Christopher Peruzzi was the creator of Vikar's Rant back in the early 2000s. It was a site for rants and jokes. He has since calmed down.
So, My Wife Tried to Kill Me...
Here lies the sinister tale of how my wife, a woman so sweet by disposition on the surface that she would force the FDA to reassess their findings on saccharine so that consumers would spit that crap out and call it too bitter, attempted to end my life. Her façade hides a scheming mistress of evil full of ingenious machinations focused and bent upon my inevitable destruction.
In a nefarious plan so wonderfully sublime in its creation a master detective like Columbo, would legitimately sit back, scratch his head in bewilderment, and say, “How the hell did she do that?”
It is only through divine intervention and the miracle of indigestion that I have found the strength and fortitude to stand before you and say, “Haha, I survived.”
This plan did not happen overnight. It was most likely inspired by some of the more intricate plots conceived by Agatha Christie where the murderer was pretending to be someone they were not. It started like a lost yodeler near an avalanche site.
My wife texted me a pot roast recipe.
However, this was no ordinary pot roast recipe. This recipe came from Satan. When I read the text, it passed through my eyeballs, registered with the little man who runs my brain processes with a “how interesting” reaction, and then passed into my subconscious.
I was going to ignore it and filed it under “nice to try someday” in my head.
Now, for those of you who do not know my wife, those of you who do not have three sixes tattooed on the back of your skull or have cloven feet, she is a vegan. She does not eat meat. She chose the recipe carefully knowing that her excuse from eating such a demonic concoction would be that meat would kill her.
She asked me, “Why don’t you ever cook any of the recipes I send you?”
Guilt, Guilt, and More Guilt
I was at a loss for words because I’m just a notorious procrastinator. I view people who file their taxes on April 15th as go-getters and I usually show up to my accountant that day with a doctor’s note explaining an unexpected lobotomy. The best answer I could summon was, “I don’t know.”
“It’s just that I take the time to send you these things and you don’t do them.”
“Do you even file them anywhere?”
“Did you want me to make this?” I said.
“Well, it’s really up to you now, isn’t it?”
Ugh. And I know, I just know, she had been practicing this by dabbling in an ancient tome of Irish guilt techniques more dangerous than anything found in the Necronomicon. Plus, given the simplicity of this meal, that it only involved a slow cooker and dumping the ingredients into it, it became almost too easy and too tempting to try.
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll cook it tomorrow.”
That said, I went out and bought the ingredients at Walmart.
The recipe was chuck roast, with Seven Seasons dry ranch dressing mix sprinkled on it, then with Au Jus recipe mix, five pepperoncini peppers (from a jar), topped off with a stick of butter. Throw the stuff into a slow cooker for eight hours on low and it would be done. I didn’t even need to add water. I had to substitute the pepperoncini with sliced banana peppers, but outside of that, I had everything.
Waiting for the Cooker to Finish
I prepped everything that night and at 8:00 a.m. the next morning, I threw everything into cooker and went downstairs to my dungeon to work.
While I was innocently working down in my office, “future me” was imagining my wife tearing the house apart and gathering my life insurance policies together and making arrangements to have my corpse cremated for easy disposal. I’m sure that was what was happening. I just know it.
Upstairs, in the kitchen, something magically diabolical was happening. Five hours into the process, the cooker, like some sorcerous caldron, was producing what smelled like culinary heroin. The smell, very much like a cartoonish entity crept down into my office dungeon and tickled my nostrils.
The little man who typically runs operations in my brain dropped his clipboard as warning lights and klaxons went off. My body was under the seduction of an olfactory assault. I can picture sparks and explosions erupting from my mind’s main CPU as sensory overload hit it.
My body was being hijacked. Getting up, like a mindless automaton, my legs moved me away from the desk and pulled me upstairs to the kitchen. It was the mingling of the banana peppers with the meat and spices that drove me to the pot.
Oh. My. God. That smell. I lifted the top of the cooker. The steam and scent of the mixture pummeled my face and fogged my glasses. What sweet ambrosia! Everything was melting and coalescing into the meat so that the butter grease and juices bubbled at the bottom of the pot. All those flavors of sweet, tangy, and peppery pungency flowed and ebbed together.
