The Incident In The Kitchen With The Cilantro Dressing

Trader Joe’s sells this kickass lowfat cilantro dressing. I love cilantro dressing. So when I got home from my regular Wednesday night L.A. River/Griffith Park bike ride and went into the kitchen to whip up a turkey sammich with onion and lettuce so as to better await the much anticipated premiere of the new season of Lost, I found myself left wanting after I splurshed some mustard onto the bread and went looking for other condiments to apply.

Behold ‘n low, in the fridge door shelf stood an unopened bottle of the aforementioned dressing, still sealed for my protection. At first I try to break the plastic sleeve by twisting it, but it doesn’t budge. So next I pull out a knife and succeed in slicing a small enough of a leader to get the thing peeled off and removed and discarded. In the recycle bin, of course.

From there I’m one shake well away from pouring on the flavorful goodness, except something goes dreadfully wrong. In my initial exertions to tear the seal I must have twisted the cap, because immediately following the upswing of my arm as it commenced the shaking motion, the bottle’s cap flew off as if in slow motion and dressing followed after it. The cap? It landed with a reliable clatter upon the kitchen floor. The dressing? It went everywhere else.

And you wanna know the hilarious part (and by that the part where I then demonstrate what a blockhead I am)? I was so incredulously shocked at the first unexpected cascade that as my arm comes down and I’m watching the stuff splatter all over the kitchen in a sort of ridiculous awe, I forget to send a stop order to my arm so it heads on up for another round. Only this time I see what’s happening before it reaches its apex and I hear myself yelling “No!” to my arm as if my arm could hear me and I pull it in toward my chest and launch more dressing into my shoulder with such force that what was substantially left of the big blob that didn’t adher to my shirt ricochets vertically off my collar bone above and behind me where for a split of a second it probably thought proudly “My gawd, I’m really flying!” before reality and gravity engaged to pull it from the air and dash it all over the dish rack and counter by the sink behind me.

My right hand finally picks up where my brain failed and goes into override, instinctively grabbing my left wrist and coercing the left arm to put the bottle down where it is deposited safely and upright on the island among myriad amoeba like structures that are masses of light green dressing. There are more on the floor. Then I look to the puppy 10 feet away who’s got her worried “Dude!” look on along with some flecks of cilantro stuff along her flank that she sniffs and licks off. It’s on my shirt in my hair and on my skin. I wanted to run into the living room where Susan was and scream “Look I’m salad boy!” but it occured to me that she might still be able to annul the marriage on grounds of me being a total idiot so instead I wiped off the excess before stripping off the shirt and depositing it in the hamper. Then as casually as possible I went and got a clean shirt to put on, which she saw me doing and wondered aloud what might have happened. Resigned to explaining myself, I motioned for her to follow me and she did. And how she did laugh as I reanacted the incident in the kitchen with the cilantro dressing. Both with me and rightfully at me while the dog looked on with her more relaxed “Dude!” face.

After cleaning up the mess I went to apply some of the dressing to the sammich still sitting open faced on the cutting board, and much to my surprise I achieved a minor victory: some of the wayward dressing had landed perfectly upon the lettuce leaves. And it was good.