Aug 302016

My lovely wife was a recent unwitting accomplice in an olfactory crime of surprising magnitude.

We’ve made pretty good friends with Aldi. We’re not besties. Probably won’t ever be. Really, they’re rare, but when we find an occasional Aldi-branded misstep, they’ve usually whiffed pretty badly. In our experience, there aren’t many Aldi-branded products hanging out in the B-/C+ range. They tend to be either an A/A- or a D.

baconmenaceThough we have expunged a great many dietary sins from our lives, we still eat breakfast meat every Sunday morning, and three-quarters of the time it’s bacon. I have developed a significant preference for the thick-sliced bacon that is packaged stacked, like a deck of cards, because it’s always super-easy to handle. You’ll never be irritated by a poorly-aligned bacon slicer, or a slab that’s not conducive to being cut evenly, or both. (Can’t stand those tissue-paper-thin “slicelets” that you wind up stacking to cook as one piece, if you can ever straighten the damned things out enough to even do that.)

So Lea found some of that thick, stacked bacon at Aldi. It got the nod this past Sunday. And as I opened it, I noticed it said “maple-flavored” on it.

Hmmm. Usually the only thing I like that is overtly maple-flavored is real maple syrup. If some other product is maple-flavored, I tend to find it much too heavily applied, and it’s cloying. (Same with vanilla. I like vanilla ice cream, but if something says it’s vanilla-flavored, it’s always too much. Vanilla Coke? What is that? Vanilla is already one of the primary flavors of Coca-Cola. I’ll think “Vanilla Coke” is way too much. And I did. But I digress.)

So, yeah, that Aldi maple bacon. The smell was pretty strong when it was frying in the skillet, and my tummy was already a little tender, so I didn’t eat any of it. I sat with the family and had milk and coffee. The smell hung in the air, and it was still there when we came back from church, but that’s pretty normal too.

What’s not normal is that the smell is still there. As I type I cooked that bacon about 60 hours ago, and there’s a maple funk in the house that positively assaults you when you walk in. I mean, you stay in the house for a few minutes and olfactory fatigue takes it away, but go out and come back? Whap! It’s bad. I even got it a bit walking from my study to the kitchen a little while ago.

Even worse, its artificiality and its age have kind of teamed up to turn it even more unpleasant. It’s starting to smell like something that got peed on and then nobody cleaned it up. Ever consider that fake maple smell’s similarity to stale urine? Good times.

Lea has suggested that we make rosemary bread to cleanse the house. Probably not a bad idea.

 Posted by at 10:15 pm
Aug 192016

I happened upon a shorter version of this story in a comment this morning. I needed to read it today, and I also want to retell it.

Three years ago, Aaron and I were riding the elevator down from the beach condo at which we’d just had a vacation. It was the last elevator ride of the trip. It was time to drive home.



“Do you think I could have one more hug before you turn back into your cranky self?”

He wasn’t being cheeky with me. (Wow, I’d have certainly felt better if he was.) He was asking me a sincere question from his perspective.

Ask me how long I hugged him.

I don’t often outright lose my temper with the boys. I never say hateful things to them, or make unreasonable demands of them. But I once inadvertently trained my nine-year-old son to expect and accept my “cranky self” as part of the way life is. Oh, and guess what? He doesn’t like hugging my cranky self as much.

It’s hard to avoid being cranky once in a while. But I’m quite certain I don’t want a cranky self.

 Posted by at 1:43 pm
Aug 152016

I was browsing the products available at Amazon Launchpad, and happened across a fantastically executed smartphone. It’s especially good for the married man with a girlfriend. Meet the NoPhone. The NoPhone is compatible with all carriers, and features unprecedented battery life. Best of all, it arrives ready to use. Talk to your wife on the […]

 Posted by at 12:10 pm
Aug 122016

Our sons are old enough now that I have to consider carefully how to blog about them. (Well, even more carefully.) Some things are still easy. If they say funny things, they’re generally happy for me to share those, though most of those become Facebook statuses and not blog posts. But regular goings-on are more […]

 Posted by at 7:58 pm is using WP-Gravatar