– Is usually a funny statement when you are asking someone else. However, when the universe turns it around and some handsome man in the middle of the Food Court is asking you, all of a sudden two things happen.
1) He thinks you stole pinto beans from their moderately well kept salad bar. And
2) There is actually a pinto bean in your hair!!!!
This is both embarrassing to admit and hard to determine how it got there. But I am going to blame it on Mexicans and their delicious food at the food court in the mall.
It was a day like any other day where I have way too much to do and not enough time to get it all done before Oprah comes on. And now that she has ceased to rule the mid-afternoon airwaves, the precious syndicated re-runs are all I have left, but I think her advice always bares repeating, so I don’t mind watching the bra-fitting episode or anything where a has-been celebrity bursts through that paper banner in the back of the stage like a high school quarterback whose chance to lose his virginity rest upon scoring at least 2 touchdowns at the Saturday afternoon game.
God, that makes me wish I had gone to high school. I wouldn’t really have cared about the big games themselves. It’s all that “You did so good, Johnny. Now let me show you how I’ve been practicing the splits” stuff that I really think I missed out on.
Anyway, back to the bean.
So I hadn’t eaten for the better part of the morning except for the Pop Tart half that I found on my bathroom sink that I hope was left there by my son, but can’t really be sure, but it’s safer to go with that story. It was brown sugar/cinnamon, which really is on the top of the Pop Tart flavor food pyramid. I was ready to chew my own arm off when I saw the half-dozen options for relatively unhealthy but terribly convenient fast food to tide me over till I could get back to the trailer to make myself something scrumptious. Since I was planning on having chicken later that evening, I passed up that option, blew right past the salad place because although it was the healthiest idea, it is hard to walk and eat a salad at the same time unless you are an Olympic gymnast that can twirl a ribbon and throw those medium sized balls up in the air and catch them between your legs. But then if you can do that, I’m sure that salad isn’t the first thing on your mind. Chinese – No. Curry – No. Vegan – Hell no!
Mexican – well, since to my knowledge most of their food is made up of some combination of rice, beans, and corn, I figured I could convince myself that it was healthy. And they had this “Jr. Burrito” which, being smaller was probably only half the calories. So I ordered 2 of them and found a table in the food court. There was a large glass ceiling that let the sunlight of the afternoon come streaming in which not only was beautiful, but made me sweat just a little more than I had hoped.
So there I was, “Jr. Burritos” in front of me, mild salsa for my few meager chips that came as a side dish, and a stack of napkins at the ready. And then, it happened. I gazed up to see this very handsome man at the “fake hair on a banana clip” kiosk that was right in front of me. He was something else. Forgetting the fact that he worked at a hair accessory kiosk, he was probably quite a catch. Nice arms, curly hair, and judging by how fast his fingers were twitching on his cell phone, a sizeable data plan. And he was showered in sunlight from the glass ceiling above him.
Now I don’t know if this happens to you, but when I look at the sun, I tend to sneeze. Hard! Sometimes I am lucky enough to have a bit of a warning, sometimes, not so much. This time, I felt it coming on, but I was trying to still look adorable in case Renaldo (that turned out to be his name) came over and wanted to color-match my hair to anything he had on his “$20 discount wall.” I instinctively scrambled for a napkin to cover what I was sure was going to be a doozie of a sneeze. And BLAM! It was unleashed with so much force that the better part of the first “Jr. Burrito” launched, NASA-style into my hand. It ricocheted and shot back at my face
The last bite of my burrito before the incident was a good-sized one, what the Snickers Company might call “Fun Sized.” It was a pretty big mouthful, now half-chewed and mixed with saliva.
When it flew back at my face and hair, it was a collection of rice bits, sauce, and several pinto beans, that if I was at a spa with a Japanese name, would have cost me about $150 and been labeled “ a treatment.” Today however, it was just a really horrible accident.
Apparently, the sunlit dome was also a natural amphitheater for sound. My rocket launcher sound effect made Renaldo look up from his phone long enough to realize that he wanted to engage in conversation with the now rice-encrusted red head 20 feet in front of him. Quickly, I started wiping off the shrapnel as effectively as I could while trying to look like nothing had happened. Which is hard to do when you are wiping your forehead and cheek and chin at the same time.
“Hello, I’m Renaldo.”
“Dixie.” I tried to get the sunlight to reflect the greenness of my eyes. Oh God! Bad move. A-CHOO!!!
This is what I learned that day. There are risks with Mexican immigration.
And all their food might be delicious after an all night goldschlager taste-test, it has consequences.
So the next time someone with sexy brown eyes and discount coupons for wiglets asks you, “Is that a pinto bean in your hair?”
Calmly look at them in the eye, reach into your hair, withdraw the pinto bean, stick it in your mouth. And say “Yes.” No explanation is needed, and you seem that much more mysterious.