|Liver and Onioins
I’m sure there are plenty of people who can sympathize with me and share a common hatred for liver and onions. Only one word in the English language could possibly sum up my feelings on this topic…….simply put…….yuk! In saying this, I would like to share with you an interesting story about how I was able to defeat my nemesis.
One evening when I arrived home from work, I parked in the driveway and proceeded to get out of my car. As I turned my key in the back gate, my nose began to twitch and little by little an all too familiar smell began to slowly creep up my nose. I felt it linger just above my upper lip until it had encompassed every hair follicle in my nose. With every millimeter it gained, my nose began to wrinkle up. The higher the smell continued to violate my senses, the more wrinkled my nose became, until there were finally tears in my eyes. But what was this familiar smell that was assaulting one of my most precious senses? It could be none other than the smell of a nearby neighbor cooking liver and onions on a hot summer day. Instantly my mind flashed to a pan on a nearby stove, bubbling liver and onions, emitting their stench to torture people like me. Then, I closed my eyes tightly, trying in vain to wish away the smell, I opened my eyes only to find myself in my grandma’s kitchen, in my seven year old body….with a plate of liver and onions sitting in front of me.
So there I was, scratching my head trying to loosen my trademark pigtails that were always too tight, wondering why the heck we didn’t have a dog to feed this horrific meal to. I was sitting alone at the table in the tiny kitchen. Tears had dried down my dirty face, and it felt weird when I moved my eyebrows up and down. I liked this feeling, so I kept doing it as I looked at my reflection in the washing machine. Somewhere in the living room my grandma’s radar must have gone off. I guess she sensed that I was having fun and she quietly made her way to the kitchen. There she saw me playing with my food, making faces into the washing machine, with my hair in disarray, and a completely untouched plate of liver and onions.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she said in a stern voice.
Without letting me answer she continued.
“You’re not leaving this table until you eat everything on that plate. You’ll stay here all night if you have to.”
Feeling brave, I took that challenge, and so began my long stand off. After all, I was young and had bounds of energy right?
At first, I gave a little chuckle to myself as she walked away from me. As soon as she turned her back, and all I could see were the tight gray curls on the back of her head, I stuck my tongue out as far as I could. As the last trace of her dress whipped around the corner and disappeared, I heard her say, “I saw that!”
How did she do that! Well, faced with the new dilemma that my grandma might be a witch or possessed some psychic ability, I decided to only deal with the task at hand. So I turned a dreadful eye to the plate of my least favorite food. It was so gross. The meat, if in fact that was the true identity of the mystery meat, had a bluish gray color to it. It looked like the unsuspecting liver had unknowingly ventured into a field of evil onions. The evil onions had wrapped themselves tightly around the liver and were slowly suffocating it. There was a struggle on behalf of the liver, but after a few minutes, it succumbed to the power of the evil onions. The liver finally gave up and died right there on my plate. Now, having described what it looked like to me at that time, can you imagine me attempting to even put that in mouth????? I think not!
I guess all the excitement from my very creative imagination got the best of me and at some point I passed out. In my fight to stay awake, I had decided to prop up my head with my glass of kool-aid. I stuck it under my chin and I thought the suction would be enough to keep my head from swaying side to side. Come on, I was seven, what did I know! As I’m sure you can guess, my plan didn’t work very well. In my sleep, my head involuntarily jerked up really quick. I heard a soft “pop” as I felt the glass of green kool-aid detach itself from my chin. I saw the whole thing in slow motion. My right hand reached to catch the cup. I saw the cup, as it left my chin, heading straight for the floor. Inside the cup, the green liquid was already sloshing around and large splatters escaped over the top. It seems the liquid inside was actually trying to race the cup to the floor. To add insult to injury, once the cup hit the floor and made a loud bang, some of the kool-aid inside sprang up and hit me in the eye! Now on top of having to eat my liver and onions, I was going to have to do it without having anything to wash it down.
What a mess. I was looking at a plate of the most disgusting liver and onions with little puddles of green kool-aid all around. I thought for sure I would be off the hook now! Guess again my friend. My grandma walked into the kitchen. She took one look at the mess I had made and gave me a sneer. I know she wanted to laugh when she noticed the pink ring underneath my chin, but instead she turned around and walked out.
“You’re going to eat your dinner!” she said.
Immediately I began to cry. But did anybody come to console me and wipe my tears away? NOOOOOO, of course not. She only turned up the television louder. In between my wails I could hear Kit talking to Michael and I knew she was watching Knight Rider.
“I hate you Michael Knight.” I thought to myself. “I hate you and your stupid talking car!”
