There are certain foods that God created for the purpose of letting us eat toppings. Because toppings are a life blessing.
Potatoes, for instance. On their own, they’re not that exciting. But when you add butter and sour cream and cheese and bacon and maybe some bar-b-que while you’re at it, they’re the sparkling unicorn of food.
Tacos. Tacos are nothing BUT toppings. Which is why they’re never a bad idea. Especially when served in soft corn tortillas. Which is the ultimate topping wrapper.
Chili. Chili is an extra special topping food, because it calls for toppings and bottomings.
I use rice for my bottoming. Chris uses Fritos. Some people use crackers, or so I hear.
And for toppings, I’ve always used sour cream and cheese, but have recently discovered the splendor of adding an avocado to my chili topping repertoire. Because Avocado is kind of like my bacon – it’s perfect with everything.
I made a giant vat of chili last Monday night. We had a lovely family dinner, to which I invited my parents. Or I thought I did. I texted my Mom – I would have scrolled to find the text stream where I text both of them at once, but I had onion juice on my hands and really wanted Siri to handle my texting for me.
But mom never answered.
Later that night, I texted Dad.
I felt bad for my text-only ways (a normal human being would have called her parents when not receiving a response to a dinner invitation), but we still had a vat and a half of chili left over (that’s the thing about toppings – they somehow multiply your main dish leftovers because you use so many toppings that you use very little of the actual product), so I told my parents to just come over the next night.
I rewarmed the chili, got out the voluminous options of toppings and bottomings, warmed up the cornbread, and prepared for another large family dinner.
The last thing I needed to do was to slice an avocado. I knew my Mom and I would be the only ones taking advantage of the world’s best topping, so I only grabbed one avocado out of the fridge and began slicing it open while talking to my mom.
I did my usual of cutting around the middle, and then opening up the avocado. But instead of my usual THWACK approach to remove the pit (the THWACK approach being where you THWACK the pit with the knife and then twist and pull it out), I did more of a THWACK-saw.
I do not recommend the THWACK-saw approach.
Because the avocado was softer than I had assumed and catapulted loose from the avocado mid-saw…but the sawing didn’t quit. And I was sawing in the direction of my hand.
And, as I was holding the avocado in my right hand, the sawing continued into my thumb. To the point where I definitely heard and felt sawing taking place on my thumb bone.
Sometimes physics is a real turd.
As one does when sawing one’s thumb bone, I screamed and dropped the avocado. I ran to get a paper towel to sop up my outwardly flowing life force and surveyed the damage.
The cut was long, thick, and vomiting blood. But oddly didn’t hurt…at all.
It’s gonna start hurting real soon. Just you wait.
I asked mom if I needed stitches. She took a look and told me to go let my father see it while she hunted down a butterfly bandage. He looked at it and was also uncertain.
…But it still didn’t hurt.
Mom bandaged me thoroughly, causing me no pain whatsoever. I decided to table the matter of my thumb because it wasn’t hurting and I needed to slice my avocado and then there was chili to eat.
Priorities, you know?
Chris wasn’t quite home from work, so I sent him a quick text to help him adjust to the possibilities that lay ahead.
“Just to mentally prepare, we may need to go to the ER later. I cut my hand de-pitting an avocado.”
He answered back, “Sorry. You did that last night, too.”
I pondered what he said.
HAD I cut my hand two nights in a row while de-pitting my avocado? This did seem vaguely familiar. Then I remembered that I had a bothersome cut on my index finger and I didn’t remember how I’d gotten it.
I had cut my hand the night before!
Do I cut my hand every time I de-pit an avocado?
This seemed oddly familiar as well.
Clearly I needed a new strategy for de-pitting avocados.
I prepared my bowl of chili and gave myself an extra serving of avocado. I deserved it, after all.
But then I looked over at my mom’s bowl and she had not gotten any avocado.
Perhaps the adrenaline from the injury made me more frantic than usual. Or perhaps I’m just an insubordinate daughter. But I demanded of her, “Why aren’t you getting any Avocado? EAT THE BLOODY AVOCADO! …Err, I mean that “bloody” in the British sense. Not the literal one. Maybe.”
She quickly spooned herself some avocado onto her chili.
We ate, my hand continued not to hurt or throb or anything remotely uncomfortable, and I actually felt quite energized. Adrenaline really is magical – why haven’t they figured out how to make adrenaline pills yet?
After dinner, I drove up to my neighbor’s house whose husband is a doctor. He’d just walked in from a long hospital shift that I’m sure was delightfully fun, and I accosted him in the basement before he even got to go upstairs and kiss his family.
I brought a fresh tube of superglue with me, because I knew that in the past, when their kid fell and busted her head, they just superglued her back together, because superglue is the same thing as liquid stitches. Who knew?
(Also I love the idea of fixing a broken kid the same way you fix the broken kid’s broken toys.)
I peeled off the bandage for him to assess the damage. He opened up the cut a bit to take a look, and asked me again if it didn’t hurt at all? No, it didn’t.
He didn’t know why I wasn’t hurting, but because of where the cut was (going up my thumb right where it bends), he said that superglue wouldn’t hold it long enough to heal – I really needed a couple old-fashioned stitches.
I drove back home with my feeling-quite-fine hand, and we decided that Dad would drive me to the ER. After all, it might not be as easy to drive after a numbing shot or three in the hand.
Dad and I sat in the ER lobby and people-watched, communicating our terribly judgmental thoughts back and forth with our eyes. Who knew the ER was such a fascinating place? Probably everyone.
It was finally my turn, and the nurse asked me all the questions he was supposed to like, “Have you ever thought about self-harm? Are you sure you didn’t do this on purpose?”
“No. I just really wanted avocado to top my chili. Have you ever tried it? It’s delicious.”
“When did this happen?”
“Around 6pm. But I ate the chili before coming in. Because I worked hard for that avocado.”
He happily dumped me into a room, where a nice ER doctor came in and asked if I’d ever had stitches before.
“Oh yes. On my hand even! From sleepwalking.”
He then wanted to hear all of my various sleepwalking stories as he shot me up and tied three nice little stitches in my hand.
There was the time I broke my nose…
And the time I got lost in the funeral home…
And that time I fought Captain Hook…
I apologized that my current injury was so boring.
He ran out of the room to get something and I snapped a quick picture of his handiwork. (Click here if you’d like to see it. You’re welcome for the opt-out, queasy people.)
Then he finished stitching me up and told me he’d see me soon, then sent me on my way. And no, he had no idea why I wasn’t hurting, either.
But the moral of this story is, although there are countless useless kitchen gadgets that do various overly-specific tasks, this brand new tool that I bought this week will pay for itself in one use. Because ER co-pays are expensive.