Wednesday, May 27, 2009

If I Die in a Bizarre Avocado Accident, Who Gets My CD Collection?

My guardian angels are probably sick of me.

I was a particularly loud, disobedient, and accident-prone child. Every time we drove past a church, my mother would contemplate leaving me on the front stoop. (By high school, she'd finally given up on this idea, as I could find my own way home.) Mom spent my first decade bouncing from one ER to the other, holding me down while I got stitches, and explaining that any Superman impression performed on a three-dollar skateboard would most likely end in tears, a fat lip, and a shattered garden gnome.

Adulthood hasn't improved matters. While I can somewhat modulate my voice, and I've grown a fairly reliable conscience, I'm still not too cognizant of safety matters. My nickname at the office is "Workman's Comp," taken from the (many) times I have stood on rolly chairs to reach the top shelf.

Home is just so much worse. I routinely stand on rickety stools, because I'm too lazy to buy a stepladder. I'm a self-taught cook, meaning that I chop vegetables in a manner reminiscent of Edward Scissorhands doing an impression of the Swedish Chef. I also cook on my gas stove while wearing long scarves, because, really, one must don their dangliest accessories when leaning over open flames.

But Monday was my finest moment. Not only did I do something so boneheaded I impressed even myself, I managed to find the only true flaw with being single and living alone:

When you live alone, and you're elbow-deep in avocado ectoplasmic goo, squishing, mashing, and making a fine mess while preparing guacamole...what do you do when the phone rings?

If you're a sensible person, you let voicemail pick it up. If you're a little more tightly wound, you grab some paper towels, and use them to pick up the phone. Or, if you're a little more peculiar, you're so busy playing with the avocado ectoplasm and rattling off Ghostbusters quotes to yourself that you barely even hear the phone.

However, if you're me, or someone nearly as special, this is what you do:

1. Attempt to answer vibrating, skittish cellphone with elbows.

2. Realize phone, elbows, and sleeves are now covered in avocado goo.

3. Watch phone squirt out of ninja elbow grip, slide across the counter and plummet into the sink.

4. Press phone between the elbows and lift.

5. Attempt to slide open phone, again with elbows.

6. Realize the futility of the situation.

7. To hell with futility. Futility is for wimps, losers, and German philosophers! Retrieve Wusthof chef's knife from counter.

8. Using chin, elbows, and a big scary knife (which wobbled quite close to both the chin and elbows), wedge open phone just before voicemail picks up.

9. Carry on conversation as normal.

In the comments, refuse to ever come over to my place for dinner, ever ever again. Or remind me what percentage of accidents occur in the home.


jman said...

Boy answering that phone because it was ringing must have been really important, so important that in the time you spent performing your various gyrations you could have wiped your hands off and answered it the old fashioned way. Here is my prescription for what ails you - ask WWSD (what would shannon do) and then do the opposite. It's called contrarian therapy. Not to be practiced when perched on rickety stools or chairs with wheels.

Malnurtured Snay said...

How would Shannon put together a bookcase? This is what I want to know.

Shannon said...

jman - Well, it was my friend, calling to say what time she was picking me up for the cookout. So the call was of VITAL IMPORTANCE!

Snay - I put together both the bookcases in my apartment in less than an hour, with a minimum of tears. The patio furniture, however, involved a chain reaction meltdown in which I envisioned myself starving to death while trapped under a pile of teak, sobbing at my lonely life.

Anonymous said...

Lol, this is an all too familiar scene at my joint. Stay strong.

Lemmonex said...

You are going to poke your eye out. Is avocado really worth blinding yourself? Key lime pie? Yes. But not avocado.

Shannon said...

jp - So glad I'm not the only person who answers the phone with elbows and a chef's knife!

Lemmonex - As I don't much like to bake, I'm far more likely to commit harikari over guacamole than pie.

Brett said...

While I will gladly saute, chop, put together beds and bookcases, and hang various objects by myself at home, I refuse to take the calcium supplements usually referred to as "horse pills." My cat doesn't know the Heimlich.

Zipcode said...

Being the fact that you cook a mean shepherds pie, I could never refuse.

I used knives as screwdrivers haha

Shannon said...

Brett - I bet your cat does know the heimlich, but hasn't told you about it yet.

Zip - Note that all the prep work was done by the time you arrived...that's because I didn't want you to see me sticking my head into the oven to see if it was warm enough yet. (Yes, I get my cooking tips from Sylvia Plath. What of it?)

Also, earlier in the day I jammed my fingers into the electric mixer to see if it was on. (Lemon bars are ALWAYS worth potential dismemberment.)

lacochran said...

Ha! Too funny and too familiar.

Didn't G I Joe have the ninja elbow grip?

HP said...

I do not get this frenzy to answer the phone. Ignore it. If it's important, whoever it is will leave a...voice message.

Shannon said...

lacochran - So, you answer your phone with elbows and a knife? At least I'm not alone...

HP - Well, in my sorta defense, my phone has been ten kinds of wonky lately and I was worried the VM wouldn't pick up.

Titania said...

I think this is exactly why I buy the guacamole pre-made... I would have paid to see the scene though

Shannon said...

Titania - Pre-made? Noooo! That stuff is a pureed, neon pile of flavorless goo. The real stuff is easy.

Titania said...

... with the exception of when the phone rings... Ok, I'll hire you to make my guac from now on (and will call many times while you are in the process)

Shannon said...

Titania - I bet "slapstick caterer" would be the world's best occupation.

Michael said...

Well, so, I really love your avocados!

Tina said...

I tripped over my dog and broke my knee once. At the time I lived alone in a house that was a three mile drive off a rural route road in a house heated with a wood stove in the basement. I had no phone service hooked up yet so I drove myself too and from the hospital. But my most dangerous manuver was just going up and down stairs on crutches to keep the wood stove going at night.

I cut myself if I even look at knives - opening the phone with one and no hands - you are my hero!!

Heather said...

You should get an award for this maneuver.

I thought this was only a problem with the elderly, but I have been[this]close to slipping/banging my head countless times in the shower. I figure I just need a medical alert button haha or just a metal handle in the shower would suffice as well.

Shannon said...

Michael - That's a new term, if I ever heard one.

Tina - God protects fools, drunks, and people who open their cellphones with large, shiny knives.

Heather - Maybe you need one of those sit-down showers with a front door!