Saturday, January 8, 2011


You know when you do something so monumentally stupid you immediately think, “What did I just do? I’m an idiot. No. I’m worse than an idiot. I’m the person other idiots point at and say, ‘You, ma’am, are an idiot.”

...Oh, my. My husband’s gonna kill me.

And so this story begins….

“You can’t tell anybody,” I ordered. “It’s our little secret. OK?”

I looked down into the chocolate brown eyes of our Golden Retriever who looked back at me with such love and longing my heart broke a little.

Of course, her devotion could have been directed at the peanut butter treat I was holding in my hand that very moment and nothing to do with the heartfelt loyalty a four-legged friend feels for her human companion.

I know the truth. As soon as she gets this treat she’s gonna rat me out. I shrugged and tossed it to her anyway. At least I’d have one friend after my husband returned home to witness what I had done to his kitchen.


I was gonna make homemade cinnamon popcorn. So I melted the ingredients together in a saucepan on the stove until it was a smooth, creamy mix of cinnamon, sugar, butter and corn syrup.

In the past, I made a mess tossing the coating onto popcorn-filled cookie sheets. So this time I decided I would place the popcorn into a bag then pour the cinnamon mixture on top. Close the bag. Mush it around a little until the popcorn was perfectly coated and VOILA! 

Because - you know - using French in the kitchen makes everything taste better. Except frog legs. I fail to see how anything can make amphibians taste good. The ick factor is much too high. No offense, Kermit.
But I digress. 

Smiling to myself because of my new-found genius, I dumped the popcorn into the bag, picked up the saucepan and gently tipped the hot, candy coating into the bag.

And then time stopped.

And it was there - in that frozen moment - I realized my fatal mistake, that I had completely ignored all laws of physics, barreling through life without thought to materials science and the melting point of plastic.

Yep, that’s right.

I had used a PLASTIC bag.

So imagine if you will what happens when a person pours a batch of hot, boiling, candy coating into a plastic bag.

I watched in horror as a thick, pinky red wave of ooze flooded the stovetop. The popcorn – the few pieces that managed to score a bit of candy coating before the rest made its streaming escape from the bag – plopped out to land in globs on the floor, the cabinets and – oh, yes – the dog.

I’d like to say that I didn’t panic. That I kept cool. Like Fonzie cool. Or MacGuyver. Who, by the way, would have fashioned a proper popcorn-coating device using just two paperclips, a roll of duct tape and a Pringles can, but this wasn’t the time to lolly-gag.

So, no. I freaked.

“OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD!” I screamed and threw the saucepan into the sink where it landed with a loud thud and probably cracked the ceramic. But what did I care? I had bigger problems. Mount Vesuvius had erupted in my kitchen and the lava flow was threatening all the villagers.

I looked at my other hand and the only thing remaining was the zip top of the aforementioned plastic bag.
Everything else had been melted into oblivion. So I tossed it - along with the thought of any future kitchen privileges - over my shoulder and out of my mind.

“First things first!” I hollered. I pointed to the dog, “You. Start licking! We got 10 minutes until your dad gets home!”

I grabbed the paper towels, unwound half the roll into one big blob then threw it onto the stovetop...and quickly discovered there weren’t enough paper towels.

In. The. World.

“Plan B!” I screamed at the dog, which had pink-colored popcorn stuck all over her muzzle. But before I could think of what Plan B might actually entail, my husband walked through the door.


Now, I’d like to say I regretted my next action, but life is tough. Sometimes you just gotta save yourself.
So I pointed at the dog and yelled, “She did it!”

Then I ran. VOILA!

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