I wake up feeling pretty good today. Feeling pretty good because I had had a few cocktails the night before and I felt better than expected.
I make breakfast and tend to some small chores around the house. I keep passing from my kitchen to the bathroom. One of the rooms along that path is the guest bedroom (a.k.a. the A-1 PICK-ME-UP containment room).
It’s pretty amazing how much an open doorway can hold in a smell. As I walk into the room it hits. Even so , I lift the towel expecting the concoction to still be fine, but the smell intensifies so much so that I drop the towel. I can only guess that my facial expression is one of bewilderment, disgust, and anger with a hint of sadness. I lift the towel again and this time I really look in.
Black mold. There isn’t a ton of black mold but a little goes a long way. I’m getting the fight or flight response and I’m just about to toss it when I realize that Eric needs to see this.
You know those phone calls that you have to make but you’d rather not? This is one of them. Eric will generally turn off his cell phone to have a brief respite from the world—a little Eric Time if you will. But at this moment he for some reason had his phone on and for some reason he was at a Sport Chalet shopping for swim goggles. Even though Eric was having Eric Time he forced himself to answer the call. Was it a Ritualistic sense of urgency that made him answer or just the fact that it was me? Only his consciousness knows that.
Eric shows up and we walk back to the guest bedroom to the towel-covered crock pot on the dresser. A thickly, musty, eggy, moldy smell hits once again. I think the smell is more powerful now because I keep thinking about it. I lift the towel and Eric peers into the pot. Silence. We both are stupefied. Did we do something wrong? This can’t be how it works. How the hell does this work? This is a real recipe right? Should Eric have bought those swim goggles? People really made this? Is it supposed to mold? Should we be breathing this air? How much is a Hazmat suit? Health standards were different back in the day. Bathtub gin killed people; maybe the A-1 PICK-ME-UP did too.
We decide to document and destroy. I carry the crock pot away from my body trying not to breath through my nose. Once outside I set the pot down and get a good look at it in the light. It looks as though the citric acid is doing its job. Around all of the egg shells are bubbles. That is supposedly the chemical reaction taking place. I take a cotton swab of the mold for possible future analysis. The recipe states: “Allow to stand for several days (the shells will dissolve).” Well, the shells did not dissolve so that must mean more than four days.
You know when you were a kid and you first came across roadkill? Or you had to pick up after your dog for the first time? That’s what we look like. Eric and I grab a couple trash bags—this is definitely a double bagger. But everything seems to go somewhat smoothly. As we walk back to the garbage area I stop us at the garden hose and blast the hell out of the crockpot. Meanwhile Eric takes pictures.
The first thing to come up, once again, is the fact that the Internet has no real knowledge of this recipe. The Internet knows it is a recipe. The Internet knows that people use lemon juice (citric acid) to dissolve egg shells for different purposes. The Internet knows people like weird booze drinks. The Internet however has no record of any one making a weird booze drink from a recipe that calls for lemon juice to dissolve egg shells. WTF? So who is smarter than the Internet? Or who has a crap ton of knowledge?
Old people. They’ve seen things and done things that no one does anymore. They have pre-Internet knowledge. The problem is we don’t know that many super old people. So Eric decides to contact his Aunt Marjiann, who has “farm knowledge,” and I decide to talk to my scientist friend. Somehow that equation works. 1 Super Old Person = 1 Aunt With Farm Knowledge + 1 Scientist.
No matter what we cannot quit. We shall not.