It’s Chili weather at the barn in Mooresville. I made a batch this morning using an old, secret family recipe. I wasn’t able to follow the instructions exactly because we didn’t have a full moon last night and on top of that, I wasn’t able to catch the only frog I saw in the pond. But it will do.
My wife Susie is out with her friends so I am free to crunch my crackers right in the bowl, something I am not allowed to do when we’re both at the dinner table. Why is that, you ask? I am including a story taken from one of my books by way of explanation. I’m sorry to say I don’t know which book and I’m too lazy to get off the couch and look. Also, I’m afraid I’ll spill my chili. That’s right. I’m breaking another house rule; no eating on the furniture.
Chili with crackers is how God intended it to be.
It all started with that in the spring of 1963. I was on my second date with Susie, this cosmopolitan big city girl that I met through a mutual acquaintance. We stopped at the South Side Teepee, a popular drive-in restaurant in Indianapolis and I ordered a bowl of chili. When it arrived, I took the crackers that came with it and crushed them up into the thick, bean laden concoction just like I’d been doing my whole life.
“Aaaaghhh.” Susie said loudly.
I jumped because I thought she’d been shot or something.
“What are you doing?” she said, pointing at my food.
”I’m putting crackers in my chili.”
“Oh my God, you can’t do that.” She shuddered. “It’s terribly bad manners.”
“It is?” I said, shocked to the core.
I was just out of the backwoods of Southern Indiana and barely removed from the Neanderthal stage so I believed her. I was mortified.
“I, I, I didn’t know.” I stammered, having wanted very badly to impress this girl. Instead, I had apparently committed a social faux pas of the first order. I pushed my chili away and covered it with my napkin.
A couple of weeks later, Susie and I double dated with her brother and his girlfriend. We went to the same restaurant where her brother promptly ordered chili. It arrived while the girls were powdering their nose and he promptly crushed his crackers into a sodden mess.
“What are you doing?” I said, horrified. I explained what Susie had told me.
“She’s lying through her teeth. Crackers in chili makes her sick so she always tells people that.”
When she came back, I confronted her.
“It looks like guts.” She cried. “Those mashed up crackers look like guts and I can’t stand the sight of them. I need some air.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked her.
“I didn’t want you to think I was some kind of nutcase.” she said with a tear in her eye.
“I would never think something like that.” I said, wiping the tear from her eye.
“Promise me you will never crunch your crackers and I will never ask anything else of you.”
I thought my heart was going to burst with love for this girl. “I promise.”
Hah! Never again, she said. Right. I learned a valuable lesson that night and have put it to good use over the years but now she’s after me again. This time, it’s my physical appearance and I don’t know whether to believe her or not.
Why would God, in his infinite wisdom, instill protruding hair in the nostrils of aging men and at the same time, create women who can’t stand the sight of them?
“Nobody with any sense walks around like that.” She says, folding her arms defiantly. “I am not going anywhere with you until you trim those nose hairs.”
I’m not a freshly arrived hillbilly this time around. I’m wise to her. “Look, Susie. God put them there for a purpose. They keep dust out of your nose. Do you want me to end up with boogers the size of just calved icebergs? ”
”Aaaagggh. You’re sick. I don’t care about icebergs. Just get rid of those things.” She handed me the tweezers “If you don’t do it, I will.
In a pigs eye. I’m certainly not gonna let her around my nose again. I did that once and the pain was indescribable. Besides that, I’ve always believed that jerking hair out of your nose could lead to cancer or at least to an ingrown hair. Does she want that, for god sake? An Infection and maybe a nose the size of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse?
This nose hair business isn’t all, either. Now she wants me to be prepared to trim my ears when the time comes. Even though nothing’s growing, she can’t stand the idea of hair ever protruding from my ears. Can you believe that she wants me to stick a pair of scissors into my ear canal and trim those bad boys before they work their way out into broad daylight? Even if I would do it, I can’t turn my head enough to see what I’m doing and on top of that, the very idea makes my hand shake like a dog trying to pass kidney stones. We’re at an impasse here. If I ever want to be seen in public with Susie again, I’m gonna have to shape up, sartorially speaking.
Does anyone out there know who does painless nose hair extraction?