Outside the early evening had now turned into dusk and I had grown tired of listening to myself cry. To be perfectly honest I was out of breath and little beads of sweat were starting to form at the base of my hairline. I tucked my head down, almost touching my chest, and counted the little white sheep on my turquoise sweater. I glanced at the plate and then quickly looked into my lap again.
Then it suddenly hit me. The most perfect plan I had ever had. How did I not think of this before? It was perfect and the little wheels in my head started churning at record speed. Overjoyed with myself, I broke into song…
“Why are there so many songs about rainbows, and what's on the other side. Rainbows are visions, but only illusions and rainbows have nothing to hide!”
Now just so you know, as I was singing, I took each individual piece of liver and flattened it out on my plate. I took my napkin and placed it between my palm and that piece of meat disguising itself as something remotely edible. Then I pressed down hard, until all the juice had been absorbed by the napkin.
“So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it, I know they’re wrong, wait and see.. Someday, we’ll find it, the rainbow connection. The lovers, the dreamers and me!” I continued to sing.
My eyes widened wildly with delight as I began to see my dinner disappear into the pockets of my blue corduroy pants. Once or twice I interrupted my singing with the hacking and coughing of a fake gag. I had to cover all my bases and make it believable. Sucking up all the juice with my napkin would keep the liver from staining my pants. At a glance my grandma would inspect me and believe that I had actually eaten my food. It was the perfect plan. The final touch for preparing for my final inspection was priceless. I took the last piece of liver I had and instead of putting it between my napkin, I stuck it in my mouth and sucked only the juice. With watery eyes and liver breath in tow, I called out to my grandma.
“Grandma” I shouted. There was a quiet pause.
“Grandma, I’m done!”
She walked in the kitchen and inspected both my plate and myself. She looked in the trash can, under the table, and in the cat food bowl. Satisfied that I had completed my task, she gave me a kiss on the face and took a warm wash cloth and wiped away my dirty face. It felt so good to get the dirt and sticky kool-aid off my face. I gratefully gave her a huge hug. She smelled like baking bread and the starch she used to iron her white uniforms. She picked me up and walked me into the living room. I stayed in her lap yawned and rubbed my sleepy eyes.
“Okay, go put on your pajamas and go sleep ” she said.
I stumbled from the living room into the bathroom. I continued to yawn and I didn’t even bother to turn on the light because it would hurt my eyes. I pulled off my sweater, almost ripped off my upper lip as always, and unbuttoned my pants. I sat at the edge of the bathtub as I wrestled with my pants. Once I got them off I collected all my clothes in a messy bundle and stuffed them into the bathroom hamper. I put on an oversized t-shirt and quietly went to bed.
That night I went to bed with a warm fuzzy feeling. I felt good, like I had conquered something great! I drifted off to sleep with a silly grin on my face. The last thing I remember was rubbing the strange dimples on my chin as I enjoyed the feeling of being drunk with satisfaction. Strangely enough, I couldn’t remember why in the world I was feeling this way.
“Oh well I thought,” I’m tired. How quickly we forget things.
Don’t worry, I found early the next morning, what I had been so happy about.
I woke up to the shrieking noises of my grandma screaming at the top of her lungs. She was yelling something about clothes….washing machine….ruined….liver!!!! What? Did she just say liver?
OH MY GOD! The reality of what I had done the night before came crashing down on me. I felt sick to my stomach. Oh man was I going to pay for this one. There was no way to conceal the horror of my actions. I heard her scream my name. As I lay under the covers, trying not to breath, I pictured her face. By this time it was beet red, there was probably smoke coming out of her ears and she was grinding her teeth. I heard her inhale and I pictured her chest heaving up and down as she prepared for her next slew of Spanish curse words that was inevitably coming.
“Get in here right now!” she screamed. No really, she was screaming.
“Look at the mess you made. Get over here and look!”
I walked down the hall with both of my hands behind my back. One palm on each of my butt cheeks for protection. When I reached the washer she picked me up and made me look inside the washer.
What I saw was amazing! There were a million tiny gray particles all over the clothes. It looked like someone had dumped a gallon of black pepper in the washing machine. It was over EVERYTHING! I would have in fact blamed it on pepper, but there was no doubt that the stink that filled the air was indeed that of liver and onions. I knew I was in deep trouble and that my actions called for serious punishment. However, as she pressed my body against the washing machine and let me slowly slide down, I couldn’t help but smile. That liver had made a bigger mess than even I could have imagined. Yet there it lay, in millions of bits and pieces all over our clothes.
Yes, it seems as though I won that battle. So I was grounded for a week and I got a little spanking, but I won. I can also tell you that my grandma never again made me eat liver and onions, and she never forced me to sit at a lonely kitchen table again.