The following is a true story.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent…
On the 11th of November, 2014, in an oversized disposable shack, somewhere in Dunstable, Massachusetts, Wisa Stringle began preparing dinner for her family.
Roasted thighs of chicken (lightly seasoned with a mix of rosemary, sage, thyme, sea salt, and a little pepper), smashed potatoes in the style of Aunt P., and skillet corn.
Wisa had made this meal for her family countless times. It was a Stringle staple.
No one was concerned.
As her family dispersed to activities, including a shower and the donning of sweats for a night by a cozy fire, Wisa began the meal prep.
Her Knearly Derfect Pusband, being Knearly Derfect, had already cut up the potatoes and added them to heated water in the heavy pot, so Wisa added butter to her favorite stainless sauté pan. The corn, salt and pepper would be added later.
Then to the chicken.
Wisa opened the packages, placing the thighs of chicken onto a half sheet pan. She threw away the packaging, using a paper towel to open the trash bin so she didn’t wig out the Knearly Derfect Pusband by touching the knob with her chicken-y hands, thus setting off the bacterial chain reaction that would surely result in him catching Ebola. Then she washed her hands, and set to work on the chicken.
Softened butter, a pat on each chicken thigh.
A sprinkle of the poultry seasoning – sage, rosemary, thyme, a bit of marjoram for good measure.
Now a pinch of french sea salt, from ile de re, off the Atlantic coast of France (Wisa might have looked that bit up, just for you).
Then she reached for the course black pepper that the Knearly Derfect Pusband had brought home for her, just days before.
And she looked toward the potatoes, to ensure they were bubbling appropriately in the big, blue pot.
Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed that the coarsely ground pepper that she was carefully sprinkling on her chicken, was extremely coarsely ground. And the chunks weren’t falling easily from its container.
So she shook it harder.
And slowly turned her head to get a better look as something registered in her brain as being ‘off’.
It was then she realized that she’d picked up the container of ‘crushed red pepper’.
And was maniacally, and repeatedly moving the container up and down in forceful and jerky movements (which just so happens to be the description of the word, ‘shake’, which has the synonym of ‘convulse’).
Wisa was convulsing hot red pepper flakes all over her family’s chicken thighs.
Carefully, Wisa put the cover on the crushed red pepper jar.
She stood up straight and surveyed the recip-istic disaster before her.
What to do?
She could try to brush them off.
But they were sort of stuck in the butter and the rest of the herb concoction.
She could wash the chicken and begin again.
No time. She could not hide the crime that way. Her family would be downstairs and in her kitchen at any moment.
Time was of the essence.
It was then she noticed that the crushed red flakes of pepper were sitting on top of the other herbs – which were more powder-y.
The pepper flakes looked light in comparison.
So, as she heard stirrings upstairs, she began to blow on the chicken thighs. Sending crushed red pepper flakes flying around her countertop, floor, and into the atmosphere of her kitchen.
She huffed and she puffed and she blew those freakin’ pepper flakes off her chicken.
And, as the Knearly Derfect Pusband and Elf-Broclaimed-Merfect-Toy Quabe rounded the corner and walked into the kitchen, there was Wisa…
Lovingly placing the chicken thighs into a 425 degree oven and turning her attention to the potatoes and corn.
And, as she wiped down the counter of the hot red pepper flakes, the Knearly Derfect Pusband commented that she was being all sorts of neat and clean (having made ‘Hurricane Wisa’ comments for years, in reference to the carnage she would leave in the kitchen after making a meal).
And Wisa smiled.
And finished making the meal.
And plated it. And served it. And if her family found the chicken oddly spicy, they didn’t say a word. And no one was the wiser.
Thank for readin’
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