I’ve decided to share my latest book (The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man) with my followers here, free of charge, one chapter at a time. So… Where were we on this read-along… Oh, yes…
Chapter 34: And Then I Looked In The Granola Box…
And now, one more short and pointless little story from a different time in my life, with an even more pointless moral attached to it, since things got a little heavy there… The year: 1999.
I was home from college visiting Mom and Dad for the weekend.
One morning, I traipsed groggily into the kitchen and enjoyed the most delicious bowl of granola I think I had ever eaten. It was just the right amount of crunch and just the right amount of chewy. There were enough raisins mixed in, but not too many. The slivered almond to whole oat ratio was superb. Mom usually had good quality food on hand. This was no exception.
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I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to granola. Call me Goldilocks. If it’s not close to perfect, I don’t eat it. But when it’s just right, I eat whatever is there until it’s gone. Damn whoever else wanted some.
Mom always dumped all of her store-bought cereals into large plastic bins made for easy-pouring. There was enough granola left in the bin that morning to fill about four bowls. I had already savagely downed two and was still hungry, so I poured myself a third. I filled the bowl with milk until the top layer of granola barely showed through anymore, and I went to town.
I really wasn’t paying much attention to anything. My mind was back at college, thinking about all the women and their lips and breasts and other fun things that I had yet to experience. I don’t think I thought a lot about anything else back then.
I sat alone at the large mahogany table in my parents’ giant kitchen, and wolfed down bite after bite of that granola, willing my stomach not to fill completely so that I could pour one more fresh bowl and finish it off.
When no more than three spoonfuls remained in the bottom of my dish, I took another scoop and happened to look down at my spoon before I put it in my mouth. There, floating in the milk, was a tiny chubby brown worm, wiggling ever so slightly as it struggled not to drown.
Naturally I dropped the spoon back into my bowl, disgusted. This is when things really got bad.
Floating in my remaining milk was no fewer than eight worms, some of which were dead, some of which were writhing for survival just as the first worm was. My throat tightened and I held my breath. No. No. No.
I closed my eyes, reached out, and found the plastic cereal dispenser and pulled it toward me. I certainly didn’t want to, but I forced myself to look at it. The sides were semi-opaque. There was no way to clearly see what the contents were.
I pulled it toward me, opened the top, and looked inside. Dozens of tiny worms were attached to the sides, crawling up the container. No. No. No. No.
I looked closely at the granola that was still left in the bottom. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.
It was pulsating with life. Hundreds of tiny brown worms were making their way in and out of the grains and nuts. The cereal was very much alive.
I knew I had only seconds. I slammed the container down and made a run for the bathroom. Just before it all came back up, my entire body seized and my brain took over before I could retch. If you throw those up, they’re going to have to pass through your throat and mouth again.
I had already chewed those little bastards up. I had already swallowed them. They were already dead. And so, I made the impossible decision to keep them down and let my body do with them what it would.
It took me more than a decade to eat another bite of granola after that, and if I’m being honest, I’ve never enjoyed it to the same degree since.
Pointless moral of the story: check your food to see if it’s moving before you eat it.
And with that, we’ll get back to it…
Dan Pearce, from my book: The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man
Last Chapter: All the Pretty Ladies
Next up:An Hour to Kill
If you would like to start from the beginning, or catch up on a missed chapter, you’ll find all the chapters I’ve published so far by clicking here.
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