But if it did happen.
Which it did not.
The niece who allegedly provided emergency advice on how to remove carbonized hamburger from the bottom of the Missus’ dainty little cooking pot thing would be back in the Will, big time.
For the sake of this blog, we will pretend that it really did happen, once upon a time, when the Missus and her sister were away for three days last week.
Three. Whole. Days.
So, dear reader, if you would like to imagine hearing loud, manly war hoops of happiness, that would be okay with us.
Because these three whole days could be filled with Free And Independent Guy Stuff that would otherwise never, ever happen in a billion years of marital bliss.
Things like spending one whole day just bumming around the ASB Women’s Tennis Classic.
Where we supported one of the main sponsors (Heineken), watched Venus Williams firing off killer 120 mph serves, and
ogled until our eyes fell out admired a Mexican tennis player who we will forever remember as “Senorita Whoa”.
This was followed later that night by watching a mindless, action movie with Surround Sound Explosions Suitable For Men Who Are Home Alone.
Followed the next day by a sleep-in and an afternoon at the Doolan Brothers Irish pub watching the Freeking Awesome OU Sooners rip ‘Bama a new one.
Followed by very loud Bruce Springsteen, more Guy Movies with way more explosions than actual plot lines and, to end the perfect evening of awesomeness, a West Wing marathon.
Best of all, these whoop-dee-doo days of BEEG GUY FUN and optional bathing did not include being fussed at.
Not even once.
Which is as close to heaven as a married man is likely to experience in this lifetime.
Now, the fictitious Missus referred to in this blog — Motto: nothing we write about the Missus has even a shred of truth in it — before going away insisted that we (a helpless caveman) prove that we had purchased enough actual food to last three days.
We read from our receipt:
- Two cans chili (dented and on sale). Check.
- Two huge, pre-packaged burgers (on sale). Check.
- Six pack of hamburger buns (on sale). Check.
- Big fricken block of cheddar cheese (on sale). Check.
- Jumbo BBQ potato chips and dip. (Not on sale, but critical). Check.
- One tomato. One bag apples. Health Check.
- One jar crunchy peanut butter. Check.
- Leftover Christmas beers still in the ice chest on the deck. Check.
Having proven we could survive alone, for three days, we dropped off the Missus and…
Let the stay-at-home mancation begin.
We were filled with confidence on Day One of this made-up little fiction story, ha-ha, when we put on our camo shorts, opened a dented can of chili, poured it and some cheese hunks and ketchup into a glass cooking container of some description, put the lid on, and nuked that sucker until it cried.
We ate our gourmet meal right out of the glass container thing, right in the living room, right in front of the TV, having carefully placed the hot glass thing on a wad of newspapers so as not to scorch the Missus’ ornate chest that works just great as a dinner table for one, or so they tell us over in Pretend Land.
Without wanting to boast, our post-dinner, clean-up effort included using actual dish soap and the correct dish-washing brush. Thank you.
We awakened on Day Two with our confidence soaring. Why? After 24 hours alone, there had been no explosions. No dogs or plants had died. Thus, a total victory was declared.
Brimming with manly awesomeness, we decided to cook lunch before heading over to Doolan Brothers pub to watch the OU-Alabama Sugar Bowl game. Man-cation or what?
Our high level of mature home-cooking frugality would save a whopping $25, which could thus be frugally reinvested in adult Boomer Sooner beverages at Doolans!
If this actually happened, we mean.
Unfortunately, we could not find a skillet for the frugal lunch.
In hindsight, this should have given us pause. But being almost two-days into Free and Independent Guy Living Mode (read “unshaven and very limited bathing”), it did not.
Anyways, we knew that somewhere there were skillets, hidden amongst the Missus’ 10 billion kitchen-related items.
We have seen the her use them for decades. They come in a range of sizes, colors and levels of non-stickyness. We have even seen Junior use them a time or two.
Alas, we could not find them, despite searching diligently for what must have been at least 15 seconds.
But when you have on your Independent Big Boy Camo Pants, you just make due. Like in the wilderness.
Eventually we found, right on top of the stove, a teeny tiny cute little skillet just the size for one egg. Perfect for our burger!
Except that the mondo pre-packaged burger patty that we got at the supermarket, on sale, would not fit. Not even when we smooshed it down hard with a pickle jar.
For a split second, we considered cooking the burger outside on the BBQ grill, which, unlike the kitchen, we are fully licensed to operate in all conditions. But that would have required us to remove the cover.
Way too hard. And we were in a hurry, being a guy.
We again searched through the kitchen cabinets, at great speed, making occasional crashing sounds (ha-ha, we are totally making this up), until we found the perfect little cooking vessel — a small, silver pot-frying pan hybrid thing with a long handle.
Sure, it was probably made by some Frenchman for cooking soup, or maybe sauteeing something, assuming that is how you spell “sauteeing” — and if not, never mind, because this is all made up anyway!
We plopped the ginormous pre-made burger patty into the dainty little silver pot thing with a handle, but not before pouring in some BBQ sauce, because we could not find the ketchup, and then adding a bit of sugar, because we read somewhere that would be awesome.
