Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll is challenged by BREAKING INTO MY FOOD. She writes:

I may have mentioned a time or two that I really enjoy eating. In this pleasure I join a vast horde and, if my Dusty Little Village is any representative sample, getting vaster by the day. And yet all is not Copa-cetic in my world in Maricopa.

It is my belief that Big Food has been trying to make it harder for me to get AT my victuals. Yes, dearly beloved, Big Food, in collusion with Big Packaging, is invested in devising ever more secure packaging to keep my food harder to break into than Fort Knox, or even Joe Vass’s Passwords or Debit Card PIN number. God only knows why. I’m sure they view it as “keeping me safe,” like how safe I feel when Conservative speakers are booed down and sent packing. (Whew! Dodged another unpleasant exposure to facts…)

It is only a matter of time before Nefarious Actors break into my home and hide all my food up in a tree, like we do to keep bears from getting at our S’Mores fixins on campouts.

This insight occurred to me last week when I was trying desperately to open a container of Talenti Gelato (Salted Caramel Truffle). I was introduced to this delight by my bestie’s husband Wayne. He is a connoisseur of frozen confections and generally eats them out of a bread bowl. No, not a bowl made out of bread, but a giant bowl in which us old-school housewives make our own bread.

Talenti Gelato comes in a hard, round plastic container with – for some stupid reason – a brown plastic screw-on top. I am pretty strong generally, but I have small, arthritic hands that can just barely encircle the lid. Because of the very nature of ice cream, it must get sticky around the screw-on part and turn to Gorilla Glue.

I am an Old Hand from the Rio Grande when it comes to getting lids off things: there’s the “rap it firmly on the counter” gambit. No dice. There’s the “hold it under hot water” option, with special attention to the sticky rim. Not working. Oddly enough, even swearing also had zero effect. Finally, there’s the “wedge a small sharp knife into the space between the lid and jar and circle the jar” idea. Never let a small detour to the Emergency Room keep you from enjoying your treat. Remember to put the Gelato container back in the freezer while you get your stitches. Wipe off the blood for decorum’s sake unless you have no intention of sharing.

The last humiliating option is to hand it to Joe, whose hands look like catcher’s mitts next to mine. And I was gratified to see that even HE had some difficulty. But he eventually got it open. What women do who are not married to males of varying levels of toxicity I cannot say. However, handing it to Joe was somewhat problematic inasmuch as I had hidden it FROM him under the frozen vegetables. Had I been called to my reward unexpectedly, he would have found it when either Hades froze over or when SOME, ANY leftist was held accountable for a violent or treasonous action.

Physically attack a Republican candidate? Bang a Chinese spy? Shoot a Congressman playing baseball? Insider trading? Plan a coup against a sitting President with the highest level of government collusion? Burn down several cities? Change legal documents? Sell the craven media an absurd story that a Republican Presidential candidate went to Russia and pottied on a bed? Child’s play and no problem. Oopsie, straying into the Anger Zone. Sorry.

So, anyway, the ice cream (technically, “gelato”) was finally opened and enjoyed by (sadly) all.

Later in the week, I wanted to try the Chicken/Gouda Sausage from Sprouts to go with our breakfast eggs. Gone are the carefree days when you could just open the cardboard or plastic wrap around the sausage with a deft hand, following the helpful hint: OPEN HERE. No. First they assure us that this sausage is “pork-free” (why I bought it), non-GMO, organic, contains no tree nuts. Whew, good to know.

And then, what to my wondering eyes did appear but the fact that each of the four individual sausages inside the cardboard wrapper is also separately shrink-wrapped in heavy plastic that cannot be cut off, pried off, or chewed off. Eventually, I had to just make a tiny cut INTO the top of each sausage to open the shrinkw-rap far enough to push the sausage out from the bottom like birthin’ a baby. And then do that three more times.

