Things in Erin’s Brain
Is it possible that the cockroach is my spirit animal?
Do you remember my recent newsletter about the *palmetto bug*?
How horrified I was that the same critter had the nerve to enter my home not only once, but TWICE?
I don’t know WHY Universe wants to keep sending me messages via La Cucaracha… but I have a story that will outdo the palmetto bug horror.
I had dropped Cecilia off at the vet (she’s all good – just gettin’ to be an old kitty cat). My vet was kind enough to squeeze her in between surgery, other appointments, and whatnot, but they weren’t able to tell me exactly when I could pick her up. I decided to wait for a while to save on needless driving (#UGHgasprices). I had bolted out of the house without eating breakfast, and decided to pop into a nearby restaurant for some healthy, fulfilling eats.
It was beautiful. A quinoa bowl, with Italian sausage, sundried tomatoes (I always forget how much I LIKE sundried tomatoes!), kale, and two farm-raised basted eggs. This may have been the first time I’ve had basted eggs – I don’t really know how they are made, but they seemed like regular, over medium eggs to me. Anywhoo, the bowl came out piping hot, and I was oddly thrilled by the steam. How often does food come out of a restaurant kitchen steaming hot? It was in one of those big, wide, bowl-plates that also brings me an unreasonable amount of joy. This was an excellent idea. Enjoying a solo breakfast. Filling my belly. Staring the day right. I just knew that by the time I was done, Cecilia would also magically be finished with the vet and my day would flow like rainbows pouring out of a unicorn’s butt.
I broke open my yolks – smooth – just like I like them with no goopy whites. Yeah. Good eggs, these basted eggs. I smooshed the eggs around a little and grabbed a perfect bite with some of the sausage, tomato and kale. Dee-Lic-ious! It was still really hot, so I blew a little on the second bite, and a very grandmotherly voice entered my head, “Erin, it’s not polite to blow on your food,” and I put the fork down and sipped on my fresh pineapple juice concoction (also fantastic).
Feeling impatient (y’all know how I can be), I decided to mix up the bowl a little to release the steam, and with a turn of my fork, a dark oval, something-or-other was inadvertently flipped onto a bright piece of egg white. A perfect, blank canvas to display my little friend.
Heads up… you mayyyyyy want to put your coffee cup down now.
I first noticed the little antennae, and because I’ve been intimately working with caterpillars and butterflies I am overly familiar with what antennae look like. BUT, my brain, which is always looking out for my best interests, immediately tried to create an alternate safe space for me.
“Oh, that must (MUST) be a piece of sausage and there’s a little kale stem wrapped around it that look like antennae. Erin, you jump to such crazy conclusions, just stop it.”
But Erin did NOT stop it.
Angling my fork just so, I flipped the kale laced “sausage” over only to reveal a whole mess of legs on a F(&^!#@^%$# COCKROACH.
IN MY FOOD.
COOKED IN MY FOOD.
LAYING ON MY PERFECTLY BASTED EGG.
“Oh, Erin, it’s just a roach…” I literally said that to myself. “I mean Bear Grylls forages for roaches to eat on that show of his hiking with the famous people…”
Except I was NOT a celebrity guest on Man vs. Wild.
No. No I was not.
I am not a scene-maker. I was not going to yell, or squeal (thankfully the roach was dead). I took a breath and assessed the situation. The establishment was relatively busy. I gently slid my bowl-plate to the side, snapped a picture (I was gonna HAVE to show Jerry and Jenny), and looked over my shoulder as my server coincidentally started to pass by. I smiled with a slight raise of my hand and as she walked up to the table she returned my smile with a bright one of her own. I swallowed, not wanting to speak the word, and I pointed down at the bowl-plate with a finger that distinctively said, “Ew.”
“OH-MY-GOD” she was not nearly as discreet as I was.
I smiled again, feeling a little flush in my face, somehow feeling embarrassed that I was reporting a roach in my food.
Fast forward through the next 5-8 minutes: they removed the food, the manager came over, “don’t know how it happened…” and “can I get you something else…?” and “of course you don’t have to pay for it” and “thank you for being so kind” and “here’s a gift card I hope you come back.”
I did crack a little joke about extra protein… and while the manager appreciated my humor they retorted with, “But that’s not the kind you want!”
No I didn’t get another meal – my stomach was in a foul knot and was not going to let anything enter it’s orifice without sending it right back up. I’d prefer not to say what restaurant it was because things happen and they handled it in the best way they could. I’m leaving the picture out because it’s just gross (and I think I’ve created a pretty accurate vision for you).
When Jerry and I had the opportunity to chat about it we got in a pretty colorful conversation about weird things we’ve found in our food and where we draw the line in accepting a replacement meal. Once I found a baby crab in a fresh oyster. But that was like, ocean-nature, and I found it weird yet acceptable. Yeah, there’s been hair. But honestly? I can only recall two specific instances of someone else’s follicle in my food. In my LIFE.
Jerry deemed finding HALF a cockroach in your food worse than a whole one because presumably it means you’ve eaten the other half. <yeah I’m gagging over here>
I say a finger would be the worst. A finger nail would be pretty gross too.
So… tell me, where do you draw the line on foreign objects in your food?
Because it’s all about love…
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Technology. <<deep sigh>> I’ve said it once and I’ll say it 1,000 times more. It’s a blessing and a curse.
Very long story short… I’m not changing my booking software. I talked about it. Told everyone to be on the lookout for the change. I researched it. I tested it. I even set up the whole new system. Then learned about a few teeny details that were not going to work for ME, so I’ve decided to just stay put and #carryon.
Next Up: I’m thinking of doing a little segment on hot stones. Thoughts? Are there other massage things you’d like to learn about? Let me know!