This is the story of a walk in the sun that went awry, and of the friend who reached out, grabbed my hand, and pulled me back out of the gloomy mud into which I’d stumbled.
But let’s start at the beginning.
Last week, I was house-sitting for my parents. And by “sitting”, I really do mean sitting. On the couch. With the Internet. And chocolate. Watching Gimore Girls. Cuddling the dog on my lap. Sitting. A lot.
Suddenly, I realised two things. One, that I was feeling mopey, and two, that it was a beautiful day outside. By drawing these facts together, I reached a wonderful decision: I would go for a walk in the sun, and the warmth and Vitamin D would soothe my sadness away.
It worked! Except I did something on the walk that would have turned my day upside-down all over again, had someone not stepped in to save me from myself.
This is the tweet I sent my BFF: “Don’t worry [about something that had relevance at the time], I walked to the shops and bought canned chicken (WTF?) instead.”
I didn’t think much of it at the time; I just thought the comment might make Agnes laugh. But a few seconds after I sent this message into the ether, my phone started ringing. It turned out to be my guardian angel calling from Melbourne.
“What do you mean, you bought canned chicken?” Half-shrieking, half-bemused (she knows me well), my BFF chastised me.
“Well… it was there, on the shelf. And it looked so disgusting that I couldn’t help myself. After all, it’s tandoori-flavoured chicken… in a can. I… um…”
At this point, my voice turned from penitent to panicked.
“BFF, this is what I do in grocery stores!” I wailed. “I walk in, and my rationality goes out the window! The other week I bought instant Milo oatmeal, even though I already had oats and Milo in the pantry. Oh holy bucket, the reality is sinking in! I have canned chicken in the house with me! Get it out, get it out!”
“Hannah, listen to me,” said my guardian angel. “Don’t eat it. Promise me you won’t eat it. Feed it to your dog or throw it out. Promise me.”
“Okay,” I replied meekly. With that out of the way, we kept chatting for a bit longer whilst, in the background, the Forresters fought in mute on the tv (don’t blame me, there was a cooking show on Channel Ten beforehand). ‘Twas good.
An hour or so later, I tiptoed over to the can of chicken. I read its promotional blurb:
“Succulent”? “Quality ingredients”? Mouth-watering flavours”? “Perfect partner”?
I SMELL A RAT.
The above, of course, I mean in the figurative sense. When I opened the can, however, I started to smell a rat in a rather real way. And it smelled half-dead.
Oh. Battery-farmed protein, pools of oil, and a strangely-grainy sauce.
Would you like some?
No, really, would you?
Because even my dog was suspicious.
Thanks all the same, canned chicken company, but I’m going to take my BFF’s advice and stick to less vomit-inducing, gut-wrenching, and awful-smelling foodstuffs.
Such as the Ottoman Cuisine’s pomegranate ice cream. Yes, I wouldn’t mind more of that.