Dead panda walking

I’m slowly, but surely, starting to feel better. Furthermore, through some bizarre detail of scheduling, I’ve somehow managed to sneak the day off today, to rest and recover (my supervisor says it’s to compensate me for working on Saturday – I still think that I’m coming out ahead on this deal, seeing as how I got Monday off, but I’m keeping my yap shut!). This helps.
Hey, by the way, who knows what this is!?
Oh sure, it looks all innocent, just chilling on the counter like that…
If you guessed “table salt” you’d be right. But this is no ordinary table salt. You see, behind that innocent looking red-and-white facade lies the smirking face of an evil vial of table salt which conspired to ruin my lunch.
You know there’s a story, so here we go. Sick panda wakes up at 11:30 to the sounds of jackhammers and pneumatic power tools operating on the third story of the stupid house being built next door. He cannot breathe (poor sinuses), cannot feel his toes (the house was freezing!) and is hungry as hell, because after three days of having no appetite due to his cold, his hunger has returned with a vengance. So he stumbles into the kitchen, whereupon he surveys his choices.
1. Spaghetti
2. Flour
3. Dried Mangoes.
Sensibly deciding to go with choice #1, Panda fills his one and only pot with water and sets it to boil. After water comes to a boil, he (amidst much coughing and generally-not-feeling-well) sticks the last of his spaghetti in the pot and watches with 5-year-old-child-amazement as the brittle yellow sticks slowly turn into slippery, flexible, noodly-things and sink under the churning surface (it reminds him of those little pills we used to have as children that you could throw in the bathtub and they’d “turn” into giant foam shapes).
Had we left things there, all would have been good. But as we know, Panda occasionally likes to try and think and this often gets him in trouble.
“Hey! I know!” thinks Panda to himself – “I remember this one time when I was watching Martha Stewart Living and she said we should salt our spaghetti water!!”
Sometimes you just gotta leave cooking to the professionals…
Yes, I know you can see what’s coming. Panda should have seen it coming too, but for some reason, (perhaps he thought god had suddenly stopped hating him and doing everything in his power to ruin his life?) he didn’t. So he grabs the salt shaker, goes over to the pot of boiling spaghetti, turns the salt shaker over -
and watches in horror as 3/4 of the bottle of salt (and the lid) pours into the spaghetti.
Thinking back on it now, I am pretty sure that things might have been okay if I had just let the water keep boiling for a couple of minutes and stirred the salt in until it had dissolved. Or if I had done pretty much anything else where the sentence ends and let the salt dissolve. Which is, of course, not what I did. Panicking (hey, it was the last of my spaghetti), I grabbed the cover, held it over the top of the pot and rushed over to the sink, whereupon I promptly drained the spaghetti.
Satisfied I had dealt with the problem, I set the pot down, fish out the salt shaker lid, and take out a noodle to taste -
and almost die from the saltiness.
At this point, my brain has begun to catch up with the unfolding course of events, and I realize the folly of my haste. But what to do now? A sensible answer of course would be “rinse the spaghetti”. So what does Panda do?
Panda thinks to himself – “I betcha’ I could dilute all that salt by adding the spaghetti sauce now!!” (Hey – I WAS FEVERED, OKAY!!?)
So he does, and of course, now, rather than having salty spaghetti he can rinse, now he has salty spaghetti AND sauce which he CANNOT rinse (the last of my spaghetti sauce, you see).
At this point, panda concedes his utter defeat to a smirking shaker of NaCl, grabs his salty meal with 1000x the USDA recommended daily allowance of sodium and glumly slinks off to the living room where he attempts to eat his pathetic pasta production.
My stomach rests easiers knowing that they are EXPORT QUALITY mangoes…
I get about 1/4 of the way through it when I decide i cannot stomach anymore salt, push the dish aside, and get up to retrieve the package of dried mangoes I got from Cat (who, along with apparently every other JET in the prefecture, seems to have found out about this website). And so, alternating bites of the saltiest spaghetti known to man with pieces of sweet (albiet “EXPORT QUALITY” as emblazoned on the package) dried mango from the Philippines, I manage to choke down what must quite possibly be the world’s unhealthiest lunch.
Now listening to “Notorious B.I.G. – Everyday struggle”
(Oh yeah, busting out the old school tracks now!)
7:06 am

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