I go to great lengths to assure that the gullets of my menfolk are not empty. Not shrinking in upon themselves, sticking together like the spit-coated insides of a deflated balloon. I feed them. Because without me, they are as helpless as newborn kittens, mewling pitifully for sustenance. Or screaming that SOMEBODY really needs to make some sandwiches.
This afternoon around 1:00, I thought I had filled the void of the #1 son with a footlong Subway chipotle chicken sandwich. But somehow, it wore off. I had not planned on cooking supper for him. Farmer H started his bowling league again tonight. So I was off the hook for that dinner. The Pony declared that his Subway mini cheese pizza filled him to the gills. He needed no more than a few chips and crackers. That he got for himself! But #1 acted like it was his 38th day of Survivor. The Australian Outback season. When all their rice washed away in a flash flood. And Elisabeth Hasselbeck almost faded away to about 70 pounds. I know #1. And he is no Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
He rooted through Frig. Screamed in seventeen-year-old angst, "Why is there no food in this house?" Dug through the freezer. And chose fish sticks. Which take thirty minutes of supervision. Keeping me from my comfortable basement lair.
"That will take thirty minutes!"
"No. Only twenty-six to twenty-eight."
"Is this foil left on the pan okay?"
"No! We are civilized people! Put on clean foil."
"You are using up natural resources. Every time you eat, the Earth weeps!"
"Look how thin that is. It's only foil."
"Aluminum that will never be replenished. Hand me the cooking spray so it won't stick, and we can use this new foil again."
"Can't you get it?"
"You're right by it!"
"You spray it."
"Meep, meep, meep."
"Stop mocking me! I'll give you something to meep about!" I may or may not have pinched him a few times on the arm or abdominals. Depending on what the police report says.
"Get back!" #1 pointed the generic Save A Lot cooking spray at me.
"Don't treat me like a roach! I'll gun my low-rider and give you a dirty look while you call the Orkin man."
"Hey! The phone. It's school. Hello? A recording about registration next week."
"I bet you can't wait to eat school lunches again."
"They're better than the lunches I get around here."
"Oh! That cut through me like a knife! There. You wanted ten. Those two stuck together count as two."
"Okay, I'll put this little stub on there as a bonus." While I was turned away, #1 grabbed the box and put the stub and twins back in, removing two identical fish sticks. "I was only trying to help you with your mental problem."
"There. Now they're all alike."
I let them cook (which, technically, is only warming them in the oven) for twelve minutes, then turned them over. One stuck. I blame the poor spray job. I called #1 when they were done. "There. Exactly twenty-eight minutes. I hope they're not burned."
"Hey! That one lost its coating. Maybe you should have taken them out after twenty-seven minutes. Cook me another one, haha!"
"That's not happening. And I'm going to use that crusty foil to cook tomorrow's lunch on."
The hand that cooks the fish sticks rules the world.