“I have a great idea.”
My wife said this from the kitchen and it is from the kitchen, more than any other room, that she comes up with ideas for me to do things I do not want to do.
“Why don’t you come into the living room and tell me about it,” I say.
“Why should I do that?” she asks.
“No reason,” I tell her.
“Aren’t you going to ask me what my idea is?”
“Sure, what is your idea?”
I admit, waffles are a brilliant idea. I love waffles. Who doesn’t? But making waffles requires a special appliance that is almost always stored in the furthest corner of the bottom-most shelf of the most inaccessible cabinet of the kitchen.
“How about oatmeal instead?”
“No,” she says, “but it would be extra sweet if you made me waffles.”
There is no arguing because I could never pay the price for winning that one.
So waffles it is.
I lower myself to the floor and stick my head into the most inaccessible cabinet in the kitchen. It has been years since I made waffles and it is no coincidence that it has been just as long since I have flexed the muscles required to retrieve a waffle maker from the bottom most shelf. They remind me of this.
The first minor appliance I encounter is the Vega-matic. We bought it at the Minnesota State Fair from a man whose pitch we could not resist. He promised it would make us happier, healthier and wealthier. It has done none of those things – instead it made our cabinets clutterier.
Next came a platoon of crock-pots; each a unique size, shape and brand. Predictably, the larger the pot, the further back it was stashed.
Beyond the crock-pots lay a region of unidentifiable appliances. Some could be toasters, some toaster ovens. Some are still in their original boxes (some of those boxes were never opened). Many of these appliances have not encountered a human in years, it makes them skittish and unruly.
And finally, waaay in the back of the back, my fingertips locate the waffle maker. At least I thought so. It was small and round and plated in chrome.
What else could it be?
I hope not the meat slicer.
I nudge it a bit to get a better grip. Of course it resists me. So I give it a shove, only to discover that it is indeed the meat slicer.
Behind that is another small, round, chrome-plated object. Fortunately, this one can be identified by two raised Teflon grids instead of a circular knife– so at last I found it. I grab and pull – but it refuses to budge. Perhaps the cord is wrapped around something. so I pull again and it pulls back.
This is when I realize my hand has extended a whole lot further into the cabinet than our kitchen goes. I have experienced this mystery in other places in our house – and it does not end well. They air movies about such things on the Syfy Channel.
I quickly scurry back out of the cabinet.
If the little guy wants to be left in peace, I am willing to oblige it.
“So what made you think about waffles?” I ask.
She is looking out the kitchen window at the frost shrouded trees that line the banks of Five Drunk Creek.
“Nothing really,” she says.
It is then I realize what she was thinking – because of her new job, we will not be going south this year – and every year on our journey south, we know we have escaped the cold clutches of the north when we spot our first WAFFLE HOUSE restaurant and it is our tradition to stop there.
“I have a great idea,” I tell her.
“What?” she asks.
“How about tomorrow morning, we order pecan waffles from a waitress who calls you Honey?”
“Kansas City?” she asks.
“You bet,” I say, “we can be back by Sunday night.”