, having labored under the delusion most of my life that hotels didn't want to actually kill their guests so how bad could it be?
How wrong I was. What the waiter set down before me was not an omelet. It was a plate of sadness. There is no yellow in the natural world that matched the color of those "eggs", and the smell wafting off them had notes of 3 day old fryolator oil, Yellow Dye #7, Yellow Dye #3, Yellow Dye #19, Blue Dye "#9" and pain.
I tried it anyway. I was hungry, and I'm an American. I'm obliged.
Despite bracing for a hit, it was still staggering when I finally put fork to mouth. I was stunned, then indignant, then immediately gassy. It was just like when I was told Pluto was no longer a planet (curse you, Niel de Grasse Tyson! We hates it! We hates it forever!). No wonder traveling dog food salesmen are so grumpy. They start every morning on the road downing a plate of something that tastes worse than their own product.
The next morning and 14 hours in the bathroom later, I resolved to do better.
Now, NewWifey(tm) likes nothing more after a hard day of selling scissor fobs with kittens on them than relaxing in her hotel room with a cup of Twining's Lady Grey tea. So in order to insure that her addiction is uninterrupted, she purchased a Sunbeam plug-in water kettle and an industrial pallet of tea bags that she carts along to every event - even if it means leaving behind some charts to make room. I have to say, after using the Sunbeam the first night I was very impressed. It cranked up a liter of tepid bottled water from 70 to 200 degrees faster than it took you to read this sentence. For 12 dollars, at Target! God bless Ameri...er, the British. Who invented the thing.
The next morning, as I was glumly facing the possibility of having to choke down another one of those wallboard flavored "omelets", it hit me. I have boiling water in my room! And EGGS!
NewWifey(tm), of course, does that "Eggbroidery" thing. They're beautiful, and ingenious, and hard as hell for me to wrap my mind around that anyone could do something so delicate. But she does it, and she was teaching a class at Celebrations on it so other masochists could spend hours cracking shells and cursing as well. For the class she needed 6 jumbo sized eggs.
The night before she sent me out to the store to buy eggs. But they only sell jumbo eggs by the dozen. "That's ok" she said when I got back, "we'll just chuck the other 6 in the woods behind the hotel tomorrow."
That's why I had eggs in our room the next morning.
I looked at the eggs. I looked at the kettle.
Then I looked for NewWifey(tm). She was already gone, setting up fobs or something before the show opened. I was good to go.
2 minutes later I had boiling water and 6 of Eggland's finest bubbling away in it. 15 minutes after that I poured off the water and dropped the eggs into the ice bucket (Handy Tip #1: rapidly cooling hard boiled eggs in ice water keeps that grey band from forming around the yolks, giving you a nice cheery yellow all the way to the edge. You're welcome).
I know they were just hard boiled eggs, but compared to the previous day's contemptible swill it was pure gustatory heaven. I ate all six, then rinsed the kettle out. NewWifey(tm) would never know.
10 hours, 860 waxers, 53 Rusty Buckets, and 128 "Tray Nécessaires" later, NewWifey(tm) came back to the room, exhausted.
"Honey, would you make me a cup of tea?" And she collapsed on the bed.
I filled up the Sunbeam, pressed the "On" switch, and made her a cup of Twining's. Steeped it 3 and a half minutes, one spoonful of Splenda, no cream, just as she likes it. She took a sip.
"BLECH!! What did you do to my tea??"
"Er...what do you mean?"
"It tastes like you brewed it with sewer water!"
I smelled her cup. It did indeed have the unmistakable tang of waste effluence. I looked in the kettle.
There, at the bottom, wrapped around one of the exposed heating elements, was an evil looking blob of brown and white goo smouldering away. I took one of the complimentary hotel PlaySkool grade plastic knives and pried it off.
You guessed it: egg white. A small amount oozed out of one of the eggs, sank to the bottom, and cooked and cooked and cooked on one of those blazing elements until it was reduced to pure sulfur. Which NewWifey(tm) then drank.
If anybody wants a gently used Sunbeam water kettle, it's in the waste basket in Room 166 of the Nashua, NH, Courtyard by Marriott. We have a new one.
Now to point #2.
Real men are about as scarce at a needleworks festival as maxi skirts in an issue of Playboy. When it came to testosterone production, I was in the distinct minority at this shindig.That's not to say there were NO men, but let's just say that the few men who did show up were the type of men who had to suppress - at least temporarily - any show of masculinity because their wife said they damn well better do it if they ever wanted to eat a home cooked meal again. Got it, buster?
As unsettling as it was for me to be foundering in this sea of estrogen, do I need to tell you how the women reacted when a not-retirement-aged, ruggedly built, deep voiced man in tight boot-cut jeans with a close cropped soap opera star beard showed up in the midst of them? Let's just say that after the 17th buttock grab, I lost count. It was a feeding frenzy. I felt like a piece of meat.
So I'll be back next year.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go make breakfast. I think I'll have an omelet. Where'd I put that kettle....
You know what's funny? An awful lot of people seemed to more enjoy the fact that someone wrote an actual story, regardless of the subject, as opposed to...well, everything else that everyone else posts to FB. I think maybe it's why I've seen more and more people returning to D-Land in the last year, dusting off old diaries they haven't updated in half a decade or more.
Anyway, NewWifey(tm) got a ton of "Likes", a couple of "Shares", and only a handful of e-mailed death threats (probably from fat chicks). It was the best response she ever got (I told her). The only down side?
"You're coming with me again next year. Some ladies on the stitching forums cross-posted your entry, and they all want to meet you now."
"C'mon, it'll be fun."
"You always anyway."
"Then I'll never swallow again if you don't."
"Care to chance it?"
Shit. No. No, I don't.
"Ok. But I want to call them fat next time."
"*sigh* But you'll swallow, right?"
"Don't I always?"
"It's a deal."
Woo hoo! She fell for it! Sucker.
Great punchline of an old joke that has since been rendered obsolete:
So the boss sticks his head out of his office and says to the new secretary, "Pardon me Miss, but do you know how to use a Dictaphone?" "Well yes" she stammered. "But I prefer to use a finger."