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Volume 15, Issue 27 ~ July 5 - July 11, 2007

Bay Reflections

My Wife Is Trying to Kill Me

A toothpick, spices and ice cream are the weapons in her culinary war

by Allen Delaney

I am now convinced that my wife of 18 months is trying to kill me. You who know me are thinking, What took her so long?

Frankly, I think she’s been trying to do me in since we got married. But yesterday, while on a fishing trip, my suspicions were confirmed.

For lunch, she had packed me a leftover chicken rollup that she made for dinner several nights before. On the third bite, I felt a sharp jab in the roof of my mouth. It turns out that she had purposely placed a toothpick into my lunch.

Even though she had warned me about the toothpicks at dinner, she conveniently forgot to remind me about them before I went fishing. This is the woman who reminds me of everything. Remember, put your clothes in the hamper. Remember, wipe your feet before coming in the house. Remember, get a job. But not Remember, there are deadly toothpicks in your lunch.

I Googled toothpick injuries and found this in the New England Journal of Medicine: “We report an unusual case of cardiac tamponade due to an ingested toothpick.” All I know is, if toothpicks can cause cardiac tampons, heaven only knows what would have happened to me had I swallowed one.

Thinking back, I realize that this is not the first time my wife has tried to cash in my life insurance via my stomach. As she is so fond of reminding me, she rarely follows cooking instructions, adding extra pounds of spices and ingredients to a once-innocent, harmless dish. If she finds a recipe for tuna casserole, it could magically become squid tartar. A BLT might end up as a taco so spicy that my next meal is a year’s supply of antacids. Hamburgers have been transformed into a seafood dish she calls Rocky Mountain oysters, which sure don’t taste like any oysters I’ve ever eaten. During her lifetime she has shrewdly built up an immunity to strange, volcanically spiced dishes and is therefore unaffected by their toxic side effects.

Fortunately for me, my mother also served some gastronomical abominations during my childhood. As a kid I was forced, sometimes at gunpoint, to eat such delicacies as kidney stew and cow tongue. (I hope it was the tongue.)

Having experienced those dishes has kept me from keeling over due to my wife’s culinary concoctions.

However, I should have realized last summer that she married me only for my $500 life insurance policy when, after eating several dozen steamed crabs, she suggested that we go out for ice cream. Any true Marylander knows that consuming ice cream after crabs will lead to severe stomach ailments, if not outright death. I informed my sweetie of the potential effect of such an act. She waved her hand and pooh-poohed my concern.

I snatched her car keys and hid them until her foolish idea passed. I knew she would be upset, but she would thank me later.

But now, blatantly hiding a toothpick in my lunch has raised the food-war to a new level. In the future, I’ll examine my meals more thoroughly. If her nefarious cooking habits continue, I may just encourage her to have a sundae the next time we eat crabs.

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