Butterfly Sparks Designs

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mustard, Drive-Thru Rage, and Chun King

OK, tonight it’s going to be a little lighthearted, because I’m tired and my hand is covered in mustard.

Yes, that’s right. My deliciously delicate and feminine Bath and Body Works Moisturizing Gloves, usually melded with my favorite equally deliciously delicate and feminine hand cream are, instead, joined with French’s Yellow Mustard. Why, you ask? (By the way, if you’re not asking “Why?” at this point, then I’d be a little concerned about you.) Well, I suffered a nasty burn yesterday on my right hand when attempting to pull a pan from my oven. I spoke to a Pharmacist who is probably still paying off her exorbitant student loans only so that she could tell me that “Burn creams won’t work, but lots of yellow mustard will.” The weird thing is, she’s right. And she's my hero! I’ve been drenched in yellow mustard for two days now. I smell like a hot dog at a baseball game, but my hand doesn’t hurt.

In other news, can we please talk about Drive-Thru etiquette? I have a recurring Drive-Thru experience that really tests my godliness. So let’s just call this my little accountability session for some serious Drive-Thru Road Rage that I’ve been nursing. This, friends, is why I cannot post a “Follow Me To The Vine” bumper sticker or a cute little silver fish on my car. I can’t handle that kind of accountability. Yes, I know, my spiritual maturity is astounding.

OK, here’s the scene. I’m approaching the Wendy’s Drive-Thru to obtain my favorite salad in the entire universe – a heavenly bed of baby greens topped with mandarin oranges, roasted almonds, Chinese crunchy noodles, and grilled chicken. The Sesame dressing…oh, the dressing. Good stuff. And all for under five bucks. I’m so low maintenance – no fancy dinners for me, no sir. Five bucks at Wendy’s for processed chicken and I’m happy. I mean really, why am I still single?

So, here’s the issue…I go to the trouble of driving all the way around the restaurant so that I can properly secure my place in line. It’s ethical, classy and good manners to do so, wouldn’t you agree? I’m sure Emily Post has something to say about this. But there’s always the jerk, er.....uh.....I mean the sister or brother in Christ that decides that he or she doesn’t need to drive around, but can merely enter through the “other” driveway and cut in line. What’s up with that? True story – a purple PT Cruiser (is that really even a car?) used all of the intimidation it could muster to cut in front of me. I’m fighting every urge I have not to make rude gestures (not lude, just rude) to convey that I will run her over in my tiny but scrappy Mazda M3, and holding back every urge to lecture her on the virtues of Drive-Thru etiquette, including the scriptural basis for driving around the building. I’m sure it’s in the Bible somewhere. The trouble is, I work and live in a very small town, so Little Miss PT Cruiser might just be a coworker, a neighbor, or worse, in my small group from church. So, I behave. Well, outwardly anyway. I don't know why this frustrates me so much. Does this bother anyone else, or do I need anger management therapy?

Back to the subject of Chinese noodles...once I released my Drive-Thru angst, I had the coolest flashback while opening the packet of crunchy Chinese noodles with my salad today. Do any of you remember Chun King Chow Mein?

Oh. My. Goodness.

My Mom is going to be miffed at my writing this, so instead of ending with a disclaimer, I will start with one. My Mom is an incredible cook – the best – and she has taught me so much that I, too, am a decent cook. But on some nights, of course, she didn’t “cook” something gourmet and from scratch. Sometimes … (gasp)… she opened a can. The highlight of the week was Chun King night. Chun King was in its own league and pigs-in-a-blanket or cube steak night didn't even come close to the mystique and awesomeness of Chun King night. Chun King was exciting and cool. It came in a cardboard box holding two cans -- one contained the crispy noodles, and the other can hid strange "un- American" vegetables cooked into soft, gummy submission, and a teeny bottle of something called "soy" sauce. Mom toasted the noodles, boiled the veggies and liquid, dumped the mess together, poured over the dark, mystery sauce and -- voila -- Chinese food! As a kid in Kennesaw, Georgia, a town that then only had one red light, it was the first Chinese food we ever had tasted. We were cultured. We were global.

Thanks, Mom. Chun King rocks. (Well, when you're a kid it does, anyway.)


morgan collins said...

I have never in my life heard of Chun King...I feel like I'm missing out on something!

Melissa Driggers said...

Morgan, it's because you're too young! I'm sure the FDA probably banned it by the time you were born. =) As a kid, it was very cool. As an adult? Really, really gross. You're not missing much. Besides, you found your Easy Mac in a cup, remember? You're way cooler than we ever were. =)

Anonymous said...

My generation is obsessed with Ramen.

Also, you are not alone in your loathing of Drive thru line cutters! I mean, come on! How hard is it to drive all the way around? It will take an additional ten seconds. I don't think your Wendy's will ice over in that small amount of time.

(Your ice cream cone might lose its perfect shape, though.)

Anonymous said...

My dad owned the grocery store in my home town. I remember when Chun King hit the shelves. I don't think it sold real well for awhile, so we ate a lot of it (grocery store families eat what doesn't sell..). If nothing else, you could always put catsup on it..