The year was 1998. I think. Yes, it must have been 1998. Summer of 1998. Probably.

The place was Brandeis University, in Waltham, Massachusetts. USA.

I was spending a week there with a bunch of other high school age kids. We were all there for fencing camp. Fencing, not fencing. The sport where you try to stab your opponent with a sword while trying to avoid letting your opponent stab you. Not the “good fences make good neighbors” kind of fencing. Now stop laughing. The laughing is supposed to come later.

So, people came from all over New England to this camp, but some of the people there were from my high school. Two of the people I knew best were Frank and Lee. The 3 of us hung out quite a bit that week.

One day at lunch (or maybe dinner) we were served macaroni and cheese. We started talking about good and bad macaroni and cheese, baked vs boxed, that sort of thing.

That’s when I told Frank and Lee this story…

The year was 1996. Or maybe 1997. One those. Probably 1997.

The place was Cape Cod. Eastham, to be more specific. Also in Massachusetts, USA.

Two of my friends Eric and Dan (they are brothers) and their family spent the entire summer in Cape Cod, and I was invited to spend a week there with them.

This was the summer when Eric started dating his first girlfriend. I never met her but I did speak to her once. Eric was talking to her on the phone and asked if I wanted to say hello.

Eric handed the phone to me, and then disappeared. He was like a ghost. Poof. Vanished. So there I was, on the phone with a girl I’d never met, and she just started jabbering away. Talking talking talking. I have no idea what she was talking about, but it probably had a lot to do with people I didn’t know and places I’ve never been.

I could not find Eric to give the phone back to him, and Dan just laughed at me when I tried to give the phone to him. I was too nice of a person to just hang up her.

I was on the phone with the girl for at least 2 hours. I don’t think I said more than a handful of words the whole time, but she just kept on talking talking talking.

At one point, she says “Oh no!”

Me: “What?”

Her: “Well, I was making mac & cheese for lunch while we were talking.”

Me: “Okay…”

Her: “And well, I put in the butter and milk and cheese powder…but I forgot to drain the pasta first!”

Me: …

Her: “Oh well. I’ll just feed it to my cat.”

Me: “Your cat?!”

Her: “Oh, don’t worry. My cat likes mac and cheese.”

This girl, whoever she was, messed up out-of-the-box macaroni & cheese. And then fed it to her cat. This actually happened.

Frank and Lee reacted to my story with a mixture of amazement, disbelief, and disgust.

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