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August 12, 2009



Have you ever had a meal that was not edible because it was overcooked? Undercooked? Maybe the ingredients were substituted or the recipe not followed properly. I have had some really bad meals in my life, be it the ones I have cooked, the ones that have been cooked for me and the ones that I have paid for. We all have. But sometimes there are those meals that are just so horrible that they have reached legendary status. I'm not the type of person to keep quiet, some might even say I'm rude. Sometimes my timing and tact are a bit off, but I really don't give a shit.

Linguine. Thicker than Angel Hair and thinner than Fettuccine. Pasta is a staple in my diet, I like carbs, I can't get enough of them. But one night in particular I wanted nothing to do with them. This is about that night. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law were both in town, we lived in Virginia at the time and they came in from Cleveland. My wife decided to make a home cooked meal, instead of going out (which I wanted to do, but apparently there was a shortage of funds in our bank account). My wife, who is a great cook, decided to make something out of the ordinary, which again seemed OK by me.

She decided on linguine with shrimp. She had cooked all types of pasta in the past, but never linguine. As with any long thin pasta you have to watch the pot and stir, so they don't clump together. Knowing that my wife has cooked spaghetti, angel hair and fettuccine I was confident that the end result would be delicious. And three of the four people eating thought it was. Guess which one didn't.

The table was set, the salad and bread on the table. Polite conversation all around. I ask my wife if she needs help and she says no, what a gracious host. We sit down and the main course is served. I notice something wrong with the pasta as she was serving it. It, was, clumpy. I refrain from saying anything at that moment. I'm watching thick clumps of linguine being plated and I'm a little bewildered, but still I say nothing.

It comes time to eat this concoction. I stick my fork in the plate and I start to twirl. I instantaneously notice what I thought to be true, the linguine is stuck together. Not one or two strands, but six or seven. My fork now looks like one of those things you beat a big kettle drum with. I take a bite and hear a loud crunch in my head. I take a look around the table and I swear to you everyone else is actually eating this! Huh? OK they can't be serious. Like I said I'm not that tactful, so I ask my wife if she undercooked the pasta, she says nope. I then ask her if she stirred it, yes she says. Well I'm thinking, why the hell is it all stuck together then and why are these people eating it?

Since no one is saying anything, I ask if they would like anything else to eat. No this is wonderful, almost in unison. OK well I can't eat this, I say. I'm going to be making myself a hot dog, are you sure no one wants one? Not a word. Just a look as if to say you ingrate, sit down and eat this linguine log and like it. Never. So I got up and made myself two hot dogs went back to the table and enjoyed my dinner.

After my other side of the family left to go back to Cleveland, my wife had a few things to say. It was blah, blah, blah, ungrateful. Ungrateful? You cook, I'm grateful. Blah, blah, blah, you should eat what your given. Really? Always? You know and I know that's bullshit. Try again. Blah, blah, blah, if someone makes something for you you should accept it gracefully. I accepted it but that does not mean that I have to like it. Blah, blah, blah, you should have spared my feelings. It's not like I said (when everyone was there) “how the hell could you serve that, let alone eat that? You suck!” I admit I was a bit harsh, but felt like I needed to prove a point. Why eat something that's not right. Why pretend that everything is cool. My point was taken, but not well. But guess what, to this day we have never had linguine again.