I'm sure you wouldn't, but:

Protected by Copyscape Unique Content Check

Thursday, 16 June 2011


F12 was pointing and making gagging noises, the cause of which was hard to pinpoint since, although he had stuffed his face with a whole half muffin, the panicking horror was greater than a mere sudden aversion to peanut butter would suggest.

I frowned. Had he of a whim inherited his father’s freak-out over chicken and sausages? Listeria Hysteria? It was true that I was grappling with a punnet of chicken breasts and mashing them into a marinade – I can all but hear the noise of E fainting somewhere in cyber-space. If there’s one thing the man can’t abide it’s a spot of meat handling. Ideally, when it takes place, he should be in another county and under mild sedation. I should be clad in hairnet and latex, a floor length apron, and enter a sterilised zone via a holding cell where I would be whooshed with a big shower spray and doused with an antiseptic douche, preferably one not wildly available in this country due to its nuking capabilities. All instruments to be sterilised after use.
Lacking such facilities he has to make do with me wiping a cloth and wielding a disinfectant.

His repulsion used to be expressed in a mere facial tic, like a cat thinking of a dog, maybe, an involuntary spasm. Then the notion of sell-by dates, and my woeful inattention to same, upped the ante, upgrading the distaste to a revulsion. Now I have to explain and vindicate the welfare and housing arrangements of every piece of chicken that enters the house. It is always apartheid chicken, segregated into its personal wing of the fridge, on its individual Rule 45, kept apart for its own protection, and that of others as he all but hears the Salmonella cells doubling and quadrupling, breeding and breathing, thickening the air, calling to maggots and E coli, summoning its hellish cohorts, its partners in grime.

It makes the preparation of a normal meal into something quite other and his fear has begun to infect me. On tottering out to the bins with the packaging (no longer can it be slung in the kitchen bin, it must be outed and ousted to the great outdoors) I then panicked – had I touched the key of the lock of the door with a contaminated hand? Maybe I had. Totter back with the spray. And did I touch the handle …? spray to make sure. And use a bit of kitchen roll not the Normal Cloth. As it is, the Normal Cloth spends an abnormal amount of time in the washing machine glumly spinning round thinking, “What did I do to deserve this, this death by suds?”

Still, while incarcerating the marinating meat in an all but lockable Tupperware, prior to returning it to its isolation wing in the fridge, I have taken to developing this insane anxiety that I might just lick the raw meat, or smear it on my face. Do something wildly inappropriate just to make flesh the fear. I can see how madness develops.

Meanwhile F12 is still pointing. And spasming. Ah yes, his own private source of horror. A scrap of cling film casually tossed aside when I was in Busy Biddy in a Pinny mode yesterday, making pizza dough.
Cling film! His eyes go big, his hand gestures wildly. He looks dizzy. Hyperventilation is but a pace away. I roll my eyes and put it in the cupboard.
“The bin, the bin!” he wheezes.
What? The bin with the chicken gizzards? Our horrors meeting and mating, chatting and sharing ideas.
My own fear is of spiders. Which makes total sense. The random movement, the sudden dart. A fear for which the bin alone is not sufficient prison. But then I’m totally sensible with completely rationale phobias. Unlike them. Them’s mad.


TheMadHouse said...

H ah ha, no that is real laughing on my part!

I went to a dettol event where the woman was obsessed with e.coli and she was really obsessed. She wouldnt even dry her hands on a towel after handling chicken, she insists on using paper towels

Milla said...

you say "she", so that makes two of them. Unless my husband has a cross-dressing habit to add to his chicken one. He would be nodding at the total sense intrinsic in using a kitchen towel.

Exmoorjane said...

YOu talk about cooking and fridges...then you talk about spiders...inevitably the mind then jumps to cooking spiders (with the eating thereafter naturally assumed). Thankfully I have had lunch (no chickens involved) before reading this.
Now - wonder if Blogger will let me comment THIS time?

Exmoorjane said...

Okay, this is weird. Blogger likes your blog and lets me comment. It has an aversion to many, including my own. :(

Milla said...

Blogger can be very wise, Jane. (It lets me like you sometimes ... mind you wordpress being a PITA, too)

Chris Stovell said...

Hey, you're on fire! I have to admit to being a tad squeamish about raw meat, but it's tomatoes that scare the bejeezuz out of me. Hope E hasn't fainted clean away.

Edward said...

E is sitting here and wondering just what it is about gut-wrenching, spasmic evacuation at both ends as a result of food poisoning that is so intrisically wonderful? In any case, mine is not a phobia, merely an aversion to vomiting and diarrhoea.

Spiders? Schmiders. Cling film? As the brute himself might say, WTF?

Muddling Along said...

Mr has a similar (although not as profound) issue with my lax approach to meat and sell by dates - so far I haven't poisoned him but we regularly have conversations about whether the chicken might still be a little bit pink

And I've started to worry to - me, I ate chicken sushi once and I laugh in the face of this silliness

Or not

Muddling Along said...

Mr has a similar (although not as profound) issue with my lax approach to meat and sell by dates - so far I haven't poisoned him but we regularly have conversations about whether the chicken might still be a little bit pink

And I've started to worry to - me, I ate chicken sushi once and I laugh in the face of this silliness

Or not

Fennie said...

Whatever happens in your house if something goes 'bump' in the night?

A healthy human body has so many defences against bugs that the wonder is that we ever get ill at all.

Still, maybe vegetarianism beckons. You can feed a family of four on an acre of beans, you know (and save money on fridges).

Fred said...

Sell by dates - WTF you got a nose for?

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

Oh, but I do the whole paper towel thing too. I've always thought doing so made me awfully grown-up and sensible. Obviously, I do lick the chickens and rub them all over my face too. I like contradiction.

I believe cling film was sent to Earth by aliens. They watch us from their, er, flying saucers. Anyone who can manage to get the required amount of cling film off the roll using the little cardboard toofy pegs is clearly destined for their superior race. A fear of the stuff will serve E well. They may even make him King...

Ivy said...

Hm what's wrong with boiling the chopping board , using kitchen paper disinfecting work surface and hands after handling chicken as well as putting the kitchen cloth in the 90°C wash every day?
Well I know I am phobic but a clean and healthy phobic! :D

Expat mum said...

No offence to E but what a pain to be living with that kind of paranoia! Having said that, they recently did a study of ATMs (holes in the wall) and found them to have more bacteria than toilet seats - Argh!

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Hilarious! Very entertaining - even the 'normal cloth' has a personality.

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Oh Dear - I am reading this, all agog - I think you have now given me things to think about that I really don't want to think about - I may never cook chicken again!
Oh .. wait ... I dont cook it now as I hate the way the raw meat smells and feels.
Phew - feeling better all-ready.

Another wonderful read Milla - I do love visiting here.
PS I want to give poor glum "Normal Cloth" a home - it doesn't deserve death by suds

Milla said...

the normal cloth is a confused little thing, to be sure, L.
Thanks, Karen, what a lovely thing to say.