Oh, we’re not done yet. I like to have a daily hot cup of Bone Broth which is allegedly good for your “gut health” as well as your joints and brain. In those areas – all problematic — I’ll take all the help I can get. Usually I get the tall four-cup version in a lovely cardboard container with a little tiny, perfectly manageable screw-off top. Boom! One twist to the left and it’s off!

But the rental in which we are staying for the summer does not have a pantry shelf tall enough for those cartons, so I have bought the half-size versions. Big mistake. Do THEY have a small screw-off top? No, they have a complicated folded-over glued-down origami set-up where, while losing no fewer than three fingernails, you dig it out and unfold it before you can make a poorly designed “spout” and get AT what broth did not spill out on the counter. I know, I know, it’s a First World Problem, but it’s annoying.

And how ‘bout some fruit to go with your sausage and egg breakfast? Cut-up pineapple and melons used to come in a lightweight plastic container with a lid that just popped off nicely. Now the geniuses in Packaging have invented a razor-sharp kind of plastic and a lid that must first have a sharp strip peeled up, back and torn off and then you must focus on getting a kitchen knife wedged in between the base and the lid and popping it open. Fun! And always STICKY.

I HATE sticky! I don’t mind being DIRTY from gardening or even housecleaning, but sticky is something up with which I cannot put. Which definitely rules out the fine dining at The Waffle House where everything from the floor to the place mats to the menus to the booths is permanently sticky and has been since the day after they opened.

Last week I motored on over to the Prescott Sprouts for the kind of Orange Juice we favor – Uncle Matt’s Organic. I get two kinds because I like “With Pulp” and Joe likes “No Pulp.” At least until last week we felt financially secure enough to get both, but who knows going forward? Inevitably, as we each drink down our separate but equal half gallons we need more refrigerator space, so I combine them and it turns into one jar of “Some Pulp” Orange Juice. If I use the “No Pulp” jar, Joe doesn’t even know the difference, so don’t mention anything in the comments. But here’s the point of the story.

When I went into the store, the sky was kind of dark and threatening, but I had not received the screeching text warning me to PULL OVER IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE OF LIFE-THREATENING NO FOOLING AROUND FLASH FLOODS IN THE AREA. DO NOT DRIVE FURTHER. THIS TIME WE REALLY MEAN IT. MOVE IMMEDIATELY TO NEW MEXICO OR KANSAS.

I swear I was in there no more than twenty minutes. Also, I should mention that I had parked about as far away from the door as I could and still be in Yavapai County. I am always on the alert for getting more “steps,” the pursuit of which rules my life.

Haha – you know what’s coming, don’t you? The MINUTE I hit the doorway on the way out, the heavens opened and I relived icky Bill Cosby’s great old routine, “Noah, how long can you tread water?” This was not the typical Arizona sprinkle that evaporates five minutes later. This was a gully-washer. I have never been more drenched since my childhood when Mama would let us go out in a big summer storm and stomp in puddles. The water was up to my ankles in the parking lot as I squished my way to the car, opening the trunk as little as I could get away with and threw my bags in.

Now came the dilemma: in my whole life – it’s one of my yugest Pet Peeves and, as I bet you’ve gathered, I have many – I have never once failed to return my cart to the Cart Corral. Would this be a first?

No! I reasoned that it was already far too late. I had attained Maximum Wetness and a few more minutes would make no difference whatsoever. In fact, I WALKED back as fellow shoppers in their cars looked on in amazement.

And I had a kind of epiphany. I think the Good-Natured, Patriotic, God-Fearing General Public has reached Maximum Drenchedness in the Evil Poop Storm we have been living in for two years. We are going to walk back to sanity calmly and reclaim our country. I feel it. A corner has been turned. I saw a Hispanic guy at breakfast with a t-shirt: “Bidenflation: The Price For Voting Stupidly.” We exchanged thumbs-ups.

John Rich has an extremely popular song out with the refrain “Stick your ‘Progress’ where the sun don’t shine.” With a terrific accompanying video, very uplifting.


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