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June 06, 2005 - 1:16 pm

PORK’S GOOD - PART TWO: ACID AND SCORPIONS

Kristie’s bridal shower was a couple of Sundays ago in Richmond. I’d flown into Newport News on Friday, rented a car, and driven an hour into Richmond for the shower and all the inevitable shenanigans that arose from so many awesome women being in the same place at the same time. We stayed out until close to 3:00am Saturday night, came home and hung out with Kristie’s parents for another hour or so. Her mom even made me a ham sandwich. It was good even thought it didn’t have any deep-fried bacon on it.

Anyway, I had to get up at the unholy hour of 7:00am and drive to the Newport News airport using vague directions sketched out on a napkin that same morning by Kristie’s dad Nick, who was just as hung over as I was, so I could make it back for the Practice Dinner I spoke of in the previous entry.

Roughly sixty-seven toll booths and forty-two dollars later, I finally made it to the main interstate leading to the airport, whereupon I promptly blew a tire. Now this is not entirely surprising, as I have always had bad tire karma, and the interstate highways around Richmond are not much better than logging roads through the Appalachian foothills. So I pulled over, raised the trunk, took out the tire and the jack, loosened the lug nuts, jacked up the car, took off the tire, put the new tire on, lowered the car, tightened the lug nuts, and loaded the jack and the bad tire back into the wheel well – and during ALL that time, not ONE single person stopped or even slowed down. Not that I needed the help or anything because I totally had it covered. And I guess I should be flattered that maybe I looked like I knew what I was doing enough that no one felt they needed to stop. But, still. It was just surprising. I guess Virginia’s not like Georgia, because no self-respecting Georgia man would pass a woman changing a tire and not at least pull over to ask if she needed him to call her daddy and let him know she’d be late cookin’ him supper.

The Newport News airport is the most poorly marked airport in the entire known universe. Otherwise how else could I have passed it? Twice! An airport! With no signs! The oversized rat maze that passes for the car rental return area has great big viewing windows so the mad scientists convincingly disguised as inept, apathetic employees with bling on their fingernails can laugh at people as they try to find their way to the ultimate cheese that is the rental car parking lot, which is clearly visible just over that concrete bumper. And past those spikey things sticking up out of the asphalt. And beyond the shock buzzer and the lever that distributes treats. And opposite the one-way sign that directs you back out to the entrance of the maze again. Doh!

I think it probably goes without saying that I missed my flight. And I had to pay for the tire. I caught the next flight out two hours later, and just as we were making our final approach to the Atlanta airport, I was shocked awake by one of the most bizarre and indescribable feelings I’ve ever had: that of being stung by a wasp with icy hot venom just above my right eyebrow, INSIDE my skull, ON my brain. I was so freaked out I looked up to see if maybe acid alien blood was dripping out of the overhead compartment above me. Nope. No acid blood. I asked the kid next to me if there was something on my forehead, like maybe some scorpions. Uh, no.

I made an appointment with a neurologist, so I’ll keep you posted on the status of what is sure to be a brain tumor. Hey, we can watch it grow together! Like a Chia Pet, only on the inside! And fatal!

So I made it home just in time to down a few ibuprofen, wash my face and hands, whip up some tomato concasse, and head over to the practice dinner, where I discovered twelve guests instead of the original six. Yay for ibuprofen!

Surprisingly, everything turned out exceptionally great, and the second course – that Fried Green Tomato stack that I was responsible for – was a big hit, no doubt because Alvin fried those bad boys in bacon fat.

Yep. It’s that good.

Next up: “Pork’s Good – Part 3: The Big Gulp” in which Alvin, Monica, Julie, Shrimp Boy, and I cook the real dinner up for eight real people.

~Samantha

recommended:
reading -Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett
viewing - Catch Me If You Can
listening -"Come Fly With Me" - Frank Sinatra's version

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