There were many wonderful things about tonight, and dinner was almost one of them. However, things took a turn, and something horrible happened, and now I’m blogging about it instead of getting prepared for an early morning at the gym.
It was a simple menu: baked sockeye salmon, some fried brown rice, and a big salad made of green leaf lettuce, an orange, a kiwi, a handful of lightly salted pistachios, and some crumbled goat cheese. Olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
During dinner, I was concerned when my brother-in-law shouted, ran his plate back to the kitchen, and cleaned his mouth in the sink. He told me later that he wasn’t proud of the way he reacted, so I won’t go into exact details at this point. Let’s just say that he discovered a horrible disgusting living black slug crawling around on his plate in the salad.
I am also not proud of the way I reacted when I saw the slug on the plate. I thought that this is 100% my fault, and that I should be the adult and calmly discard the plate and offer my brother-in-law something edible, something that would not give him a brain parasite. But then I saw that the slug was very much alive, chanting, “U. S. A.” and flexing tackily up and down my fancy salad. Apparently I brought hand to my face, despaired, and said, “What are we going to do with the plate!” and then distanced myself before disassociating.
My sister said, “I’ll take care of it,” and brought the plate outside and tossed the salad, the salmon, and the rice onto the compost. By this point, Silas and slithered on top of the salmon, and stripped off his shirt and was whipping it around his head, as if it were an All-Blacks match.
Everyone was kind to me, but we sat around processing and rehashing the moment entirely too long for my taste. I asked if there was any way my brother-in-law had brought the Salad Invader in from working in the garden, but he said that no, he had taken a shower after working in the garden. I had to face that fact that I had served my family a salad with a slug in it.
I still don’t know where I went wrong, though. I had ripped the base off of the head of green leaf lettuce, soaked and washed the leaves in the colander, spun it all dry, and ripped every leaf into bite-sized pieces. How did I miss a disgusting live slug the size of my entire foot, its lungs rattling as it panted through the damage caused by emphysema? It was like a clammy bite sized harbor seal with probing moist antennae, peppering its speech with “goddamn” and referring to women as “chicks.” I’m pretty sure it had participated in the Capitol Insurrection of January 6th.
I know I will survive this; I will live to make another salad. But I intend to interrogate every single leaf that I serve, front and back, to see if there is some slug hiding in it. You guys, it was so bad.