The logical part of my brain, who apparently had been late for all of the brain activity meetings over the last few days, finally arrived. If you were to imagine the logical part of my mind to be a person, he would be an exceedingly small man with glasses, a pocket protector, and a watch that always runs slow. I picture him in school getting his milk money stolen daily.
That’s a lot of grease, isn’t it? Logic said.
Yup, said my id. It is. My id is a horrible nasty beast that has grown fat and rich off milk money stolen from my logic.
A lot of sodium, too, Logic persisted. Don’t you think that’s terrible for our heart? Logic clicked his ball-point pen nervously.
My id stared at my logic hungrily. A long stream of drool leaked from its mouth, much like a rabid Saint Bernard boning up for a part in Cujo.
Logic cleared its throat and spoke nervously. Something like that, you know… with all that butter, grease, sodium, fat, and hot spices won’t just harden our arteries and send our blood pressure through the roof, but we’ll have heartburn and indigestion for days.
Superego arrived at this point, with a big red “S” across his chest. He was prepared to leap tall buildings in a single bound and bend iron-hard arteries in his bare hands. Ordinarily, my superego does a good job keeping me out of the pool halls and away from weeds and fungus that will screw with my state of consciousness. His heroic voice and spit-curled hair had exactly the wrong thing to say.
Our wife only wants to see us happy, he said. Surely, a little grease is a small price to pay on doing the right moral thing. Eat up.
Logic, now without any milk money after being double-teamed by id and superego, threw down his pocket protector and slide-rule, and stomped away in utter defeat.
The Plot to Kill Me
I tore myself away from the pot and went back downstairs and back to work. After all, it had three hours more to go. It was hard to concentrate on work with a meal waiting for me. Its siren song was nearly irresistible with promises to titillate even my most reluctant taste buds. It took every fiber of my being to resist going upstairs again and just savagely devour everything in that pot.
I drank some cold coffee in the meantime and tried to get my mind back on work.
Why did she have to send me that damn recipe? She knew she could not have any of it. This would be nothing but my own session of personal gluttony. Then, in a moment of sobriety, I realized that it would have been much more constructive if she had sent me something that could have been good FOR ME and vegan. Wouldn’t that have made more sense?
Perhaps she was concerned that too much healthy food would make my heart beat too well and it would unexpectedly explode due to terrific efficiency.
Sheer paranoia grabbed me and thought what she did was simply insidious. What better way to murder someone than to have them make and then give the poison to himself? You wouldn’t need to trick someone through distraction if you sent him something that would harden his arteries so much that they’d clang when hit with an iron pipe.
And she’d have an iron-clad alibi.
“No officer,” she’d say – a crocodile tear leaking from her eye. “I don’t even touch meat. It’s disgusting.”
Then the police would look at my bloated grease-laden body and announce the case was closed. Death by outrageous greasy food excess and gluttony. My wife would then seize upon my comic book collection, cash them out, and buy nothing but fancy hats for the dog.
I was onto her. Oh no, not this time. I shall resist your tempting plot of greasy food, butter, and salt.
At four o’clock, I logged off my work laptop and went up to the kitchen. It was the eighth hour. The slow cooker had finished its job and had automatically set itself on “warm”.
I went upstairs determined to take the meal and feed it to the dog. Damn that woman. She would not kill this husband so easily.
The top of the crockpot opened with a cloud of steam and a seductive aroma. I could smell the banana peppers had mingled flawlessly with the meat drippings and butter. I grabbed a fork and stuck it into the roast. It was thoroughly saturated in butter and ranch seasoning. Without any effort whatsoever, a piece broke from the rest of the roast with a bit of fat stuck to it.
I popped the morsel into my mouth. It was hot, but it could have been made of molten lava for all I cared. The meat and chewy fat practically disintegrated on my tongue. Salt and ranch and peppers with butter danced in my mouth and touched a primitive part of my brainstem. That part of me clicked into a hunger that would have made a rabid zombie look like a finicky child.
“I really need to get some Italian crust bread to go with this.”