It was glorious. It was beautiful. I’d even go so far as to say that the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich that I had constructed for myself that morning was damned near being the food of the Gods. Everything was perfect. From the crisp, toasted homemade 15 grain bread, to the soft set eggs, and the ooze of the cheese. I sat myself down at the table, took a moment to be grateful to be alive, and I dug in.
The first bite was sheer heaven, I swore I heard “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” by Barry White start to play. Right as my breakfast moment of nirvana reached its zenith, is also when my phone rang. I was ready to ignore it, “let’s not ruin this with words” I thought. My eyes glanced at the screen, and discovered that it was my aunt calling. Foolishly, I set my sandwich down, and answered.
“How quickly could you bring over as much ice as possible?” is what my Aunt said as soon as I slid to answer. “Lightning ran in on my fridge last night, it’s fried, and everything is barely cold.” I asked the state of her freezer compartment, she told it was stable, but the ice cream was starting to go soft. For me, it was a “What Would Alton Brown Do?” moment. Ice can only get you so far, and I told my aunt that what she really needed was some dry ice. It’s colder than just about anything you can get your hands on, and it doesn’t melt so much as vaporize (you can also put it in bowls on your porch on Halloween to make fog, but if you do this and stand on your porch laughing like a mad man, your neighbors will call the cops. *The More You Know*)
The grocery near me has dry ice for just 99 cents a pound, in five pound blocks. Not a bad price, and with the right protection (gloves kids, dry ice will give you instant frostbite if you touch it), off I went to gather up several blocks worth. As I stood there at the check out, with a cart full of sublimating dry ice, I had to wait for the older couple in front of me to finish. One of which was hard of hearing, the wife could hear, the husband could not. “Hank, did you bring the steak coupon?”
“The steak coupon did you bring it?”
“OK, who do you want me to ring?”
I felt like I was in the middle of one of those ads on TV where some dude tells you get your butt up to see Mike and Kelly and they’ll fix up your hearing something good.
This went on for nearly twenty minutes, before I was able to check out. My cart had twenty pounds worth of dry ice in it. When you buy dry ice, they ask you for our birthday, you have to be over 21 as dry ice is used in making meth. The two teenagers at the check out kept giving me a glare. The glare that says “What are you up to with all this?” As the bag boy carefully loaded the dry ice into the freezer bag I had with me, he asked “What you gonna do with all this dry ice, Mister?”
I looked at the bag boy straight in the eyes and in a most dramatic tone said “It’s my secret weapon, for at night I become something more than just a mere man. At night I take to the streets to defend weak and friendless from those who wish to do them wrong. For you see, I am the terror that flaps in the night, I am the mysterious breeze that seems to suddenly fly across your shoulder. I am DARKWING DUCK!!” At this point I had my fist poised high in the air as if I was Freddy Mercury, and had clearly scared the hell out of everyone in a fifteen foot radius. I took my dry ice and left.
Upon arriving at my aunt’s house, her kitchen was a mess. anything that would be OK at room temp for a short time was out, some covered in ice packs, and the other ice packs being used to keep the ice cream from turing south quickly. Also at my aunt’s house, was little Suzy. Little Suzy is my aunt’s granddaughter. Little Suzy also seems to think that I am out to do harm whenever I appear. As I walked in with the dry ice, Suzy stood in a corner in the living room, staring me down like it was a scene out of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Aunt was in a tizzy, and once I got her relaxed and settled. I began getting the fridge situation under control. Most of the things survived, but we did have to pitch a number of items. Most of them being items we found in the freezer that expired in 2009. Suzy’s favorite food is ice cream, which isn’t unusual for a young child. However, when I began to touch the ice cream, and get it on dry ice, Suzy felt the time was right to become the junior avenger.
In each hand Suzy had one of those giant toddler sized Lego blocks, and began to attack my legs with them. Even with jeans on, getting jabbed with the corners of those blocks was not a pleasant experience. Aunt was re-tizzied by the sight of this, rushing to get Suzy away from me, and going into the usual “bad child” spiel. Suzy was confided to her room, the door of which she kept beating upon while yelling “it’s not fair!!” Situation under control, I returned home.
Back home I crashed onto my couch, and came to the realization that I was going to have to find a new grocery store to call my own. I could no longer return to the one near my house, as I had publicly claimed to be a cartoon character from the 1990s in there. This is when I went to get some ice for a nice cold drink, and discovered that my ice maker was busted.