I quickly went through our kitchen inventory in my head to try to come up with a Plan B for dinner that could come together in a flash later when we would all be coming in to the house hungry. After just a few seconds, I had it: brinner! Breakfast for dinner is always a winner. I like it. That's bumper sticker material right there. So, problem solved, I left my station to spend a little time with the fam, took a walk, and enjoyed the evening a bit.
Trouble came when it was time to pull the brinner together. It seemed like all should be okay. Everyone was excited. This... this, my friends, was a special treat. You see, we only have brinner MAYBE once or twice a YEAR. Ella and Ethan were already sitting at the table. Yea for pancakes! At night! There was a celebratory feeling in the air. Happy times. It wasn't the full on Dad is great/he give us chocolate cake Bill Cosby bit, but I have to say, you might've been able to hear Mom is a winner/she gives her babies brinner sung to the same cadence. Just sayin'...maybe.
Zack was in the kitchen with me, enthusiastic about getting to man the griddle. I was at the stove relishing my genius, smiling to myself as I prepared to turn out an awesome cheesy batch of scrambled eggs for my breakfast loving brood. I poured the egg beaters into the skillet and turned to hear Zack yell, "Oh man, there are DEAD ANTS in the pancake mix!" Uh-oh. A dark cloud started to suffocate the sunshine that had been beaming in my kitchen.
This summer we had an invasion of ants in our kitchen. Yep, summer. That pancake mix had been in the pantry since end of July/first of August. I guess we hadn't used that particular mix since then. Damn, pancakes are out. Okay, okay, I thought, I've still got this handled. We're good. Cheesy eggs and biscuits and... what in holy hell is that smell?!?!?
Now boys and girls, I've smelled poo of every variety pretty much for the last 3 1/2 years straight. Like, in my face and on my person. I have never smelled anything so god awful in. my. life. I looked into the skillet to see the eggs looking a not quite right color. Sort of an ashen color. With a greenish tint. Okay, chartreuse. None the less, not a normal scrambled egg, or any egg-- except those depicted in Dr. Seuss books--color. After taking a reluctant look into the carton, I could see a chunky consistency and odd coloring, and then--and I don't know why I did this god why did I do this why why--I smelled the carton just to double check and confirm the source of the horrendous-and-born-straight-from-the-bowels-of-something wretched stench. Something wretched and living in the 3rd circle of Dante's Inferno. Really, I thought I detected a hint of sulfur nestled somewhere in the completely unglorious smells like death bouquet. The entire family, who had all been anxiously awaiting brinner's arrival on their empty and eager plates, every one of them gagged in unison.
We--Vern and I--went to work disposing of the contents of the disappointing dinner attempt. It was like I stole Christmas, guys. I have tainted the sanctity of brinner. The smell continued to waft throughout the house in weird waves. It was a mean and punch-packing phantom, hiding around corners, waiting for you to let your guard down enough to jump out and take it to your nostrils when you were least expecting it. Complete with burning sensation. The assault as it transpired would've been amusing, I'm sure, to any spectator: Walking, walking, sudden jolt backward and head fling to one side and away, quick and protectively cupped hand to nose, rapid eye blinks, watery eyes, stumbling away with one outstretched hand.
Okay, okay. So planning, at least, was good this go round. Inventory management? Not so good. Note to self: double check all use-by dates.
So...Chinese take-out? Oh, and can you light that scented candle? And that one? Yeah, pretty much all of them.