And Then I Sneezed (Part 1)

There’s something to be said for learning from one’s mistakes, but someone else will have to be the one to say it.  Meanwhile, I am sitting here in the same position which only yesterday caused both a mess and a hassle.  That is to say, I’m eating cereal in bed.

Let me back up.

First, and this is important for understanding all the rest, I have an odd body.  It’s odd in numerous irrelevant ways–I suppose that’s worth a general claim to general oddness–and one particularly relevant way.  My chest is, if not malformed, otherwise-formed.  I know there are any number of technical names for it, because I’ve been told them any number of times, but I conveniently forgot them all in any number of ways.

I will, for the moment, say that my chest contains a cup-holder, or bowl-holder, especially while I slouch.  Fortunately for me and my incessant need to place cups and bowls places, I nearly always slouch.  I’m something like a thousand feet tall (if we round up to the nearest thousand), so slouching is a way of appearing human-sized.  And, as it happens, a way of increasing the convenience features of my otherwise-formed body.

It might also be convenient to add here that, as a thousand-foot tall man, I eat rather more than is regularly labeled “1 serving.”  The difference between my serving size and the usual serving size is rather like the difference between a kitten and a cat.  Regular folks eat portions that are kittenish.  I eat portions that are more tiger-ish.  I eat the kitten’s portion, and then the kitten, and then a candy bar.  And then, having had a snack, I sit down for a large dinner.

I’m not conspicuously gluttonous with food in general–my wife complains that I never eat enough, actually, or used to before her compulsion to feed people was constantly and impressively satisfied by our son–although I certainly can’t claim that I’m never gluttonous at certain particular times.  I just eat my few meals in very large portions, as befitting my status as a giant from a children’s story.

Either way, having decided to eat an entire bag of cereal while sitting in bed….

Let me back up.  Our cereal comes in bags.  This is apparently more convenient for someone, although almost never for us.  The bags are supposedly re-sealable, because they’re often quite large and one might need to preserve the freshness of the unused portion.  (If one were not me.)  Unfortunately, whatever machinations went into making bags which were sealed to begin with but re-sealable once opened, almost always manifests as bags which are impossible to open without tearing through the part that’s supposed to re-seal.  Or, if you’re very tired and your daughter is loudly and repeatedly demanding cereal that has been thus locked away in the bag, you might use your giant-ish strength and completely rip the bag in half.  In any event, boxes are immeasurably more convenient, but not available in the bulk sizes we require.

I’m not sure why I included any of that.  What I meant to say was that my wife had to work while I was trying to eat, and since our daughter had woken our son up early from his nap, it fell to me to try to sooth him.  (How that became a rant against our cereal bags, I cannot fathom.)  With that in mind you can hopefully picture the scene.

I was sitting on one side of the bed, my usual side, which is where I have my computer so that I can work while the rest of the household sleeps.  I had a entire bag of cereal and maybe a quart and a half of milk sitting in a bowl in my personal (and entirely private, don’t try to use it for your own cereal) bowl-holder.  My infant son was laying beside me among an array of distracting toys, but was generally unwilling to be distracted by them.   I was trying to sooth him while also distracting myself on my computer.  While sitting under a wash-basin sized reservoir of chocolate.

Perhaps I should have mentioned that my enormous portion of cereal was of a chocolaty variety.  I’m not sure it’s important.  Sure, it explains the color of the stains on…  well, everything, but the stains aren’t really the part of the story I think anyone cares about.  (I could be wrong.  Perhaps there are professional cleaners who read this and think, “Ooh, a challenge.”)  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Well, not far ahead.

If you are imagining the above situation at all like it actually happened, you can probably imagine how inconvenient it would be to sneeze at that moment.  It was actually even more inconvenient than that.  My sneezes scale up even more than my portion size.

Alas, I am out of time.  Tomorrow I will try to describe what happened–using grand language commensurate with the sublimity of the great lumpy chocolate waterfall I created–as well as describe how my wife, in emergencies like this, is entirely unhelpful.


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