Despite her own family’s misgivings, Tess knew to be invited to ride shotgun in the Insurance Man’s vehicle could only mean one thing.
It was an honor not to be taken lightly, for if she were to neglect this privilege, she might never have another chance to mingle with that rare breed of man, both literate and kind.
For sure, Tess had heard about the genetic engineering of latter times, but never imagined such combined traits and principles would become endangered so rapidly. It had only taken eight years of internet dating to confirm these things were labeled archaic and chronic, weeded out of the DNA playing field more rapidly than nonrecyclable styrofoam packaging.
Maybe she was a marked breed as well, but Tess had a problem with the purposeful disposal of durable intelligence and foresight being treated with less afterthought than that possessed by the knuckle dragging surgeon’s castration knife. Who knew better than an Insurance Man (in a world where warrants were called sutures, and sutures were called the ties that bind) victim financing?
And what kind of woman would want to be stranded alone, after being hit by a Mack Truck, on it’s way to blow up a village, anyway?
“I can assure you Aunt Gertrude, of one thing” Tess spoke a bit too loudly into the phone.
It was hard getting used to talking into her shoe, but the Merlot was heating her torso like the warm butter her arm, and if she had to slurp the butter off slowly, drip by drip, she would do it in time to Handel’s Messiah, or it would dull the phone’s shiny, lacquered, nail polish red shine.
Tess didn’t like unnecessary dulling either, on principle.
“For those who have to put out other people’s fires (because the affairs of men are left festering on a borrowed back burner, for way too long) we make explosions together that are, how should I say it? Rare.
And how did the Trumpster say it? Yup… EeYuge.”
Tess was trying to temper good news gently like hot chocolate, so as to not startle her elderly aunt.
“Now you know Cousin Inka…”
Alas, Tess was no longer a fan of Inka.
This time around Tess had grown out of playing Barbie dolls first. Not only had Inka not abandoned the game, but had cut Tess’s Barbie’s hair, and was making Tess’s Barbie say things Tess’s Barbie never would have said.
“It’s not my fault Inka should have taken out a different kind of policy. It was I who told her to trust no man, Aunt Gert, and neither should you.”
Tess put down the shoe and examined it.
Was it getting hot in here or what?
How was it her fault that things had been consistently looking up for her ever since she had discarded Manhandlers, for the Real Estate Insurance that Better Business had recommended?
And how could a business phone look that hot coated in pierogi butter?
Tess knew in that moment she was a goner, in this love kind of thing.
Imagine Rush Limbaugh being correct when he spoke of half his brain being tied behind his back.
It was like Tess’s male half had been held hostage for what, fifty f***ing years?
What was it again he had said to her seven hours in, as they watched the steel balls dangling precariously on the back of the truck in front of them (the truck they had profiled as a criminally angry redneck, acronym CAR) swing and bounce, swing and bounce, like the stolen assets they were?
“After all, I bought the peanut butter, and you’ve already got the pups.”
Could there be a hotter love language than that?
And Holy Toledo.
Talk about financial incentives for having fire drills.
Why blame a happy couple for men so inbred with poor taste, they lacked the foresight and common courtesy, to secure what was unsightly, into tidy white jock straps?
Tess picked up the phone for a second time, deciding it would be okay now to clean it with her tongue.
She would try this again.
“As my bf told the two estranged sisters we recently transported to the hospital, Aunt Gert (after a catch and release incident turned violent, doncha know) you just close your eyes, sit back and relax now…
For rest assured, you’re always in good hands.
In our state.
“And don’t forget to stir the pot.”
For this squeaky clean (but criminally delicious) Under Cover Recipe, Pork in Merlot Cream, to feed your Man Beast (or your Aunt Gert) you will need Bavarian Style Sour Krout (can be purchased from Aldies), diced dehydrated garlic (can be purchased from Home Goods), center cut pork chops (good quality), mushrooms, merlot (extra merlot for drinking), heavy whipping cream, the remnants of fresh herbs such as flat leaf parsley (lingering in early December on the back porch), butter, flour, sea salt and pepper.
And because women as well as men like visual aids:
Slice the mushrooms, dredge the chops in seasoned flour, salt and pepper. Fry the mushrooms in generous amounts of butter, until slightly crisp. Towards the end add in the garlic. Remove from pan.
Saute the chops in more butter until brown. Remove from pan.
Deglaze the pan with Merlot. Add chops, mushrooms and garlic back into simmering pan of Merlot, cover and simmer for about twenty minutes. And in heavy cream, sprinkle with more sea salt, and torn pieces of flat leaf parsley.
The proportions in this recipe have been left purposely vague, so they can be adjusted to taste. As far as dessert is concerned, the following recipe is easy, and seasonal.
One box lemon jello, one small package instant gingerbread cake mix, baked in advance, 8 oz softened cream cheese, cinnamon, one cup sweetened whipped whipping cream.
Dissolve jello in 1/2 cup hot water. Add 1/2 cup cold water. Beat or whisk this together with the softened cream cheese and whipped cream (you can use non-dairy topping as well.) Refrigerate. Dollop into ramekins. Serve with crumbled gingerbread, sprinkled on top, and a generous coating of cinnamon. The sharp of the ginger and cinnamon cuts and contrasts nicely with the sweet and creamy lemon mousse.
And as my father (who started out a humble Army chef) would say, when you’re done cooking, since…
…don’t forget to take out the trash.