I have to tell you about Sicko. No, not the movie. I haven’t seen it yet. Have you? I want to see it. But in order to see it I’d have to call the babysitter (who’s probably booked out until Kingdom Come) and find a date that she’s available. Then I’d have to take out my life savings from the bank just to be able to buy a couple of movie tickets and a box of Snow Caps. After the movie, I’d have to come home and pay the sitter a kajillion dollars (sitters don’t come cheap around here), and then STILL put Snags to bed because he would have talked the sitter into letting him stay up because he’s cute and conniving that way. It all just seems like too much work, just for a movie. Even a movie that everyone’s talking about. Instead, I think I’ll wait ‘til it comes out on DVD, which will probably be in 2 weeks anyway, and then rent it from my local redbox where I can get it for just a dollar. Seriously, even if I keep the movie for a week, I’d still pay less renting from redbox than I would if I went to the theater.
The Sicko I have to tell you about is my husband. He pulled a London Broil from the freezer 2 weeks ago and put it in the fridge to thaw (yes, I know London Broil is a cooking method, but my grocery store labels the raw meat as such, and so I call it as I buy it). Anyway, I believe he intended to cook it when my parents were visiting from out of town, but we had other delicious foods to eat like pizza and crab dip and hot dogs and 4th of July cake. Then he forgot about it and it somehow the meat got shoved to the back of the fridge, behind the chicken he had thawed and also forgot about. Until I saw it a few nights ago and said: “Isn’t it trash night? Shouldn’t we throw out that rotting chicken and did you know there’s a rotting steak back there too?”
“A STEAK?” he asked, all wide eyed and starting to salivate like Pavlov’s dogs.
“Yeah,” I said narrowing my eyes suspiciously because he was starting to pant over the possibility of the steak. “I think you meant to cook it when my parents were here. You got it out to thaw before they arrived. They were here for a week and it’s been another week since they went back home. So I’m sure it’s no good now. Throw it out.”
Only the next evening, after I returned from a run, he told me how, instead of throwing it away, he had cooked that steak, the one rotting in the back of the fridge. He threw it on the grill with some spices, and not surprisingly, he burned it a little.
“What?! I cried. “You cooked that?”
“Yeah,” he shrugged. “I ate some of it. There was nothing wrong with it. It’s fine.”
“Well I’m not eating any of it,” I said. “And don’t feed any of it to Snags either! I don’t think you are supposed to eat something so old. Just because you burned it doesn’t mean it’s okay to eat. In fact, it’s probably worse. I heard on the news that the burned stuff causes cancer…”
Still, he swore it was fine. He’d eaten some and wasn’t sick. Yet…
I totally expect that any moment now he’ll come to me complaining he’s caught some horrible form of ecolisalmonellalisteriacampylobacterplusatumorfromtheburnedmeat and he’ll have the idiocy of mind to wonder why. And if he does, I won’t nurse him back to health. Not when it’s his own damn fault.
See, I had salmonella once. And even though I didn’t catch it from eating rotten meat, I am now very obsessive about expiration dates and how long I keep leftovers in the fridge before they start to grow things. I caught salmonella, believe it or not, from my sister-in-law’s dog. Her dog who got into the trash and ate some old, raw chicken. Possibly chicken she’d gotten out of the freezer to thaw, then forgot about. At least she realized it, and threw it away, instead of cooking it and poisoning the whole family. Too bad for her dog though. He got terribly ill, and when she was tired of cleaning up piles of dog sick from all over the house, I offered to ride with her to the emergency vet. That was a fun ride, let me tell you. She drove while I sat in the back getting puked on and shit upon by the dog. We dropped the dog off, went home where I showered and gagged over the stink that was on me, and we learned a few days later that the poor, sad creature that had been sick all over the house, the back seat of the car, and me, had salmonella. Ultimately, he’d be fine and back home like nothing had ever happened. Stupid dog.
Because what we didn’t know at the time was that her dog had given his illness to me. Three days later I ended up so sick that I found myself admitted to the hospital where I stayed for a week while the doctors ran every test known to mankind trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Then one day my dad thought to ask if it was possible to catch something from a dog… A few days later I was sent home with some heavy duty antibiotics and a letter from the state health department warning me not to take a job in the food service industry until I sent them a bunch of samples – STOOL SAMPLES! — to prove I’d been cured of the disease.
If you aren’t familiar with the effects of salmonella, you can read about them in a clinical kind of way here. They are too gross to go into in much detail, and besides, thinking about them makes my insides clinch in horror all over again. But suffice it say, if you get salmonella and are sitting in a hospital bed sipping Tropicana Twister because it’s sweet and the only food or drink you can stomach at all, even in tiny sips, you have been warned. It will come out the other end and you will be convinced you are hemorrhaging to death through your intestines, but it’s really only the red dye number whatever that you are seeing. So you can breathe a sigh of relief and believe the nurses when they tell you that too.
But back to my husband. He’s been eating the old rotten burnt steak for a few days now and he still hasn’t gotten sick. So maybe it’s true what they say, that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I guess time will tell.