Back to Nature, Hardware Salad, and “Mother” Does Not Start with “S”

Kids change a lot in the span of about ten years.  Ten year olds and (nearly) twenty year olds don’t really have much in common.  Ten years ago, Steve-o was collecting Beanie Babies and Pokemon cards. He slept with a night light until he was twelve because his evil biological grandmother decided he should sleep in a dark basement when he was four years old (that ended her visitations…) and that experience must have done something to traumatize him for a long, long time.  Admittedly my evil ex mother-in-law was pretty damned scary, even for adults.  I am glad she didn’t have life insurance on me and I didn’t have anything of any real value for her to inherit had I been stupid enough to put her in my will or make her executor of my estate.   No wonder her son turned out to be the poster child for OCD and all sorts of other psychological abnormalities.  (must…not…offend…Mother…)  I think she still has some pretty hefty life insurance policies on my ex and she would score big if he dropped dead.  She is probably still sitting on the million or so that she inherited when her various relatives all died- and left all their cash and other assets to her.  But enough about my evil ex  mother-in-law.  She is quite fine where she is, with her Hardware Salad and her measuring cup.

Today Steve-o is collecting Snap-On tools, various performance upgrade parts for his ’68 VW Bug, and empty Jagermeister bottles.  I think he has moved on from sleeping with a night light on to sleeping on compliant females, but even to this day he does not like to sleep either alone or in the dark.  Creepy.  I have to wonder if the old bat tried to make him eat Hardware Salad too.

I know I wanted to get off the subject of my ex mother-in-law, but Hardware Salad deserves a bit of an explanation.  I think she was trying to do Waldorf Salad or something of that nature, but Hardware Salad, as near as I can tell, included:

Pretzels

Carrot peelings

Apple pieces, core and seeds included

Red Grapes, including pits (I assume because non-pitted grapes are cheaper)

Assorted Nuts (nut assortments are cheaper than just walnuts)

Loads of greasy mayonnaise (acck, acck, acck, my throat is filling up with snot drainage just thinking about it)

Celery

Sauerkraut?  I swear that’s what it was- as a substitute for coconut???  I have no earthly idea.

Marshmallows (????WTF??)

Vinegar

All of the above is set in lime Jell-o, (???) and topped with a tiny teaspoon of watery, off-brand Cool Whip.

Between the grape pits and the pretzels and the occasional apple seed, (not to mention celery and I suspect sauerkraut,)  this had to be the most vile dessert ever known to man.  Thankfully on the rare occasion she invited you to dinner, she measured out portions with a measuring cup so that she could budget for every penny she spent on food.  It was only necessary to gag down precisely 1/2 cup of this stuff for politeness’ sake, and I’m assuming that one teaspoon more of it would induce projectile vomiting.  I only gagged it down because I was taught from earliest childhood that when you are a guest at someone’s home you eat what is served, even if it is lacquer thinner with bat turds in it. To do otherwise would be rude, and the Wicked Witch actually thought her Hardware Salad (I forget what she actually called it) was the best dessert ever.   I don’t puke easily, but that stuff was nasty.  I cringe to this day just thinking about it.  It’s sad that after all these years I can still see and actually taste this disaster of a dessert. Acck.  I hope poor Steve-o was never subjected to it.  The Graham crackers were bad enough.  It would have been OK if she’d had enough sense not to give a 20 month old toddler the entire box.

Steve-o looked a lot different before the Puberty Fairy  Demon hit too.  He had a pleasant soprano voice not unlike my own, complete with Central Ohio Newscaster Accent.  On the rare occasions when I would answer his phone (cruel, that, but fun in a mildly malicious sort of way) his buddies would mistake me for him.  Oh, the things his buddies would say to me until they realized it was not Steve-o, but Steve-o’s Mom, which brought about a distinct change in their subject matter and tone.   Then he woke up one morning six inches taller, with an unfamiliar and ominous sounding baritone voice, a hair style reminiscent of Robert Plant in 1971, 7/8″ earrings, back hair, a libido to rival Casa Nova, and an Attitude from hell.  That testosterone is pretty powerful stuff, apparently.

What an odd resemblance.  Above is Steve-o in the outhouse, below is Robert Plant sometime in the early 70’s.

There’s a long, long way between pic#1 and pic#2, believe that.  He parted with the Robert Plant hairstyle shortly after this pic was taken, although the earrings and the funky beard remain.

He looks better with short hair, and even maybe a little less evil.  If he does bother to read my blog, which I doubt, because he would have had a major tizzy fit about the Feces Fountain Incident being recorded for posterity, and for all to see, I’m sure he won’t like me using his Facebook pic.  Oh, well.  If you post your pic online without explicitly stating that no one else can use it, I guess you’re asking for it.  At least I didn’t Photo Shop it first and do something outrageous like put Boy George’s head on his body or something.

I am trying to decide which annual plants to put in my flower beds.  I think I will stick with wave petunias- they did well the last couple of times I bothered to plant flowers.  The rose bushes have a lot of buds on them and I am looking forward to the roses blooming.  That’s as close to nature as I like to get.  Flowers- and the Cougar Pool when it gets here. I am looking forward to that.

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