April 14, 2015


 “Hi.  My name is Carson, and I’m a lousy cook.”
“Hi, Carson,” the group chorused.
“Tell us about your week, Carson,” the group leader said.
“Well, after I tried to make refreshments for last week’s meeting, my husband, Stij, donated the stove to St. Vincent de Paul’s.  He now has a hotplate that he keeps locked in the garage to make coffee on.  Needless to say, we’re eating a lot of salads.”
 “So what about the rest of your week?”
“Well, first, I tried making homemade wine—fresh grapes and everything.  I tried the traditional approach of stomping them myself.”
“And how did that work out?”
“We spent most of the week trying to get the taste of Tinactin out of our mouths.”
“Uh, oh.
“Uh, yeah.  But I decided to stick with beverages. Stij got rid of the twenty bottles of wine at a homeless shelter—God rest their souls.  You can’t step foot in there anymore—the sound of spitting is deafening.  But at least they don’t have athlete’s…anything…anymore.  Oh, and he also took out the refrigerator, the freezer, the toaster, the microwave, the convection oven, the rotisserie, and the dishwasher—just for good measure—after I told him I heard you can boil hot dogs in it.”
“So what were you left with?”
“He forgot about the juicer.  I’d heard that it’s possible to make smoothies that have every nutrient the body requires for the day, so I gave them a shot.  I did my research to keep my smoothies totally balanced, then set to.”
“What did you put in?”
“Well, the kale and the celery juiced up just fine, as did the beets and apples, but the protein was a big problem.”
“How so?”
“Did you ever try to juice a ham?”
“Not lately.”
“Yeah, well, when I tried to force a whole ham into it, the juicer made this little whimpering noise just before it fell into about a thousand pieces.  I tried to put it back together, though, and I hope the Elmer’s glue holds, or the next time he uses it, there’s going to be shrapnel everywhere.  We have the only house where it’s critical for anyone in the kitchen to be wearing a welder’s mask and hazmat gear.”
“Probably didn’t do much for your self-esteem, then.”
“Are you kidding?  Even my hot tea tastes like Bin Laden’s armpits!  I gave up on self-esteem a long time ago.  Now, I’m just hoping for survival.  And even that was a near thing on Thursday.”
“Why?  What happened on Thursday?”
Is this guy a great straight man, or what?
“Last Thursday, I decided to try making Gazpacho.”
“The pureed vegetable soup that’s served chilled?”
“Yep.  Anyhow I got all the veggies pureed, since Stij also forgot about the blender, and then added the gas…”
“Sure—Gas-pacho.  Gotta be in there somewhere, right?  Anyhow, I took the shut off gas line from where the stove used to be, turned it back on and pumped that soup full of it.   Then I turned the line back off.  I took a spoonful to taste.”
“And how was it, I’m afraid to ask?”
“I turned blue and keeled over.  Woke up and hour and a half later in ICU to discover I was growing a third arm.”
“And what did Stij have to say about it?”
“He was glad it wasn’t him.  It usually is, you know.  Oh, and by the way, I have to apologize to all of you—I didn’t make any refreshments this week, either.”
I left the stage to cheering and applause like I never got when I was a stand-up.
Well, they’ll regret it.
Next week, I’m bringing punch, and I’m adding the one bottle of wine that Stij missed!

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