Tuesday, December 24, 2002

So here we sits... Christmas Eve, 2002. How cool is that? Approximately two thousand and two years after the birth of the Son of God. Amazing. Something else amazing has already happened this Christmas. It's kind of hard to believe. It's true though.

How many gifts do you think are for sale in the average mall this year? Ten thousand? One hundred thousand? Maybe a million? Is that a low number? I have no idea. Suffice it to say there are a lot of gifts out there on the market. My kitchen is already full of fudge, chocolates, home made breads, assorted cookies, and truly wonderful "turtle popcorn" made by Ashley and Kelli Brown. I happened into their home one day this week. As you know, Ashley is in the process of beating the tar out of a nasty case of Leukemia. I don't know how else to phrase it. She has her down days but all in all... she's kicking it's butt. She's my first 13 year old hero. But baby, she's earned the title. Anyway, a lot of cool things have already come my way. If Christmas ended now I would already be blessed way beyond the imagination of most people in the world.

But something unique... even weird... happened this year. I don't cook very often. Debbie discourages me from entering the kitchen unless it's for a glass of orange juice or maybe I'm allowed to cut through to the garage. But cook? It just doesn't happen. And yet this year I received something I have never owned before. A friend gave me a fork. A big fork. A truly large fork. This is, perhaps, the mother of all forks. It's one of those big jobs that you use to stick into a roast or maybe a turkey to either flip it over or pull it out of a pot. You have seen a hundred of them in stores and kitchens far and wide. But this fork is a little different. It is a product of the new millenium. It is... a digital fork. That's right. When you stick this fork into a piece of meat it gives you a digital read-out of the tempreture of the meat. Not being a cook, I'm not totally sure why I want to know this bit of information. I suspect it has something to do with making sure it is done. I know enough about cooking to realize that nasty things like... salmonella, exist in poorly cooked meat. I've always wondered about salmonella. Did it originate with salmons? Did some fish get sick while swimming upstream? Maybe he had the fish sniffles, or a sore fish throat. Did the sickness slow it down so much that maybe.. oh... a moose caught it and ate it? And then a hunter caught the moose and ate it? And then the hunter got what the fish had and so they named it "Salmonella?" It makes sense, don't you think? You have to wonder about these things. If you don't ... you just are not thinking.

Ok, I'm getting off track here. Where was I? Oh yeah.

So now I have this mega-fork that tells temperature. But wait.... that's not all! I got another gift yesterday. It came from my father-in-law in Richmond, Virginia. His name is Jim. "Jim the father-in-law" I call him. That's because I also have a "Jim the brother-in-law" and simply a "Jim the brother." Most men that I know are named Jim. If you don't believe me ask Jim George, Jim Barzee, or Jim Gregory. I don't know why it is that way but it is. But Jim the Father-in-law mailed me a Christmas gift. My kids made me open it becuase they already had and they wanted me to see what it was. That's one of the really special things about my kids. They like to check my gifts out ahead of time. It's probably because they want to make sure I'm going to be happy. Or maybe they know that Jim the father-in-law has always wanted me dead for stealing his daughter and so they check to make sure my "gift" isn't going to explode. Nah. The kids love me but they aren't that passionate about it. So anyway, I opened the package. SURPRISE! I got another fork. This one also tells the temperature of the meat. But wait... that's not all! You can unscrew the computerized handle and screw it onto a cool spatula that will now also tell you the temperature! And then you can unscrew that and screw it onto some other nifty utensil... I forget which one... but you get the drift. In reality THIS is the mother-of-all-forks/spatula's/utensils. Because this one also.... talks. You read me correctly. It verbally tells you the temperature of your meat. I'm not sure who gave me the original mother-of-all-forks but if you are reading this... you just got "one-upped."

I can think of a lot of uses for this puppy. I've already told Chris that there will be no more skipping school because of some mysterious phantom fever. Now if he wakes up and wants to stay home I simply jab the talking fork into his rib cage... and wait for a verbal report. If it says anything even close to 98.6 I send him packing off to school. I think this will cut down on his tendency to want to stay home or stop by the nurses office in the middle of the day asking to go home because he feels poorly. I can use it to test the coolant level in my home and auto air conditioners. A simple jab of the mega-fork into the coolant system should reveal everything I need to know. And then there is the toilet seat dilemma. You know how you hate sitting down on a cold toilet seat in the middle of the night? Well, if I leave the fork on the toilet seat I can pick it up before I sit down so I'll know what to expect. Of course, if someone else gets up to go to the bathroom and doesn't know the fork is there... well, that will probably only happen once.

What a happy Christmas this has been and it's only Christmas Eve! I love this gift giving thing! At the present rate I may have 7 or 8 mother-of-all-forks before the holiday is over! Feel free to come on over. I'd be happy to try it out on... I mean with... you. Merry Christmas!