Here at the Rabbit house, we sometimes watch an amusing program called “Iron Chef.” It’s a weird Japanese game show in which two Very Serious Chefs compete to see who can create the tastiest entrée, side dish, and dessert from the key ingredient. They don’t find out what the ingredient is until the show begins, and they only have an hour to prepare the meal.
The key ingredient is sometimes something yummy, like strawberries. But more often it is something peculiar, like chicken beaks, from which the average home cook would be unable to construct a dessert.
At the end of the show, a panel of judges taste all the dishes and pronounce one chef’s efforts superior. He is then titled The Iron Chef. The judges are all Japanese celebrities, and their comments are dubbed in English for the benefit of the Food TV audience.
I have always suspected that the giggly, air-headed Japanese actress is not really saying what the translator claims.
Dubbed remark: This is SO GOOD! (giggle, titter) I would eat this chicken beak marzipan every day!
Real remark: This is the most disgusting thing I have ever put in my mouth. (giggle, titter) When my contract is up I am SO ditching this f-ing gig.
Well anyway, today I had a shopping task so arduous, I should have been crowned the Iron Shopper when I was finished.
Backing up: My daughter Tigger developed a hole in the butt of her one and only swimsuit. She has multiple swimming activities in the next few days, and I could not force her to do them in a hole-in-the-butt swimsuit. That would be unconscionably cruel. And so, I had to buy her a new swimsuit. In late August.
Unless you are not responsible for purchasing clothing for your family (i.e., male), those words struck fear into your heart. And indeed, the going was tough.
See, I had only three hours today in which to do my work and my errands. (The rest of the day was occupied by housework and playing umpteen games of “Snap” with Little Bit.) I wrote for two hours and set off to find the garment in the remaining 60 minutes. When I entered the local discount-mart, things looked grim.
Racks and racks of clearance items littered the girls’ 7-16 department. Some of them held shiny garments that appeared swimsuit-like crammed in among the unwanted t-shirts and teeny tiny shorts. But when I pawed through them, what did I find?
Bikinis. Some of them missing tops. Some of them missing bottoms. Some of them with (I kid you not) padded tops and/or thong bottoms. (!) Some of them were made of material so glittery yet flimsy I felt quite certain they would not hold up to a single afternoon of sprinkler running, let alone exposure to a heavily chlorinated pool.
But there in the midst of the kiddy bikini wasteland, I found one single tank suit, only one size bigger than I had intended to buy. It was yellow, rather than Tigger’s preferred pink, and it had no decoration. Not a flower. Not a flourish. But I snatched that suit off the hanger and ran for the checkstand like Charlie when he found the Golden Ticket. I bought the only swimsuit in the store that any reasonable human being would put on an eight-year-old girl, and I emerged, victorious.
And I didn’t have to eat a single chicken beak.