Wednesday, February 24

The Flying Tomato

The grocery store was the last place I wanted to be today. They said we were getting another substantial snowfall, and my cupboard was bare. Even the dogs had no food. So I parked in a spot which could not have been farther from the store and maneuvered my way through Genuardi's with the rest of the"Flurricane" survivalists.

There was traffic getting to the supermarket . . . There was traffic in the supermarket . . . And there was traffic heading back from the supermarket. On the ride home, I heard the folks on our local news calling for people to name the storm. I had several names to suggest, none of which were poetic nor even polite. Did I mention I was starving?

My usual patience — already compromised — completely evaporated as I pulled up to the door. I saw that the man who shares my house had missed the driveway and tracked his truck through the garden — as he always does — on his way out. But after 30 hours of rain, today's result was mud covering both the driveway and the leftover snow in the yard. Inside the house, the earlier immaculate countertop was covered with a sticky film of sugar, spilled coffee and crumbs... And
he was out to lunch. It was not how I had left the kitchen nor the driveway.

I was ravenous and a little ticked at this point. I unloaded just enough of the groceries to find the Tuscan Tomato and Basil Bisque (that I was so glad wasn't yet in my cart when I crossed paths with the nutritionist from the gym in Genuardi's vegetable isle). While "tomato" and "basil" might sound like the foundation for a healthy soup, I think that the second ingredient is actually cream.

Ignoring the items that should go into the refrigerator, I opted instead to tear into the soup and start it warming. The goods were sealed under a film that wouldn't just peel off, so I grabbed a knife and hacked away like a serial killer. The entire container shot off the counter, and three cups of tomato soup exploded in the kitchen — sending a red surge 20 feet in all directions.

I was vaguely aware of Scout — my dysfunctionally timid, camera-shy dog — who bolted as the soup hit the floor. I fired my entire arsenal of curse words into the kitchen, and Atticus moved in for a free meal. I thought about letting him take care of the mess, but then I remembered the cream, the onions, the garlic, and the cayenne (the stuff that makes this soup tastes so good and yet acts as a canine laxative). I might be cleaning up this mess twice if I didn't put Atticus in the yard.

By that time, I was laughing to myself about the state of the kitchen as I wiped up globs of bisque from the floor, the cabinets, the appliances . . . and I was a little surprised to see that the soup seemed to have made a 90-degree turn around the island. Wow. Did it go
over the island? This trail extended another 15 feet . . .

And then I remembered the white dog, who'd taken off when the soup exploded.

I climbed the stairs to find Scout licking her lips and wiping the tomato soup from her shoulder into the carpet. She looked like a leopard with red spots.

I finished cleaning up Scout and the carpet just as Jack came in from his lunch. Remember the cream in that soup? Well, it had coated the floor like butter, and I hadn't yet mopped. I hit the bottom of the stairs just as he hit the kitchen . . . floor.

is justice.

That last part only happened in my mind. The rest of the story is completely true.


  1. Ouch!
    But so funny to read...
    I trust you later had a delicious compensation meal...

  2. Absolutely hilarious, you had me in stitches thinking of the scene. Can't quite imagine you being flustered though. xo

  3. Laughing out Loud... your words paint a vivid picture Leslie, and though I'm sorry this happened it certainly makes for great blog fodder!

  4. you're a better man than I, Gunga Din! did you ever eat? yesterday must have been the day. I have 4 delightful( usually) kitty demons who play at night while I'm sleeping. they are indoor cats. due to impending snow I brought an extra cat box in and stacked it on top of one in use. came down yesterday am to find the entire contents of said box on my laundry room floor. kitty litter everywhere! but at least it was clean and dry! those kitties ran for the hills when they heard what I had to say! you'll be finding little splats of tomato in the strangest places for a while. have fun with our current snow lyle

  5. "The man who shares my house" Humm, he has truly fallen. Love the story. Poor Scout, has she recovered?

  6. aw leslie, that's such a sad story. i hate when i'm that hungry. i hope the puppie is ok.

  7. Laughed out loud, I dropped a whole pan of lasagna once, you can imagine
    the chaos with 4 dogs.....

    Soup sounded wonderful, but yeah all that cream...

    Hope Scout survived the trauma and got all those orange spots off...

  8. I was walking in from the garage — minding my own business — when I heard Stiffie (Leslie) talking to herself in the kitchen, like she was an extra from the horror classic “The Exorcist.”

    Edging the door open a crack, I could see the woman of all my adolescent dreams slamming the countertop with what appeared to be a blood-soaked rag, before her head spun completely around.

    “WTF,” I whispered, slowing turning to retrace my steps out to the truck.

    “Get in here, you,” she said in a voice that could only have belonged to the late Lucretia Borgia. For the first time in my life, I knew how a gazelle feels when coming face to face with a tigress on the plains of Krishnapore.

    “Crumbs from a variety of baked goods — none of which you should be eating — were nearly cemented to this beautiful countertop by a slurry of spilled coffee and sugar,” hissed Stiffie.

    My response was slowed by desperate thought. This was one of those touchy occasions where every word would be weighed... A situation in which life itself is measured by syllables.

    “Well I never would have thought to clean it up with tomato-basil soup,” was my reply.

    Nobody lives forever.

  9. Too funny - you had me smiling!! At least it was only tomato soup. I remember watching Marshall one summer for you. Marshall had an upset tummy & I cleaned it up. You were having construction done on your house and I cleaned up Marshall's upset tummy/bowels from afar!! Thank God they hadn't sanded your floors yet!! Once I got over the shock I laughed and still smile to this day!! Poor Marshall, Poor Me!! :-))

  10. ah, so many thoughts...
    you know they make really wonderful sandwiches at Genuardi? But that soup is really tasty too. I've actually been able to eat it!

  11. Totally funny! you are a great story teller.

  12. I needed that...such a good laugh at your expense...and as I read the comments, Jack's.
    I laughed so hard when he hit the floor...never mind that it just happened in your mind...*grin*

  13. hahaha!!! great story Leslie between your description of your day and Jack's...

    stay warm and fed

  14. This is great and a good reminder why a sense of humor really helps. I needed that the other day when my eight year old son somehow knocked the eggs off the shelf in the refrigerator when he was pulling the door open and it spilled over all of the vegetable drawers.

    He helped me clean it after we both calmed down. At first I didn't even know if it was possible to clean it. I am not good at this kind of housework stuff, my husband is much better.

    So your humor helped!


  15. My son is asking me, "What's so funny?" Yes I am laughing out loud!

    Thank you,

  16. Oh, man, I'm so glad that last part didn't happen!

    You did well! This was funny but I would have taken another day or two to laugh at it!

  17. You are so funny, I am so glad I got to read this today... what a day you had. Is the storm gone now?! roxanne

  18. Leslie:

    I'm glad I tuned in today. Sorry I missed you yesterday. I was speaking to Jack and he never mentioned this episode. I still have visions of Jack bouncing on the floor. If it did happen it would have been like an earthquake had hit

    Couldn't Jack have gone to the store for you? or would he have come back with too much junque food ?

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  19. Leslie, love how you tell stories. I could picture it all happening. Reminded me of when I dropped an almost full large can of paint from the top of the ladder. Not such an easy clean up.