With each year of this life I learn more and more. As I get older I have discovered that the majority of the time I can get through things without carefully following the directions. I am a pretty smart guy, I have a Master’s Degree after all. I kind of just glance and get the main idea and move forward. This is a story of a time when I should have been more considerate of the suggested directions.
Before The Incident
It was a beautiful afternoon. I was spending time with my family and trying to do something nice. I had recently subscribed to Blue Apron, a meal delivery service. It seemed like it would be fun to try something new. I am also horribly reckless with my finances and fall victim to the simplest advertisements. On this fateful day I decided to take a meal over and cook for my family – Smoked Gouda Cheeseburgers with Summer Squash Slaw. My family was out back drinking and everyone was having a good time. I was opening up the Blue Apron bags, acknowledging directions, and seeing what I could whip up in the kitchen.
Thoroughly Wash Your Hands
Blue Apron directions are pretty easy to follow. Each meal comes with a two sided card. Directions are listed with corresponding pictures. This was my second delivery box of Blue Apron, I had it figured out. Outside of the excessive amounts of olive oil used in every meal these seemed to be pretty great so far.
Preparing the ingredients:
– Wash and dry the fresh produce.
– Halve the squash lengthwise, then crosswise. Cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick strips.
– Peel and finely chop the garlic.
– Thinly slice the mushrooms.
– Thinly slice the cheese.
– Halve the buns. (That’s what she said)
– Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.
– Cut off and discard the pepper stem: halve the pepper lengthwise, then remove and discard the ribs and seeds. Thinly slice crosswise. Thoroughly wash your hands, knife, and cutting board immediately after handling the pepper.
Of course, I didn’t wash my hands. Why would I? I already washed them before I started cooking. Why bother washing my hands again if I am in the process of cooking. It isn’t like I was going to contaminate the food, the pepper was going in the meal regardless.
I moved on, we are going to step #2; making the slaw. I don’t have time for washing my hands right now.
Make the Slaw, Cook the Mushrooms
I made the slaw – easy. No cooking involved. Just mix some stuff together. My next step was to start cooking the mushrooms while the slaw marinates. No problem there. Dump a bunch of olive oil in the pan and then throw the mushrooms in.
Is Something Burning?
Here is where things heated up. I was standing next to the stove, zoning out, cooking the mushrooms. All of a sudden, I felt an intense burning sensation slicing through my scrotum. I looked down. I am kind of tall – it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that I had put too much olive oil in the pan. My shorts could have caught on fire with some kind of splash back from the pan. That wasn’t it. The pain increased. My eyes were watering. The food was still cooking – and as I mentioned before Blue Apron is not necessarily affordable. I didn’t want to ruin the meal.
There I was in my parents kitchen, hoping around, eyes watering, testicles burning from the inside. At that moment, I didn’t know what to do. What does an adult male do in that situation?
“Mom, I need your help!” I yelled out the back door as I kept pressure on my crotch to keep the burning from spreading.
“With what?” She called over her shoulder, continuing her fun afternoon.
“I need someone to come watch the food while it cooks,” I replied.
“Your father and I are out here enjoying our beer and the weather, you said you would take care of dinner,” she called back.
“Mom, it’s an emergency,” I whined.
“Jesus Christ can’t I just sit down and relax without one of you boys needing something from me,” she chirped.
“MY BALLS ARE ON FIRE, I THINK I SCRATCHED MYSELF AFTER I CUT THE PEPPER, I NEED SOMEONE TO WATCH THE FOOD NOW WHILE I GO SHOWER,” I screamed for all of the neighbors to hear.
“Gross! Why are you touching yourself while you are cooking? Don’t do that while you cook my meal,” laughed my Mom.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, someone came in to watch the food. I sprinted up the stairs with the speed of my 4.98 high school 40 yard dash time. I got into my parent’s master bathroom, slammed the door shut, and hopped in the shower.
I Probably Shouldn’t Have Showered
My parents had a pretty ideal shower set up for this unfortunate scenario. They have a larger shower with a built in seat, and a shower head on a wand. I sat down, spread my legs, and aimed the shower head where it hurt the most. The water was mildly warm, but my testicles and my legs felt like they were in an inferno. I now know how people must feel when they get pepper sprayed, except for in my junk area instead of my face.
The water from the shower had only increased the pepper-oil-burn square footage. Now my entire penis, balls, and inner thighs down to my taint were burning. I tried increasing the water pressure, maybe that would help. I tried different angles. I kicked my legs into the air, I was nearly breakdancing in the shower trying to get this to stop hurting. I tried soap, I tried shampoo, I tried conditioner. Nothing seemed to work.
I reached a point of no return. I ran to the window of my parent’s bedroom, naked, with the shower running.
“Mom, where do you keep the aloe vera lotion?” I called from above.
“You’re not using my good aloe for that!” she called back.
“Mom, please.” It was my final hope.
“Fine…there may be a generic bottle in my drawer.” She gave in. Hopefully this was the fix I needed.
Aloe Vera Is Not Effective
I got back into the shower, turned the water off, and just started slopping that aloe vera on my dick and thighs. I was being generous. I had to – I was in so much pain.
I sat there on the shower seat, my lower half covered in a transparent green shimmer, waiting for the pain to stop. While things cooled down, there was still a burning sensation. There was a wild transition from a hot-burn to a cold-burn. The aloe was not working. I used more aloe vera, squeezing the bottle dry, hoping that more was the answer to my prayers.
It wasn’t. I rinsed the aloe off, dried myself off, and sat there -dumbfounded.
I got dressed and went downstairs. I was limping, I have no idea why. There everyone was eating the Smoked Gouda Cheeseburgers with Summer Squash Slaw. I should have been receiving the gratitude for making the meal. That was my idea. That was my investment. But there was my Dad being thanked for saving the meal – while everyone laughed at me.
The pain lasted for a while. Finally things calmed down to an icy hot level of pain before going away.
So what did I take away from this? While Blue Apron is expensive, it is kind of worth it. I have learned quite a bit about cooking, and have discovered some food items that I never would have tried – but now enjoy. The Smoked Gouda Cheeseburgers were delicious, though I would have preferred fries to the Summer Slaw.
Also, wash your hands.