so much for healthy eating

Dear Uma: Thank you for being understanding when I called last night, especially since it was late. I tend to forget that not everyone’s work…

Dear Uma:

Thank you for being understanding when I called last night, especially since it was late. I tend to forget that not everyone’s work hours are the same as mine; lots of people are asleep at three in the morning.

And thank you for not laughing, though I could tell you wanted to and I’m pretty sure you and Andrew damned near choked as soon as you’d hung up the phone.

Although I have some friendships here there is no one I could’ve called about this particular catastrophe.

It was a catastrophe, Uma, of a magnitude you can’t imagine. The whole trailer is spotted with pink sticky stuff; it keeps showing up in the oddest places, like on the blades of the ceiling fan, and along the spines of books. The kitchen window over the sink is broken. Luckily it’s the smallest one.

My eyes are fine today, and though the cuts took a long time to stop bleeding, I don’t think I warrant a trip to the hospital.

The cut under the eyebrow is close to my eyeball, and I believe it will scar. Both eyes are still a bit red, but my vision is unimpaired.

The cut on my wrist looks like a botched suicide attempt but some Band-Aids seem to be holding it together.

I couldn’t face going to see a doctor and having to describe the series of events that led to the injuries.

I don’t believe they have a rubber room at this hospital, but I’m certain they’d have its equivalent. I know one of the hospital issues is confidentiality and that’s all I need — to be branded as a total idiot before I’ve been here a year.

I don’t know how I’m to get everything cleaned up before Pete gets home tomorrow.

I was too overwrought to tell you the sequence of events last night (or early, early morning, as you somewhat scathingly reminded me), so I’ll tell you now.

Although in the light of this new day I can see how ludicrous the whole event was, I am not at all ready to believe what you said on the phone about how someday we will laugh about it. I’m thinking you and Andrew have already done enough laughing, and I would appreciate it if you would not pass this on to our other mutual friends, or any strangers either.

One of my new friends, a fit and energetic woman who’s so slim her face is wider than her waist, was going on about a drink called a smoothie. This concoction is reputed to be incredibly healthy, easy to make, and uses ingredients available locally.

I’d been thinking I ought to start eating a few things that are mentioned in the Canada Food Guide as being part of a food group, so I inquired about the recipe.

In order to accomplish the manufacture of this nutritious addition to my daily food intake, I would need a blender.

I made a phone call and, just a few days later, Sears called to tell me my kitchen appliance had arrived.

By the time the blender got here, I’d gotten myself into a fairly intense state of excitement about my venture into healthy eating, and I immediately retrieved it from the Sears outlet store.

Well! It was quite beautiful, and not at all intimidating. Not like some kitchen gadgets I’ve encountered which confound with details and often look either superior or smug (you’ll never learn what makes me tick) or glowering (come on, make me grind something — I dare you).

All the blender’s functions looked to be self-explanatory; I didn’t look for a manual. I guess it went into the garbage with the rest of the packaging, along with another component that was critical, as it turned out.

The blender was red, my favourite colour. Who knew kitchenware could be so lovely?

I set it on the kitchen counter, frequently stopping during the day to admire its gleaming coat and efficient, calm demeanor.

I’d already bought the stuff to go into the smoothie, so when I stopped working to take a break, sometime after midnight, it seemed like as good a time as any to begin my culinary adventure.

Into the new blender I carefully put some peeled bananas, some orange juice, adding ground flax, cinnamon, a bit of sugar and the final glory — several handfuls of frozen blueberries, said to be an “anti-oxidant” or some such term meaning exceedingly healthy.

I was feeling very competent, very practiced, singing along to the Eagles as I filled the blender to the brim, already imagining Pete’s pleasure and quiet amazement at my new accomplishment.

As I blithely pushed “puree” on the little control panel, I was seeing myself, apron clad, nonchalantly serving him a tall glass of pure health as he laid back in his armchair, or better yet, in our bed, and I would wear nothing but the apron, and maybe those stilettos …

That was my last coherent thought for a while.

There was a roar as the engine started, louder by far than I’d anticipated; causing me to leap back just as the contents of the blender abruptly departed the container to be flung in a 360-degree pattern of spray and lumps. I caught the first blast full in the face; I think it was a frozen berry that caused the cut near my eye, which instantly began to bleed copiously.

The power of the beast! The force of the projectiles as they attacked me and my home!

The combination of noise, blood, and icy pink spray filling the air was such a shock, such an instantaneous change from the Eagles and loving dreams, that I confess my usual cool deserted me completely.

It was as though a lifetime of suspicion and caution regarding kitchen appliances was proving justifiable.

In a flash, I remembered other injuries I’d suffered each time I’d made a foray into the world of food preparation.

I felt again the dreadful agony of the meat cleaver that’d taken off the very tip of my middle finger, the gore resulting from a long-ago attempt to peel carrots, the bad burn on the left buttock that resulted when I’d turned my back for a moment on a wood cook stove.

None of those events, however, had the violence of this one, with a machine gone mad.

Blinded, operating solely on the primitive urge to live, I slipped and slithered on a floor made perilous with pink slime, soon falling and having to crawl the last few feet to where I knew lay my best chance of survival — Pete’s souvenir baseball bat, leaning against the wall.

Clutching the heavy stick, I fought my way back to where the treacherous blender continued its roar of destruction.

I whacked it, Uma, I whacked it good.

I whacked it so hard it flew off the counter and through the window. The noise stopped when the plug came out, the only sound was the intermittent tinkle of glass falling from the shattered window.

The cold air rushing in sobered me and after my initial feeling of triumph over evil, I realized I’d made a bit of a mess, and the blood dripping onto my chest was mine, not that of my enemy.

By the time I’d duct-taped cardboard to the window (that was when my wrist got cut) I was calmer. The cardboard was from the packaging for the blender and whilst cutting it up to fit the window, I came across the manual, and the lid.

I called you before I’d showered, or tried to wipe up some of the goo. I was a mess, and finding the lid was a blow to my self-esteem.

I needed a friendly and loving voice to reassure me. I needed you, best friend, to remind me I am a capable and even sometimes clever person, and that no one is good at everything.

You meant to say those things, I’m sure, so I won’t dwell on those sounds of smothered giggles, or the whispered asides to Andrew, who, I noticed, made no attempt whatsoever to disguise what were clearly whoops and guffaws. I guess I’m content with neither of you being angry at having been wakened.

But I am brought low, Uma.

E-mail me, please, and write down all the positive things you know about me so I can show it to Pete tomorrow, as a reminder.



Heather Bennett is a writer who lives in Watson Lake.