Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Great Peperoncini Explosion of 2010

While not of the magnitude of the Port Chicago Disaster or the Halifax Explosion, in its own way this will go down within the annuals of RV history. Just yesterday, after driving for many hundreds of miles, I ended my day looking forward to a nice cold beer. Now for those of you not familiar with boating or RV travel, items may shift during travel, so you should be very cautious when opening the overhead, or any bins for that matter. It is with this sense of caution I cracked open the fridge trying to grab a cold one and begin my evening. At the slightest crack, the door jumped towards me almost knocking me down with it's 6.25 pound heft (ok not really). At that exact moment, I caught the glimpse of what can only be described as the green jar of doom as it arched ever so gracefully past my outstretched hand and headed towards the floor. For those of you not familiar with the green jar of doom it's a normal sized jar of peperoncini a delightful sandwich addition which I so lovingly purchased at Walmart for my wife who has the occasional hankering for these tangy peppers on her sandwiches.

So this jar of doom, which for Walmart was fairly normal sized, but when placed on an RV becomes beyond gargantuan (everything does, myself included) is heading down, down, down, like a briny jar of condiments (humble apologies to the great Johnny Cash). As it reaches the lowest edge of the fridge the fates intervene to ensure that the precise edge of the jar would hit the correct firmness of surface to ensure absolute and complete annihilation of the jar and it's contents. Now if you know my family you know a few good jars have died in the daily battle for sustenance. This particular one took an approach which I must say, while shocking, deserves kudos for ensuring maximum destruction. Oma and Papa (owners of said RV should stop reading now).

I was immediately faced with 2 main issues. First, a pile of pickled peppers (yes,  I was waiting all day to write that so Pfffttt) combined with semi-microscopic shards of glass and second, a virtual river of unnaturally green. flavorful, fluid flowing down the linoleum hill towards the carpeted lowlands. Before I continue you dear reader should know one important fact. My son Jack, awesome kid that he is, loves it when people clean the floor. Sweeping, vacuuming or mopping up no matter, he wants to be right in the middle of it sitting in the pile of debris laughing. Normally this is somewhat endearing. In this case of glass shards mixed with briny peppers - not so much. So I am fending off Jack with one hand, scooping peppers and glass with the other, while trying to block the briny creek with my foot, all the while yelling for Jen to throw me the paper towels.

A quick replacement sponge for briny creek dam - the size 16 initial design had a major engineering flaw in not being able to block fluids - and we had the second issue under control. The first - the big pile o pepper glass - still sat waiting for me to thrust my meat paw into it's midst and pluck its delicious yet now all too extra crunchy mass from its resting place to be deposited into the trash. With a sad resolve I carried on removing what was once spicy condiment but now just a tragic slipping hazard. Jen arrived with reinforcements so I could go from zone defense to man to man making sure Jack stayed back. Jen jumped into the middle of operation pepper detox and we slowly gained control of the situation. Katie got involved, providing the early warning system of any time Jack began heading back toward the mess - for I was now one hand down (beer holder ya know).

Frankly in retrospect, pouring pickled peppers on the floor may have been something we should have just tried without the breakage of glass. It sure does smell better than my family after several days of 95 degree heat. To be fair, we just washed 'dem kids as the heat combined with the hours of play in the sandy playground made for a piquant bouquet to say the least.

The moral of our story. Any time you place a pack of picked peppers, a perfunctory placement may promote pausing in your progress as you pick pepper from places you prefer peppers not to perch.

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