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Cheese and Brains

Around Halloween, Mason and I watched a couple episodes of some show that investigated and debunked urban legends (basically a rip off of Mythbusters). One of the urban legends told the story of a woman who, after grocery shopping, placed her sacks of groceries in the back seat of her car. After entering the car, the lady heard a loud bang. She reached up with her hand and when she felt the back of her head, she felt what she thought was her brains. When she looked at her hand, she realized what had really happened — a tube of Pop’n Fresh Dough had popped open and hit her in the back of the head. What she thought were her brains was really just dough.

Call it an urban legend, but something very similar once happened to me — except it wasn’t dough. It was Macaroni and Cheese.

When Susan and I first moved in together, we lived in a mobile home. The kitchen was right next to the living room, separated only by a bar counter. One night, Susan was cooking macaroni and cheese on top of the stove in a Pyrex dish … so basically you have this Pyrex dish full of mac and cheese, a two-foot wide counter, and the back of my head.

Suddenly and without warning, the dish exploded. To me it sounded like a gunshot. Like the woman in the story, I reached up and felt “my brains” coming out the back of my head. It was only after I leaped to my feet and checked my hand that I found not brains, but a handful of macaroni and cheese. And bits of Pyrex, of course.

We were so poor at the time that, although I can’t remember, it wouldn’t surprise me if we picked the glass out of the macaroni and still ate it.

Come to think of it, I have another macaroni and cheese story.

Back when I lived in my first apartment, food was hard to come by. I never went hungry … I worked at Pizza Inn, so at a minimum I had Pizza Inn for lunch and dinner and usually brought leftovers home and had those for breakfast. When Andy moved in, he was working at Pizza Hut. We pretty much ate pizza around the clock. So when I say food was hard to come by, I’m referring to “anything other than free pizza”. It was during this time that I invented “hot sauce soup.” Taco Bell was one of the few places that was open after I got off work at Pizza Inn, so I would go through their drive through and order an order of frijoles (beans), a small water, and about ten hot sauce packets. After I got my order I’d drink the water, put the beans in the cup, add the hot sauce packets, and make hot sauce soup, a 39-cent meal.

I don’t remember buying groceries a single time I lived in that apartment, so god only knows where the milk, butter and box of macaroni came from that I decided to cook one night after work. I boiled the macaroni, drained the water, added some butter and dumped the cheese powder on top. The last ingredient was a little bit of milk. When I opened the milk carton, a chunk of milk plopped out into the pan. It didn’t move or anything. It just sat there in a lumpy pile of milkish Jello.

I was so hungry that I just drained off the rotten milk and everything else and ate the noodles.

To this day I won’t drink milk without smelling it first. If it smells funky, I pass.

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5 comments to Cheese and Brains

  • Brent

    I think you would have been better off eating Ramen. It was probably 5 cents a pack back then.

  • Rob

    Sad thing is, there were days where (A) I didn’t have a nickel or (B) enough gas to get to the store. My, how things change.

  • Matt Bailey

    Lolz!

    I remember sitting in a Denny’s one night with some friends, drinking coffee and being obnoxious (we did that a lot back then). One of my friends grabbed a little container of coffee creamer, opened it, and emptied the contents into their cup. But what came out was a slug made of creamer. It slid out in one solid mass. I laughed. My friend, however, was not impressed.

  • Brent

    Well, for those days you had 39 cents and gas for the drive thru.

  • Susan

    Not only did you not grocery shop, if memory serves, you didn’t have a washer and dryer. Not sure how you guys got through that…probably don’t wanna know.