Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Knife Going Through Cake

Walt told me a story today.  He makes his own lunch because he likes some kind of noodle soup.  Sometimes it's top ramen, sometimes it's some other kind of noodle.  He loads the flavored soup up with bok choy and carrots and whatever other vegetables there are in the refrigerator and then sits down to enjoy a big bowl of this concoction.  I think it takes him back to his days of eating saimin when he lived in Hawaii.

This afternoon he was using Japanese rice noodles in his soup and was using the last of the noodles left in the package.  He was breaking them up into smaller pieces and when he got to the end there was a piece about 1/4" long which fell into Polly's food bowl, which is right by the stove.  The thing was slightly heavier than a feather and he could barely hear the noise when it hit the bowl, but immediately Polly and Lizzie, who had been sleeping in the living room, were in the kitchen, expecting to find some sort of treat waiting for them.

Walt is always surprised when something like this happens.  He forgets the old Peanuts cartoon that talks about Snoopy being able to hear a knife going through cake.  When your entire life is spent on the alert hoping that somehow someone is going to drop something that you find edible, you easily cancel out all other noises and the barely perceptible sound of a teeny bit of uncooked noodle falling into a bowl immediately sends your salivary glands into overdrive.

I have discovered over the years how very acute the dogs' hearing is, so much so that I never call them any more.  I just open the back door and speak their voice in a conversational tone.

Heck, I don't even have to do that.  If I'm sitting at my desk in my office, get up and walk to the siding glass door, Polly is already there waiting for me.  She heard me push my chair back and figured I would be calling her.

If Sheila is sleeping outside at night and I very quietly say to Polly "let's go to bed," as I head off down the hall to the living room, Sheila is in the dog door and by my side in an instant to join the rest of us in our nightly "bedtime sandwich" (with me as the "meat", Lizzie and Sheila as the bread on the table and floor, respectively, and Polly as the "pickle" curled up on my back).

I've been discovering that there are lots of things in the house that we are out of.  Macaroni, for example.  Who checks to see if we still have macaroni?   We always have macaroni.  But we didn't.  There were other things too that we were out of, so a trip to the supermarket was in order.  Friday mid-afternoon was a great time to go.  Very few people there.

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Good parking, lots of available carts, aisles not very crowded.   I usually buy pretty much the same thing from week to week, so I don't pay a lot of attention to the price of things.  Just bite the bullet and pay the bill.  But I did recoil when I saw this.

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I remember when I could get ground lamb for less than $1 a pound.   Now it's >$10 a pound.  When did I get to be so old....?  I sound like my mother.  It's not only lamb, of course.  A small leg of lamb or a roast beef was more than $20.  I checked the price of chicken and was glad that I had a bag of frozen chicken parts at home.

As for spices!

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The sale price of this wall of spices was enough to make me try to learn to eat bland food!!!

In the end, I got pretty much what I always get.  The young man bagging the groceries had Downs Syndrome.  I have seen many Downs Syndrome people working in supermarkets and they have been for the most part friendly, helpful, and efficient.  It was obvious that this kid did not want to be there.  He was surly, grumpy, didn't respond when I tried to talk with him, didn't want to touch the food and picked up each item with two fingers on one hand while his other hand was held in the air as far away from the food as he could get.  It was good that this was slow time because it would have taken him forever to get all of my groceries bagged if the checker had not stopped what he was doing and done most of it for him.  I predict he will not last long in the job.

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