There have got to be few worse feelings than putting on an item of clothing and quickly realizing you resemble an overstuffed tube of toothpaste.
If any of you are like me, as I’m willing to bet many of you are, you have tried your best to make the best of our craptacular situation over the course of the last eight months. For some, this means learning a new skill or picking up a new hobby. For others, this may have been a time to catch up on something you used to love doing quite frequently. Now, to each their own. I’d be a fool to assume that everybody did the exact same kind of things to keep themselves occupied and sane. And I certainly can’t judge your choice either. I remember the great knitting fiasco of 2017, in which I made it my own personal New Year’s resolution to learn how to knit. Update: that scarf is still coming sometime in late 2032. But the one thing I am certain of, judging by the ever-evolving state of grocery store shelves, is that most people have re-discovered their love of baking.
Now, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. For months, up until recently, that one aisle in every grocery store has been almost always completely devoid of flour and yeast. And when those things were made available in the limited quantities afforded to the unlucky workers who had to stock the shelves, they then had to witness the shoppers in what I can only assume looked like a poorly choreographed fight scene in a Mad Max movie.
Anyway…the point being is that people really seemed to like the idea of baking again.
I was no exception.
I love bread: white bread, brown bread, sourdoughs, french loaves, and beer bread. I made them all. Then, when my bread machine finally met its untimely end, I went to the oven and BBQ for comfort. Have you ever tried beer bread, smothered in butter, baked on a wood-fired grill? No? Then you haven’t lived!
Sadly, it doesn’t just stop at bread. Another one of my great loves, in case you didn’t know, is beer (aka liquid bread). While drinking beer isn’t new to me, I decided to further explore the wide world of this marvelous elixir and try some crazy and outlandish things. I even got a monthly subscription that will send some random and hard to find beverages straight to my door for a nominal monthly fee.
Am I painting a picture yet?
I will admit, COVID has sucked, but I was determined to live my life to the fullest. I’ve had some very decadent meals as a result. Maybe a little too decadent…
And that brings me to the point of this story.
My girlfriend and I had recently decided we were going to go out for dinner and that we would get all dressed up; we had every intention of spoiling ourselves, and we did just that. However, when it came time to put on my dress pants, I found that I couldn’t do up the button – I was just a few centimetres short. I very clearly remember swearing profusely and glaring at the round evil piece of metal that kept me from fulfilling my dreams of looking like a suave and well put-together individual while unceremoniously stuffing my gullet.
“Fine then! Jeans it is!” I proudly and defiantly decided.
I would be okay with it if this is where the story had ended… but it didn’t… and I am not.
Figuring I could at least wear a nice, white dress shirt and still pull off the well-dressed gentleman thing, I quickly ran to the closet and grabbed the one lonely and underused white shirt that sat on the hanger. It was a bit snug, but I managed to do up all of the buttons. It fits!… until I stopped sucking in my stomach muscles and found myself suddenly exposed to a scene of absolute horror.
Do you know what happens when you thaw a frozen tube of the Pillsbury crescent rolls dough? Enough said.
Shirt stretched, buttons pulled, ego damaged, and feeling fully defeated, I cried out to my girlfriend that I was heading out to buy a new shirt. Immediately.
Okay, so maybe I’ve put on a few pounds. As I’ve said before, these past eight months haven’t been kind to any of us. But now it appears that my waistline has become COVID’s next unwilling victim.
I think it’s safe to say, however, that this wound is most probably self-inflicted.