Hunger, Heartache, & the Pursuit of Nacho Cheese by Melodie Yvonne Ramey
So I decided to go to the grocery store to grab a few things around 11pm last night as I like shopping a little later to avoid the crowds, and I could tarry no more for milk and dog food. I hadn’t eaten since lunch, so at the last minute I decided to grab some Taco Bell across the street. I hate shopping hungry, and know if I do I’ll end up with way more food than I need most likely from the snack aisle. I order a burrito, nachos & cheese and a drink from the drive thru, and head over to the grocery store parking lot to quickly eat before running in. I take my food out of the bag, and immediately notice that the gentleman at the window has given me what appears to be a brick of napkins with my food. I must look dirty. I don’t doubt it. I only think on it for a few minutes before I begin to dig into my food. Looking back on it I’m not sure what distracted me from eating, probably my phone. Regardless of what initially made me decide to balance the open cheese cup on my leg, though, it happened. I guess I thought little cheese cup, big thigh, no problem! Or maybe I just didn’t think, and so, of course, the unthinkable happened… the still full cup of warm, gooey nacho cheese slides off my lap, and then perfectly into an opening leading under my seat that there’s no earthly way it should have been able to fit through. In fact, every planet in the shit universe had to have aligned perfectly at that exact moment in shit time for that cup to fit through that hole, and for the events that followed to have occurred.
As I said, the cup slid like a hot knife through butter into a slot it shouldn’t have fit through originally, a tiny space under my driver’s seat on the left next to the seat adjust lever. The cup lands upside down. It’s like midway back and all the way to the left next to the driver’s side door, an impossible spot to reach from the front or back. I try to grab the runaway cup before the cheese all oozes out onto the floorboard, but my hand won’t fit thru the offending slot closest to the problem. I barely grasp the cup with my fingers, and get it pulled to the opening but it doesn’t fit out.
“How the fuck did it fit through the first time?!?!” I’m thinkin as I lose my grip, and the cheese cup slips back into obscurity.
The newly lodged cup is almost empty, and the fingers on my left hand are now covered in cheese. The warm goo seems to spread from one finger to the next in a heartbeat, attacking as if it were the weird ooze in that old Tales from the Crypt story, “The Raft“. I get out of the car, trying not to graze anything with my left hand, for fear that I have suddenly developed a form of the “Midas Touch“, but, of course, I’ll not be so lucky as to just create gold. I squat down to try to look under the seat to assess the situation. It’s almost midnight by this point so it is dark outside, dark under my seat, and the tiny dome light only creates more shadows blocking my view. I realize it’s time to do the unthinkable. It looks like I’m going to have to go in blind. I shove my whole hand roughly through the opening as far as it will go. Immediately I mistakenly find the cheese puddle, and my hand is now coated in cheese up to the wrist. I suddenly have a great deal of empathy for obstetricians. I locate the cup with the tip of my fingers just a little further back passed the nacho pond. I maneuver it around, and get it turned over so at least the little cheese that’s left in it is no longer spilling, and possibly salvageable. I do still have all those nachos waiting on me. I somehow manage to hook the edge of the cup with one finger, and pull it towards the opening, but I can’t get a good grip ’cause EVERYTHING is slimy by this point. How could there seriously have been that much cheese in that little cup???
I decide I’m going to have to dig in and get both hands dirty. I shove my index finger and middle finger on each hand through the slot on either side of the cup. I finally get what seems like some leverage, and I get ready to pull. I yank the cup through swiftly forgetting that the opening somehow shrank right after the initial cup insertion. This, of course, is a huge problem I find out too late as the walls of the hole squeeze the cup walls spewing the rest of the cheese all over my previously mostly clean right hand, but I can’t contain my excitement! The cheese cup is free!!! I sit back down in the driver’s seat unable to decide my next move, or even shut the door because my hands are covered in not just cheese at this point, but cheese with a light coating of dog fur, dirt, and whatever else is lurking beneath my unkempt seat. I sigh loudly, and then silently thank the taco bell dude that gave me the ridiculous amount of napkins. He was right. I guess I am a dirty girl. I use the entire pile of napkins and an old bottle of water to clean up as best as I can, and I make the decision that no matter what I will continue on this mission. I mean, ice cream and pie doesn’t just put itself in my fridge. I get out of the car, and stroll into the store wondering if this epic battle has changed me. Will my war torn expression give away my torrid tale faster than the faint scent of cheese wafting through the air as I walk by the other late night shoppers? We might never know, but one thing is for sure… There is a very good chance that at some point in the future I might possibly save myself a lot of trouble and remember not to balance an open cheese cup on my leg in the car… or not 🙂 Either way, I’ll never tell 😉
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