A grey menace stalked the twilight, hurling despair like pathos personified. But it was a bite without much sting, kind of like a Democrat’s idea of spending cuts. So, less of a bite and more like a furious Gumming. This particular menace was tired of playing second fiddle to its more dangerous cousin: Hunger. So, Craving (Little C, as it was affectionately called) decided to flex its frustrating muscles and chose me as its victim.
The moon was just rising over the Big City – that is, if you allow your definition of Big City to be stretched to the point of folly. Montgomery, Alabama is the State Capital, which meant that it had all the aspirations and condescension of an actual Big City – just without the charm or talent. A city of politicians tends to be that way. We lived just outside the city limits in a scrappy, upstart town called Pike Road.
The Mrs. was missing, but it was no mystery. She had traveled the “Get Me Outta Here!” River (which gushes forcefully out of Alabama) and landed in the southern Big Apple for a weekend getaway with some girl friends. The Little One was sleeping, tucked safely with blanket and “pass-ee” and dreaming of a furry red monster who wears his heart on his sleeve.
My dilemma’s were many. The first case to crack was what to watch on Netflix. My Instant Queue overflowed like a cornucopia of crappy entertainment. But it was crappy entertainment that I liked, so that was enough for me. The eclectic mix ranged from a silent film made in 2011, a bunch of grown men dressing up in costumes and throwing each other around a padded square, and many other strange, wonderful, grotesque and sublime choices.
My thoughts drifted towards a multi-part documentary about Film produced by our British brothers. The recliner called my name, and I started to settle in. That’s when Craving knocked on my door.
I opened the door and was rewarded for my efforts with a sucker punch to the gut. Craving knocked me down and kneeled over me. I could smell its hot breath as it harangued me with demands to take it South of the Border. I’m a peaceful guy, so instead of fighting him off, I decided to acquiesce. After all, it might be fun to go down Mexico way.
His mission accomplished, Craving left – slithering through the shadows. My task was now set. I was going to make some tacos. I wandered to the pantry and found my first obstacle – no tortillas. I kept my cool, refusing to panic, and decided to try the refrigerator. Strike two. I was beginning to feel like I was looking for a decent human being in Congress. No luck in finding one.
Being a resourceful sort of cat, I got my secretary, Ms. I. Phone to look up recipes for homemade tortillas.
My stomach was going on that tex-mex trip, come hell or high water. That’s when the next snag in my plan happened. No corn flour.
But, all was not lost. Ms. Phone suggested making flour tortillas instead of corn. Flour, I had. But that’s when my efforts went completely off the rails.
Flour and gumption were here a-plenty. But cooking skill was in short supply. So, I made a mess and some poor looking tortillas.
I then opened the fridge to find out: I had no meat.
The tortillas were too lumpy and misshapen to try and make quesadillas, so I wondered aloud if I could turn my homemade flour tortillas into homemade flour tortilla chips. The answer was yes… or if not, I was willing to starve trying.
At the end of the ordeal, I ended up with some Mexican Rice (an instant mix we just happened to have hiding in the pantry) and a few plates of flour tortilla nachos. It wasn’t exactly Rio Grande worthy. But Craving had long since split, so it didn’t matter.
I had a midnight mini-Mexican Fiesta with my British Film Documentary (about the American Film Industry).
The gray, hazy night whispered on and I made my vow: If my wife ever skipped town again, she was leaving tortillas.