(Author’s Note: Vegans, vegetarians, or lovers of a good prime rib…step away from the Barista blog, immediately. You will probably vomit all over your computer.)
Want to hear a story about how my entire family owes me one of their kidneys?
First of all, my heart goes out to all of the people affected by the hurricane last weekend. Irene devastated a lot of Vermont, as well as many older towns and villages in my state. NYC as well was hit, despite Irene avoiding the center of Manhattan. You’re in my thoughts!
My preparation for Irene wasn’t very thorough, which was probably my own fault. I wasn’t seriously expecting any real problems here in central CT. It wasn’t until they closed down the library at school, then cancelled classes for Monday, that I began to get a bit nervous. On Sunday I woke up to a sky out of Mordor and rain whipping against my windows. The power was still on. Hope!
I spent the morning staring outside, trying to get a feel for how bad the weather was going to get. My brother in law tried to run out for some last-minute supplies but our local grocery store was closed. My brother’s girlfriend hung out with us for the majority of the day and we played a few games and watched some TV, prepping for the finals of the Little League World Series when…bam! Power out at noon.
We played more Balderdash and ended up going for a family-wide walk, which pleased me tremendously as we never really get a chance to all hang out as a family. Nonna didn’t join in, presumably because she thought a tree would fall down and kill us.
The food situation was a bit dicey, but we had some things left over from CJ’s birthday party. Todd grilled up the rest of the burgers and hot dogs and we ate on paper plates by candlelight. I drank some wine and a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Like the pioneers and the settlers.
Our power was restored on Monday night, after some serious begging and sacrificing to the Gods of Connecticut Light And Power. Nonna did a jig, and I immediately checked Facebook to make sure all of my friends were still alive.
(Author Note: Vegans and vegetarians, seriously, get out. Now.)
The food we had put into the fridge was still good to an extent. The ice cream in the freezer was the consistency of soup, so unfortunately my $7.99 gallon of UCONN Dairy Bar ice cream had to get the old heave-ho. I was gutted, to say the least. It had chocolate covered coffee beans in it! But other than that, we figured the rest of the stuff that could go bad had already been thrown out.
On Wednesday morning, I came downstairs to a smell unlike anything that had permeated my kitchen before. It was so foul, I couldn’t even go near the pantry. Nonna doublechecked the fridge and discovered a piece of wrapped up chicken still hanging out in there, and we all assumed the smell was coming from there. We threw it out and stuck some baking soda into the fridge and called it a day. But that wasn’t the end. Oh, no no no.
The smell got worse, to the point my sister had to bring Lovebug home because she feared the very air would get me him sick. At one point I even had to start baking some bread because I figured that would be something to cover the smell up. It was atrocious. Like being on the set of an Eli Roth movie.
At one point, while baking my bread, I had to check the pantry for another type of flour I had forgotten in there. I went in, covering my nose, and checked some of the shelves. My eyes fell on a box nestled inside a bowl on one of the lower shelves. I bent down. It looked like an Amazon.com box, and I figured Nonna had put it in there because she didn’t know what it meant. As I bent down to look at it, my eyes got very wide and my stomach plummeted to my feet and did a backflip.
(Vegans and vegetarians WHY ARE YOU STILL READING, GET OUT NOW.)
The box was white with red text stating proudly that our local grocery store only purchases the finest meat to grind for their 1/4 pound hamburgers. That the hamburger count in this box, the box I was staring at, contained 10 quarter pounds of grade A top cut meat.
Did I mention this box was sitting out, in our warm pantry, in a bowl?
Let me clarify. Did I mention this was a box of raw hamburger meat? Sitting out? In our warm pantry? In a bowl?
The only other time we had had hamburgers was five days previously at CJ’s birthday party. So the window of time this meat could have been chilling (or rather, as Connie put it, “BAKING”) in the warmth of the pantry ran the gamut from 2 to 5 days.
I can’t really describe my reaction to this realization, but I think Troy from Community puts it best.
Oh, and I was all alone in the house. No one could hear my screams.
I knew the only way this thing would get out of the house would be if I were to do it myself. Jenna couldn’t do it; she’d get interrupted with vomiting fits. Mom would make me do it. Dad would yell at whoever left the box there in the first place, then laugh while I gagged. I needed to do this with dignity. With strength. With my lunch still contained inside of my stomach.
I decided to pick up my big girl pants and get this box of warm meat (just typing that out, warm meat, oh god kill me now) out of the house before it became infested. (by the way, after telling her this story, Connie decided to tell me she predicted there were maggots in the box. While I was eating dinner. Thanks for that one, Connster.)
I picked up the box. It was heavy, and warm. Thank god the door to the garbage cans was merely five steps away. I ran outside, threw open the can lid, and tossed it inside without even looking to see how it landed. No way. I ran back inside, shuddered profusely…and then realized there might be some leftovers in the bowl the box was sitting in.
I compared this entire process to my sister in the following analogy. “I felt like the royal slaughterhouse scrubber.” She was not amused.
Mom came back to the house just as I put the bowl/scene of the crime down to soak. Her eyes bugged when I relayed the story, then offered me leftover meatloaf for dinner.
And I ate it. God help me. Stomach of iron, I guess.
So there you have it: the grossest thing I have ever done. But if that’s all I had to deal with after Hurricane Irene devastated the Northeast, I think I’ll be okay.
After all of this happened and I told the story to my family, I said to my sister “You owe me a kidney. That was the nastiest thing I have ever done.” She agreed. At least, I’d like to think she did.
Dad was MIA for this entire procedure, to the point yesterday when he walked into the garage and demanded to know what was stinking up the garbage cans. If he only knew…
Now, the real question is this: who the hell left that box in the pantry?
They’re in for a world of pain. Granted, I’d have to drive all the way to Worcester to kick my brother’s ass if he’s the culprit. But considering I had to hold a box of hot raw meat for 2.4 seconds, I’d say he has it coming.
And if you made it this far in the entry, have a gif of Joel McHale taking his shirt off. Because that always makes me feel better.