Fear of Flour
An Emily Blunt Rant
Fear of flour. Yep. It’s true. As we grow older and more comfortable with ourselves, we admit things. My fears and phobias are simple and not necessarily rational; are these things suppose to be?
My mom is to blame – as are most of our adult traumas of the psyche.
She loved to cook – as do I. She did however tend to maintain a kind of post-war attitude about foods. My brother and I noticed, while unpacking at a new home mom’d bought, this Morton’s Clam Juice Bottle.
I’d sworn I’ seen that bottle in Wakefield nearly three years prior. And, my brother, who has five years on me, recognized it from a small place we lived in Melrose ten years back. Gross. So old was this bottle of clam juice it had actually started to evaporate. Shudder.
When we asked our mother if we could finally throw it away she said, “ Vat, und vast da stuff? You tink da food grows on trees!” Up into the cabinet it went. I tore a smidge of the label as a way of "tracking it."
Our first reaction - or protective instinct - was to never eat her signature Clam Sauce with Linguine again, the second thought was, “How would you dispose of the bottle?” I mean really. By now there’s bacteria and so forth that Steven Hawkins would ponder over. If we dumped it down the sink it could harm the city’s water supply. If we threw it in the trash it could break and exude fumes, or seep into the city dump's soil and innocent little moles, while feasting upon the remains of some succulent Twinkie circa 1972, that had been "tainted" with a drop of my mother’s long-expired sea (<- the start of life as we know it claim many) product would morph into some kind of half clam half man carnivorous six-foot beings with death ray eyes and elongated fangs. Or the juice could sprout a new kind of mold that would - over eons – populate he Earth and claim our little planet as its own.
What ever. It sat on the shelf (though now I swear I saw a Jolly Roger in place of the corporate logo!). It's still with mom - it's now in Florida retired on the shelf - lurking.…
But, back to the flour.
So, you get the drift; my mom saved everything and tends to not waste food.
We always had bags and bags of cooking flour around. Somehow it fell upon me to get the flour while she was creating.
A sweat would break, my palms itch. What would I find in the flour! I must have been a pirate in my past life. I have an unnatural fear of scurvy, love the open seas, and despise flour.
Why? Read on...
See, there’s these…. these…. weevils or something that seem to appear – suddenly – even in fresh flour. WHY. They are like beetles or something. suits of armor and quick as a fan to the side of George Clooney.
My mom is also a Felix Unger personality; you can literally eat off her floors. This is not a dirty woman’s cupboard – yet there the beasts were. Scurrying. Trying to disappear into the sands of time. Yet, they seemed actually willing to be baked into the Swiss-apple pie de Jour. Was it some twisted master plan to invade our inner beings? Or were they really just dumb little bugs thinking if they can't see us, we can't see them; I lay awake at night...wondering.
When I’d complain about the brave new world thriving in the flour, my brother would advise, "It’s extra protein," and my mother would say, “Nonsense.” It was obvious they were lost to me. Their minds filled with weevils running the cogs and gears.
To this day, I am the only member of my family that does not eat, ask for, or covet, my mother's "apple pie."
I was convinced recently by a so-called friend to buy flour. I explained, “I’m not a big flour person. What would I use it for?” They went on about the glories of flour. I bought the stuff; man, it’s cheap.
Sure, ‘cause the “others” want you to hide them in your cupboard so they can spring to life from nowhere as SeaMonkeys do – their master plan.
I’d forgotten the flour. Made sure it was in the non-frequented area of the cabinets. Then one eve I was making Weiner Schnitzel. I remembered, “ That’s right, I have flour to dredge the meat through…”
Dear readers, I am still semi-catatonic. There they were; a thriving community of tiny creatures, in their powder-white metropolis with cavernous subways and northpole-ish skyscrapers. Oh sure they tried to rebury themselves – but it was too late. I was on to them. I swear I heard a low hum of morse code from the sack.
Dinner was ruined, naturally, and I threw the whole bag away. Wasted the whole bag. Double bagged it and slipped down to the trashcan a tad guilty about the other end’s new problem.
As I dry-heaved up the stairs, I swore, “I will never ever own flour again.”
Then my friend said, the weevils – or what ever they are – are actually in the cabinets and feed on flour PRODUCTS of all kinds – my brain scanned the ingredient lists present in the house as we drove. Then without a care in the world she says, “Why, they’re unavoidable,” smiling as if straight out of a scene from Pod People, as I recalled many a flour induced meal at her home; I felt ill and betrayed, alone and on guard.
I now live in a flour free home. Thank you. Today is Thanksgiving and I am en route to cook and serve, assist and devour at the very same friends' home - you know the smiling Judas of Breads…I shant be leaving her alone in the kitchen for a nanosecond. And, if she reaches for "the flour" I do not know what I am capable of.
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