Remember how I told you yesterday that Pam uses the money she earns at the Totswap to take trips to Europe?
So, I was working at the Totswap today and called Pam on my lunchbreak.
I haven’t had a real lunchbreak in 10 years. It was heaven. No one spilled their ramen noodle soup all over the table or made me watch Inspector Gadget while I ate.
So I called Pam’s cell phone to see when she was going to arrive at the Totswap tonight so I could ask her to bring me a sandwich from Subway for dinner. Hey, she owes me. After I had given birth (birth, people!) she called on the way to visiting me in the hospital. I was starving and begged, “Can you pleeeeease bring me some shrimp fried rice on the way over?” But she didn’t! Yes, I know it’s been 10 years, but I’m not over it yet. I neeeeded that shrimp fried rice.
So, I called her to ask her to bring me a sandwich for dinner. I expected to get her voice mail because she should have been at work. But instead, she answered, a little terse. “Hello??”
What? Why is she picking up her cell at work? I hate it when people do that. Just let it go to voice mail. So I quickly said, “Hey, Pam! Are you at work?”
“No. I’m in Paris.”
“Paris?! The Paris?”
“Yes, and this phone call is costing me a boatload of money. Whaddya want?”
“Well, gee. I was just wondering if you could bring me a sandwich to the Totswap…”
No sandwich for me. Again! And the hotdog booth that was parked outside the fairgrounds said they’d close at 5:30, but they closed at 5:00, so no hotdog either.
But then it was time to go and I found myself an hour from home with a credit card in my wallet and no family. You know what this means, right?
Oh yes. Shrimp fried rice.
I found the closest China Garden (because aren’t they all named China Garden?) on the GPS and off I went. No clue where I was. But I suspected I was somewhere in Columbia, Maryland. There were windy roads and trees everywhere, with lots of unexpected traffic in the trees and businesses hidden in the trees so that you can’t find anything. I’ve never gotten the hang of Columbia and all those trees.
And if it’s Columbia, then that means Jo-Ann is nearby. I called her, “Hey, Jo-Ann. I think I’m somewhere near you.”
“Where are you?”
“I don’t know. But I think I’m somewhere near you.”
“But…where are you?”
“I can’t find the businesses in all these trees, so it must be Columbia.”
She gave me her address and the GPS showed that I was pretty close. I asked her if I could stop in for a visit. “I’m at a China Garden, and I have my own food. I’ll probably eat my Shrimp Fried Rice on the way to your house.”
And I’m positive that I’ve eaten shrimp fried rice in the past while I’m driving. But it just wasn’t happening today. It’s probably because they gave me a fork instead of a spork. Sporks are more stable than forks. Forks have all those holes in them. I had rice all over my pants. And Maryland has a law against handheld phones while driving, so in the spirit of the law, if not the letter of the law, I thought it best not to try to eat rice in the car.
I got to Jo-Ann’s house and sat at the dining room table to eat my rice. And I couldn’t help but notice her cat. The cat is very, very fat, and takes up half the room. I forgot to take a picture, so instead I’ve drawn you a very accurate portrayal of me, the cat, and Jo-Ann. It’s completely to scale and we all look remarkably life-like in it:
As you can see, Jo-Ann has lovely naturally curly hair. It’s so beautiful. She hates it. I don’t know why.
And, as you can see from the completely accurate picture, that cat is fat.
If you remember a few posts ago, I told you that I don’t have the issues other people have with toilet lids being up or down. We don’t care.
Jo-Ann responded to that by saying, “I made people start putting the toilet seat down when the cat fell in.”
And I responded to her that she made up that story about the cat falling into the toilet. Look at that cat! Even if it could haul itself up on the side of the seat, it would never fit in the bowl.
So we were sitting there, staring at the cat, while I ate my shrimp fried rice and Jo-Ann ate nothing. She ate nothing because she’s decided to try a diet of eating only non-processed food. She’s lost one whole pound.
And I can see why. It’s because she sat there, hungry, but was too lazy to get up to make anything. Anything that takes longer to cook than a hot pocket is just too much effort.
So, Jo-Ann sat there staring at my shrimp fried rice, and I, who am not on any silly old diet, snarfed down my shrimp fried rice, right in front of her. There were probably lots of mmmm’s and sighs of bliss over the shrimp fried rice. And maybe even a few muttered, “Oh man, this rice is good!”
And apparently, this irritated Jo-Ann.
Unfortunately for me, Jo-Ann is one of my very oldest friends, and the one thing that makes her so precious as a friend is that even if we haven’t seen each other in a year, we can sit down together and within 15 minutes she’ll have me laughing until I’m crying.
All she has to do is start telling me a story, taking care with word choice and timing. She knows this, and used it to her advantage. Hey, if she can’t eat the shrimp fried rice, she might as well get some entertainment out of it.
Quickly calculating in her considerably agile and intelligent brain, she launched into a story about her fat cat attempting to climb the stairs. She waited to deliver the punchline at the precise moment I had just stuffed a disgusting amount of shrimp fried rice into my mouth and was munching away, probably with bits of rice stuck to my chin.
The ending of the story was something about the cat laboring up the steps and how Jo-Ann stumbles upon the animal, who is passed out from the effort of climbing the steps and in danger of rolling back down the staircase. She told it much better than I’m telling you here, of course. And one thing I learned is that it’s not possible to laugh with shrimp fried rice stuffed in your cheeks. Jo-Ann was delighted when the shrimp fried rice went snorting out my nose and across the table. (Eeewwww!)
But she wasn’t done yet and she waited to tell the story of the cat’s attempt to jump on the bed until after I’d had another disgustingly gigantic mouthful of food. She reenacted the cat lumbering across the room and trying to jump and falling back to the floor.
And that’s when the shrimp fried rice got stuck in my lung. Honestly, Jo-Ann, the only food that’s safe to eat around you when you’re telling stories is yogurt. Greek, of course.
She was completely pleased with herself for making her friend gag on her dinner, and rewarded herself with some UTZ potato chips. And I didn’t even make fun of her for it.