We Have Ignition
And we began to cook right on the Missus’ stove.
Very carefully. On low. Turning the burger frequently. Being a Total Kitchen Stud, armed with a big wooden spatula.
At which point we remembered a safety talk from years ago, when we did P.R. for a giant global burger franchise, which we shall call “Mike Donald’s”, and in that talk we were advised that you had to cook the absolute crap out of every single burger or risk killing people with e-coli.
So, being totally mature and adult, we turned the temperature up to medium. Okay, maybe a little higher. Maybe up to high. Or Way High. Just to, you know, be 100% safe.
We even added a squirt of cooking oil, because we’d forgotten to do that previously, in this great story of fiction that never actually happened.
Then, in a veritable ballet of Masterchef multitasking, we simultaneously sliced a bun, the tomato and cheese, and then added pickles.
Just like a fricken Mike Donald’s Hamburger Pro.
Except that, to be honest, we have to admit that the tomato was not ripe. It was slightly harder than a baseball.
Still, having made a bad buying decision at the grocery store did not diminish our Kitchen Awesomeness Quotient, especially if there was no proof that it ever happened.
So we chucked the tomato baseball deep into the primordial jungle out back, where the ants, birds and raptors would eat up any signs of the financial waste that makes the Missus crazy.
Because, while this may be fiction, we are not stupid.
Upon completion of evidence destruction, we began to enjoy the wonderful smell of our giant, pre-packaged, pre-seasoned BBQ burger, and the melodious down-home sounds of Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel.
It was just outstanding.
Until the alarm started screeching, and smoke began billowing from the dainty silver sautee pot with the now-glowing handle.
For a real man in Big Boy Camo Pants, the son of an actual Norman fireman, this posed no problem, especially since we were reasonable certain that the Missus’ X-Ray hearing could not detect the smoke alarm sound from 400 miles away.
So we removed the less-than-pristine sautee pot from the stove;e front burner which, for the sake of drama, let’s all pretend, was glowing so red that it looked like a nuclear plant during meltdown.
“No Worries, Mate!”
We said that over and over to ourselves, as we tried to breathe deeply, and remember exactly where the Missus kept her fire extinguisher, just in case.
Then we grabbed the wooden spatula to dig out the fictional molten lava BBQ hamburger of big smoke and flame.
And in one graceful movement, we flipped it onto the bun, dropped the dainty silver sautee pot thing into the sink, ran some life-saving water, and then totally enjoyed eating the perfect BBQ burger, complete with 100% of the FDA recommended dose of carbon and an ice cold Corona beer.
At which point we were ready to go Boomer Soonering in front of the Doolan Brothers’ giant screen TV, thus annoying actual Irish patrons who wanted to watch a wee bit of the cricket, or professional paint drying, we get the two sports confused.
But first, we needed to clean up the dainty sautee pot thing, which should only take a minute.
Except that it would not clean up. Not even a little.
The kitchen sponge’s sandpaper back-side would not even scratch the dark black gunk burned onto the bottom.
Neither would the huge wooden spatula.
Or the steel wool.
Lawsy. Lawsy. Lawsy.
This is when we made wee wee in our Big Boy Camo Pants. And considered joining the Marines.
But God is good. He gave us Facebook Direct Messaging and a cyber-niece who was on line.
And being an Okie female of the country girlish persuasion, she was all over my problem.
“Just add a dryer sheet, let it soak, and you will not be murdered by your wife. LOL,” my niece would have written, if this actually happened, but we swear it did not.
And our niece’s fictional advice would have been just awesome, except that we could not find a dryer sheet anywhere, though we knew approximately where the dryer was located.
Our lack of knowledge about he dryer’s specific location is totally understandable. We have not been allowed near the dryer since the unfortunate Pink Chiffon Sweater Shrinkage Incident in Houston, circa 1992, which was a very, very bad thing that will never be forgotten.
So we moved on to Plan B from the cyber-niece — scrubbing with common baking soda.
Later, after we had single-handedly helped the Sooners kick Bama’s butt, via our real-time Facebook commentary and play-calling, we bought baking soda from the supermarket.
We tried it out as soon as we got home, but we had no luck at all.
So we decided to soak it over night, as per the cyber-niece’s instructions.
And we began to pray.
We will not go into exactly how we spent Day 3 of our mancation.
Nor will we mention the moment of madness when we actually considered using a hammer and chisel to remove the carbonized lava burger.
We will simply say that we made the decision to stay the course, and we continued scrubbing with steel wool until our knuckles had been ground off.
But eventually, the Missus’ cute little silver imaginary sautee pot was spotless. Or at least it was spotless after we wiped off all the skin and knuckle blood.
After saying a brief but heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving, we carefully replaced the gleaming sautee pot in exactly the same place where we had found it days before.
And we smiled.
Because, in this old wives’ tale that we are telling here, we had committed the perfect Man Lunch, complete with BBQ hamburger, beer, smoke and fire.
And we had covered it up, eliminating every single scrap of potential evidence.
Like a total Big Boy In Kitchen Camo Pants!
Except that we forgot to throw away what was left of the baking soda.
We left that right on the kitchen table.
Which was a very, very bad thing.