Bratwurst. Under its thick blanket of sauerkraut it's slathered in honey mustard. You can't see it from here, but it's chuckling, take my word for it. It was enjoying its solitude; its twin had already been dispatched. I ate the first one slowly, savoring each delicious morsel - the crunchy charred exterior, then the combined flavors of sweet and tart, the fragrant soft bun. Did I mention that they were Johnsonville brats? Ooooh yeah. And get this: I ate it normally, like a regular human person. Nothing about my consumption of it would have garnered observation.
"So wot?" you ask. Or "big deal". Or ".....and....??" OK, I tell you what. For the last few years I've either avoided Bratfest, or took my ever-present Lexan knife and fork. For the last few years I at nothing that I couldn't eat with a knife and fork or a spoon. Have you ever thought about how much finger-type food we eat? Pizza. Sandwiches. Wraps. Burritos. Cookies, crackers and cupcakes. Veggies and dip. Bagels, doughnuts. BRATS.
Here's the beginning: I developed a Dentist Phobia at an early age. "Aw c'mon, no one likes to go to the dentist" (followed by "of course, it's all different now, it's fine"). No, ladies and gentlemen. We're talking blind panic, an inability to even phone the dental office for an appointment. Suffice it to say, my local dentist (seen as rarely as possible) is sympathetic to the point of agreeing to give me a general anesthetic for a cleaning.
For years I hankered after false teeth. Dentures. Chompers. I would think, "Imagine how easy it would be to brush the back teeth - if they were in your hand." I read ads for denture adhesives, watched Florence Henderson, enjoyed commercials for Polident. And I started asking the dentist if I could get dentures when I was about 45. I was "too young". Furthermore - "we like to save the natural teeth at all costs". But such a phobia doesn't allow for rigorous dental care. One by one, I lost some of the natural teeth. Each procedure was traumatic as only phobics can understand. Of course there was no pain, of course I had anesthetics - but I spent weeks in grim, nauseated anticipation.
OK, fast-forward to the present. I had a series of procedures, several steps, which ended in about last February, with my having a whole mouth full of brand-new dentures. And you know what? They are everything I had hoped for. First off, no one seeing me has any idea I have dentures. (Well...at least until I flash a huge smile and go off about how much I love 'em.) They're not Dazzling Movie-Star White (I'm 64, perfect white teeth would look like...perky 23-year-old ..er...um...well, you know.) Secondly, they fit perfectly, and when glued in with a Very Reliable Stick-Pretend-Teeth-In-Your-Mouth glue, they do not (as the advertising suggests) slip or click. And yesterday I performed the Final Test: I chomped into a great big smothery, mustardy, sauerkrauty bratwurst. And chewed it like a Normal Human Person. THAT is a milestone, a graduation, a coronation. A Celebration. I don't have to carry Lexan dinerware any more. If you know anyone who needs dentures and is worried about it? I'm ready to give speeches and write commendations.
All that aside, we had a blast at Bratfest, as my little grandson picked me out of the crowd of thousands and ran over to hug me around the knees, followed by his mother and My Youngest! A delightful surprise. The highlight for the grandson, age six, was a visit with a perfectly splendid working Police Dog and his partner, a very tall local officer (who, as it turned out, knew My Youngest very well from the days when he hung out at a local teen spot...I didn't ask). I liked seeing the Weinermobile again but didn't enter the Singing Contest.
Had a typical day Museum day today, herding hoppities of fourth graders around - and enjoying the scrumptious high you get from successful theatrical performances. They pay me to do this. As I rest at home this evening I'm slightly aware of the aforementioned "winds", but oh, it was worth it, every juicy morsel. Ah - and I found two skeins of Noro Kureyon (!) and have begun an Old Shale scarf pattern I got off the 'net. I'll try pictures when I get it down. (NO idea where I got that yarn!?!)
Thought for the Day: In 500 years, when archaelogists dig up CDs, what are they going to think they are? (Responses accepted with relish. Not sauerkraut.)