Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Birds of a Feather and The Shirt of Death

This weekend Hot Toddy and I went to Seattle for the holiday weekend. It was great to get away and leave the house and the responsibilities behind. Auburn Aries is at her Dad’s for the next two weeks and I get to be a grown up and play grown up games…as many and as frequently as possible!

Speaking of which, I tried to hook up with a friend of mine, Young Stud, while I was up there. Things didn’t quite come together the way we had hoped so I had to settle for drunk text messages instead. Hardly a good trade off for the real thing, but funny nonetheless.

We hooked up with a Seattle blogger and his best friend and had a great dinner. We met up at Von’s Grand City Cafe, a place that I recalled had the best Halibut fish and chips ever. It’s a restaurant where I dine every time I’m in Seattle.

As it turns out, they had taken the Halibut off the menu. Dumb plan if you ask me, but then, they didn’t ask me. So I perused the menu looking for something that would prove to be a good substitute. Perusal turned to rifling the menu. Barbeque chicken this, barbeque pork that. Good lord. I’ve eaten the fish there so many times, I hadn’t realized they were a barbeque-your-slab-of-meat kind of place.

I found some spicy jerk chicken crap and ordered that (I really am going somewhere with this story. I promise).

Since Hot Toddy tried to poison Thor four times while learning he’s allergic to soy and mesquite and whatever else there was, he realized that in light of the fact that he could no longer whip up vegetarian dinners he was willing to compromise a little. He was entertaining the idea of eating meat occasionally.

Toddy and I have been close for a couple of years. The fact that he could survive on his diet always surprised me. Man cannot live on Mac-n-Cheese, Smart Dogs and Maker’s Mark alone. I watched him slowly introduce organic white meat into his diet and he’s had more energy than I had seen him with in those two years.

After watching Todd struggle with too many choices on the menu, he finally decided. The four of us engaged in conversation while waiting for dinner to be served.

There placed before me sat a plate with part of a chicken on it. Part of a chicken. A bird with bones in it. I have an intense fear of birds. Any type of bird. Don’t want them anywhere near me. The only way I can get through eating chicken (which is a bigger version of the mite infested rats with wings you ordinarily see), is for it to not have bones in it.

I sat there paralyzed. I’m a grown woman, I reminded myself. I can surely reach down and remove this chicken from the bone. I tried but I couldn’t actually *touch* the chicken. I pulled my hands back toward my lap. I realized there was skin on the chicken which only made it worse.

My parents had a second home on 20 acres in Alpine, California. My Dad had 75 head of cattle, horses, pigs, and yes, chickens. Dreaded were the days my Mother would say, “Come on girls, we’ve got to go kill some chickens.” Dear God, why am I living in this hell was all I could think back then.

Been there, killed that, and have the emotional scars to prove it… I know what that skin looks like after you dip them in boiling water and pluck…never mind. Anyhoo, skin is bad…very bad.

I tried again to create a dinner I could eat and failed once more. Toddy looked up at me and asked what I was doing. I whispered to him that there were bones in my chicken and that I couldn’t eat it. He sweetly offered to strip my chicken from the bone for me. I was relieved.

As my best friend did this selfless act he started laughing. “Isn’t this funny?! The former vegetarian is pulling chicken meat off the bone!” I didn’t realize the sacrifice he made to help me out. Seems small, but because of Todd I was able to eat dinner that night – just as long as I didn’t look at the huge wad of greasy chicken skin precariously perched on the edge of my plate.

Todd’s dinner was, based on what I witnessed, quite good. He, too, participated in a plate o’ chicken parts. As he began eating, his input to the dinner conversation gradually, though rapidly, declined.

We got through two-thirds of dinner when it occurred to Todd he had withdrawn into a world of culinary pleasure. He was completely focused on his dinner. He hadn’t come up for air since it was placed before him. He raised up looking the three of us with a look of surprise.

“Oh my God. I’m so sorry I’ve been ignoring you guys. This dinner is so good. I haven’t eaten meat in so long, I want to club a baby seal in the head and eat it.”

I immediately broke into laughter. Not quiet under-my-breath laughter, but laughter the whole bar could hear. What Todd said was SO out of character on SO many levels, I found it hysterical.

I couldn’t quit laughing.

He pointed out how long it had been since he had actually been able to enjoy barbequed meat. I drifted into what it must be like for him to finally be able to eat that again and then he continued...

“I feel like a caveman who’s been thawed out. I don’t care what you guys are talking about.”

Todd remained my source of laughter for the entire weekend. We fed off each other regardless of how juvenile it was.

There was the 7th floor commentary to the people on the street while I was trying to get ready to go out for the evening (this was after many drinks and airline bottles of booze).

To a jay-walker:

“I’m sorry, Sir, SIR, if you could use the crosswalk next time, that would be greatly appreciated.” He said this so loudly I actually expected to hear some yell “Fuck You” as they tried to make eye contact with the voice from above.

To a poor old man on the sidewalk:

“I’m sorry, Sir, SIR, if you’re going to walk that slowly could you please move to the right side of the sidewalk so people can get by.”

And then he had to laugh at himself. “They probably think it’s the voice of God!”

At one drunken point in our hotel room and our Patron Margarita/Bulleit Whiskey bliss, Todd took off his button down shirt and threw it at me. In an attempt to be a quick as possible while under the influence, I tried to kick the shirt back at him. Suddenly he became Abby from Elektra. His shirt (better known as the Shirt of Death) had become his strand of Indonesian beads that could kill.

And I was Elektra fighting off the evils of the Shirt of Death.

He’d spin the shirt up and hurl it at me. I’d kick it back. Over and over he’d try to kill me with the Shirt of Death while we kept making bad martial art screams. I felt sorry for the people in the room next to us, we laughed so hard.

Finally he approached me, I tried to get away. The Indonesian Shirt of Death was wound tighter than Dick’s hatband – I was going down and I knew it.

I tried to fight Toddy off but before I escape he had the Shirt of Death wrapped tightly around me. In one motion he whipped me around and hurled my ass to the bed, victorious.

All I could do was lie there in my sundress laughing.

I hope he doesn't think he can always win if he tries to kick my ass..

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