I’ve never been a big fan of angel décor at the holidays, or otherwise. But, I may just have to re-think my affinity for angels now, because I think that someone might have been looking out for me – perhaps even a guardian angel that was perched upon my shoulder.
Whether you conjure up an image of your guardian angel as a petite figure that flits around in a silky dress, satin slippers and gossamer wings, or a Christmas tree topper , or even this sturdy holiday ornament that adorned a pole at a house on Emmons Boulevard, it’s nice to know that someone is looking out for your welfare, isn’t it?
This is not a corny tale per se, but it is a tale about corn … creamed corn to be exact.
I never had siblings and my parents were 30 when I was born, and they were really kind of no-nonsense in their rearing of me. They followed the principle that children should be seen and not heard. There would never be a temper tantrum – I sure knew better.
So, if a plate of food was set at my place at the table, I had better eat it, or else I got the lecture about “starving children in _________” (just fill in the blank here, because I’m sure you got that lecture too).
Even when I was a tyke, eating dinner at the kitchen table meant sitting up straight, no elbows on the table, and eating up all my veggies, though I got a little leeway on Brussels sprouts, only because my mom detested them. I was told to “eat around the clock” … clockwise, one bite from each section of food on my plate, until it was all gone. Only then could I have dessert. Plus, I had to drink up my entire glass of milk – white, no less. None of that chocolate or strawberry milk crossed the threshold of the Schaub house.
So veggies are still part of my life – in Summer, it is fresh veggies – in the Winter, the canned variety.
I was hankering for some creamed corn, so I went to the downstairs pantry and got a can. No pop-off lid, so I had to drag out the can opener, then I plunged my tablespoon into the can to have a sizeable taste while getting the pot out and placed onto the stove. While spooning the rest of the can of creamed corn into the pot, I spied something dark … and large. I parted the corn with the spoon to get a better look – I’m sure my eyes bugged out as my mouth formed a big oval “Oh my God!” It was a huge fly … not just a common housefly, but an enormous winged creature. Even though it was bedraggled from the creamed corn, its wings were intact, as were its bulbous eyes. I shudder now just thinking about that image. Of course, I’d already ingested a tablespoonful of that creamed corn when I made the discovery.
Slowly I spooned the corn back into the can thinking I’d deal with it later. I lost my appetite for dinner, so I washed the pot and spoon (half a dozen times) and went back later and took some pictures of that huge creature to send to Del Monte.
Of course, you know I Googled “I just ate some canned cream corn and found a dead bug – will I live?”
Not surprisingly, others before asked a similar question, so, yes … I will live because consumers took a bite, then similarly discovered beetles in their Del Monte veggies … one even found a praying mantis inside their canned leaf spinach. I don’t think Popeye would approve of that.
Linda, the customer service rep at Del Monte Consumer Affairs said “don’t worry, the can is sterile” … I said “the can is not the issue, but the fly that was in the corn that I took a bite of is – that critter was big enough to go to work!” Well, I got a little giggle for that quip, then she quickly hoped to calm me down by adding “well, I assure you the corn was already cooked” so I couldn’t resist asking “in the big vat with the fly in it, or did the fly drown in the corn when it came out of the vat?”
I told Linda I had taken pictures of the fly, the can and the three other cans of “Del Monte No Salt Added Sweet Corn Cream Style”, that I was now not going to eat thank you very much. In fact, I confessed that I’d probably never eat creamed corn again the rest of my life. She took all my can code specifics and gave me a quality control number to send along with my pictures and synopsis of the event. My reward for my food adventure was a reimbursement of four vouchers to be used for Del Monte canned fruits or vegetables.
Linda didn’t ask me to provide the drowned beast to them, and I sure didn’t volunteer to mail Mr. (or Ms.) Fly along with the rest of the holiday packages that will tax our U.S. Mail personnel in the next week.
So, the bottom line is, that I’m alive and kicking because I know somebody up there was definitely looking out for me … another big spoonful of corn and I’d have had a little extra meat for dinner that I didn’t plan on, not to mention the germs. Ugh!
Of course you’ve heard the story of the fly doing the backstroke in your soup … but in your can of creamed corn?
So, what is bugging you today?