Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Moldy Oldies

Saturday night, I awoke from my early evening nap to the smell of clam chowder simmering on the stove. My tummy rumbled. Bumly-bum, it went. I stumbled down the hallway, running fingers through my nappy hair, to find my roommate Jeremy working hard on a can of New England chowdah. The soup had simmered, per the label, and he plopped a spoon into the bubbly brew. It became quickly apparent, as he dumped a bag of shredded cheddar into the pot, that he planned to handle this meal all by himself.

I went back to my room to get dressed and head over to the Lebanese restaurant around the corner to grab some grub. While searching for a pair of socks that matched, I heard Jeremy emit a frustrated yell down the hall.

‘Aw shit!’

I gave up on my search and settled upon one sock with paisley print and another of square pattern. I went into the dining room to see what was the matter. Jer said that the cheddar was moldy.

‘How could chowder be moldy?’ I asked. ‘It’s in a can.’

‘Not chowder—cheddar,’ Jer said.


‘There was moldy cheddar in my chowder.’

Either way, he had eaten mold. He thought he was going to die. I assumed this statement was hyperbole and invited him to join me at Aladdin’s. He accepted and we enjoyed a wonderful meal with wonderful service. Over dinner, Jer mentioned how disgusted he was at having ingested mold. I said that was nothing, those few spoonfuls he swallowed.

I told him of an instance when I was a college sophomore and living in the dorms. One night, I stormed into my room glassy-eyed and with a mondo case of the munchies. It was late and the room was dark and I didn’t possess the energy to root around for something nutritious or fresh. The first foodstuff that presented itself was a box of twinkies. Without turning the lights on, I tore the wrapping off and slid sweet victory down my gullet. I had to admit that victory didn’t taste as sweet as I had remembered in my youth. In fact, it tasted pretty stale. Maybe even tangy. At the time, I didn’t question the safety of the twinkie, though I did decide to stop at one.

The next afternoon, I rolled out of bed, with the bumly-bums still sounding within me. I grabbed that box of twinkies and yanked out breakfast. When my hand emerged, it clutched a green, slimy cylinder. These sweets had not only turned; they had started to decompose. The verdant shaft staring back at me was not a twinkie. And I had eaten a whole one just the night before!

‘So did you get sick?’ Jeremy asked, setting down his kebab.

‘No, see, I think it worked the other way,’ I said. ‘I’m pretty sure it heightened my immune system. Like penicillin. It made me impervious to illness for like, two years.’

Our super hot server overheard me and said I was gross. I shrugged. Of course, when illness did come back around, two years later, it hit me hard. I was laid up for a good two weeks. My roommate at the time suggested that I eat another moldy twinkie. I couldn’t go through with it though. First off, I couldn’t find another moldy twinky. Second, I didn’t want to try to catch lightning in a bottle twice. Third, I’m pretty sure it’s a delicate equation—eating the penicillin twinkie. You have to be the right amount of hungry and it has to have the right amount of mold.


Geoffrey Bigler said...

That twinkie was more than just green, I think it was glowing a bit.

MikeS said...

Who was the smoking hot waitress? It better be your "friend" and not someone who at one time was my friend.

アレックス said...

I don't like you any more for questioning that, Mike. Grrrr...