While my belief in a higher power at all is suspect, that belief is exponentially stronger when it comes to thinking of a vengeful higher power. At least, these were my thoughts as I was struck down with the most vicious sinus cold I’d ever had, and was left unable to taste anything – fruit, vegetable or crustacean, for the first 8 hours we were in Maine. Given that this was ostensibly to be a gustatory vacation (vacationing, I can only assume, from plebeian foods like…chicken?) I was beside myself. So I did what anybody stricken with a mere 4 other inferior senses would do.
Ate everything in sight until I could taste something again.
This included, but was not limited to: deep fried oreos, deep fried clams, bagels with scallion cream cheese, chunky monkey and a variety of other “can I taste this” adventures. The answer unfortunately, was no. At this point, furiously gaining weight calorie by calorie and having no sweet, sour, umami or otherwise taste revelation to speak of, I headed to RiteAid to self medicate.
Now, far be it from me to point out my obviously naivety in the ways of the U.S.A., but the majority of the information I gather about that fair and tasty country (everyone knows proximity breeds blissful assumptions coupled with ignorance) comes from three sources: Rachel Ray, CNN and the occasional Jeopardy category. Jared’s sources of information being primarily COPS and Intervention, we discussed in the car the suspect nature of my appearance: bleary eyed from sneezing, red dry nose, shaky and high strung natural state akin to a small Chihuahua and how this could possibly appear when coupled with purchasing a large variety of cold medications all containing a key ingredient to clearing my nasal passages and making crystal meth.
Oh, and because I was unable to eat and breathe at the same time ( my sad and traitorous nose not letting taste nor air to pass) I was covered in a plethora of drippings, crumbs and stains. And never mind the desperation that being thisclose to eating my way to ecstasy and relaxation and being thwarted by a virus smaller than a grain of delicious sea salt paints all over a girls face and eyes.
But taking the high road, I laughingly admonished the both of us for making such ridiculous and baseless assumptions about such a charming and sweet seaside town full of sweet and charming people, and indeed, assumptions about an entire country. Crystal Meth! Come now. Ridiculous and baseless until moments later after perusing the umpteen boxes of various cold medications and staring deep into my watery sad eyes, darling cashier Karen relieved me of my drivers license stating “Oh yeah I’m gonna need to see some ID, the kids boil this down and make the crystal meth. We need to know who buys it.”
Thankfully she didn’t notice my burningly pink and embarrassed cheeks covered in chunky monkey chocolate as she gazed at my license and exclaimed (in a Maine accent I can only describe as perhaps New Jersey soaked in a lobster tank, swarthied up a bit by cheap cigarettes and Cutty Sark and dusted with a love of Boston?) “Ooooh, Alberta! I’ve never met anyone from Alberta before! You guys have a lot of cowboys and indians there right? “
Why yes dearest Karen. Yes, we do.
Intrepid travellers, what assumptions have you made while traversing the great wide wonders? Have any of them served you well? Any gone horribly sideways? Do tell, and stay tuned for The Maine Event: Part Two – It’s Hard to F’wig Up a Lobsta!