I’m afraid of very few things in my life. Snakes don’t worry me. I am not too concerned about flying. I frequently sleep without a night light because there’s nothing the dark can do to me. Plus my apartment complex strategically placed a street light where it will always shine right through my shades and into my eyes no matter what I do.
The main thing I am afraid of, it seems, is angry British men.
Lately, I have found myself in front of the TV every Tuesday at seven o’clock (central time) watching the nightmare that is “Hell’s Kitchen.” For those who are unfamiliar with this show, the concept is simple. Amateur chefs are taken and put in a kitchen. That kitchen is run by Gordon Ramsay. For the next hour, Gordon Ramsay proceeds to scream profanities at every person there because they seem to always undercook chicken. Apparently Gordon Ramsay does not care for salmonella and he expresses that in colorful way that would make a sailor blush.
For me, this is like watching a horror movie. I find myself shuddering and ducking for cover the minute I see a person start to overcook lamb or burn risotto. I will sit there, screaming “NO! Don’t cook the tenderloin for another minute! OH NO! HERE HE COMES!” Then the dramatic music begins to play as Gordon Ramsay walks up to the dish and the FOX network sensors finally get their money out of that censor bleep noise machine they bought years ago.
This does not normally affect my everyday life. Believe it or not, I don’t run into a lot of situations where I am worried that Gordon Ramsay is going to jump out of a nearby closet and come after me. Unless he suddenly starts caring about whether or not I drink too much coffee at work, I am fairly safe.
Or so I thought until tonight.
The last few weeks, my wife has been very busy with work and graduate classes. She has not had a break at all. Tonight, she finally had a chance to sit down and relax. Being the perfect husband that I am (Yes I am. Don’t you argue with me!), I called her this afternoon to offer to cook dinner.
“You need the evening off,” I said, using my best sympathetic husband voice. It is a very good sympathetic husband voice. If there were awards for such a thing, I would surely be taking home a Hubby © award.
“Well, I can cook dinner, though,” she said.
“Oh, if you’re offering,” she interrupted, answer quickly so as to not allow me an opportunity to back out of my previous commitment. She is very smart.
I thought through what we had in our freezer. There was a pound of ground turkey. I carefully devised a plan for a dish I called a Southwest Turkey Burger. I would make a spicy mayo, put some fresh tomato and avocado on there, melt a little cheese. It would be a surefire winner. I was already counting my husband reward points. (Fun Fact: husband reward points are not really good for anything. In fact every husband is only working to earn points to make up for the fact that someday their counterpart will have to push a human being out of them. You can never earn enough points to make up for that.)
I walked in the door and immediately set to work. I pulled the turkey out of the freezer and began defrosting while I got everything set up. This would be the greatest meal ever.
Halfway through creating patties, though, I noticed something was off. The turkey didn’t look right. It smelled different too. I finished pattying and looked at the wrapper.
I had created quarter pound patties of turkey sausage.
Instinctively, I began to look around. I knew that, somewhere, Gordon Ramsay was preparing to come down on me hard. “WHY DON’T YOU @#$@#$ LOOK AT THE @#$@$%^$ LABEL BEFORE YOU @#$@# DEFROST MEAT YOU @#$&@#*%@#@#&*&@*@#!” he would say as I began to weep.
Having watched “Hell’s Kitchen,” I know that one thing you never do is waste food. I couldn’t refreeze this, nor could I make my southwest turkey burgers. My mind racing, I began an entirely new dish: southwest breakfast sandwiches. It was the exact same thing, but with sausage and egg instead of turkey burger. Yes, this was dinner, but who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?
I continued and began to cook the sausage. I went to get out my toppings. We had no avocado. No matter, I said. Then I saw our tomato. It looked like what I suspect the organs of a rotting corpse would look like. Having never wanted to eat the organs of a rotting corpse, I said goodbye to that.
I had lost nearly all of the ingredients to my original meal idea. “@#%#$%$&#@@%$&^&*%^!” I heard Gordon saying to me. FYI, in my head it is just one very long beep.
Then I heard the door open. My wife was home and I was barely halfway done with the meal. I began to hurriedly cook eggs and attempt to figure out a meal. She would be hungry. I could see my Hubby © award slipping away.
I had no idea what to do. Sometimes, though, your greatest motivation can come from your biggest fear. Like the ancient Native Americans, I began to hear a message from my spirit animal. It turns out my spirit animal is a wolf that has the voice of Gordon Ramsay.
“GET YOUR @#$@#$@#$@# HEAD @#$@#$#@#$@# AND @#$@#$$#^$^%^&^%*@# COOK SOME %^%&^&@#*^&&* FOOD! YOU DON’T ^&*%^&@#$^&*%^$%^#$%@%$%& HAVE TIME FOR ANY $%^&&*@#^&%*^%&!” Then, Gordon’s voice came down. “Listen, I know you can %^&%$%#$ do it. You just have to %^^&^@#%^&#%$ believe!”
“You’re right, Gordon! I can do it!” I said to my imagination.
“What?!” My wife said from the living room.
“Nothing! Just talking to imaginary Gordon Ramsay!” I said. She did not respond because I have said far stranger things in our time together.
My hands began to fly. I cooked the eggs perfect. I found crescent roll dough in the fridge and created a sausage dish that would go down in history as the greatest sausage breakfast sandwich ever. A few sautéed mushrooms later and my masterpiece was complete. We grabbed our plates and set down to eat. I was very proud as I took my first bite.
“What do you think?” I asked my wife, a smile on my face. There were a lot of words I expected to hear. Great, brilliant, wonderful, perfect all seemed fitting. I wouldn’t have even been surprised by complete silence as she found herself unable to speak, brought to tears by the sandwich I had crafted for her.
“I need something to put on it. It’s a little dry,” she said.
“YOU @#$@#^$%^@#$$#^$%&%^&%^! WHERE ARE THE @#@$^#$%^&$#$%@#$%$%^#$%^#% CONDIMENTS?!” imaginary Gordon Ramsay cried in my head.
I may need to stop watching “Hell’s Kitchen”…
- Gordon Ramsay’s Refrigerator Essentials (mensjournal.com)
- The woman who matters to Gordon Ramsay (thetimes.co.uk)
- Gordon Ramsay (chefdirectuk.wordpress.com)
- Princeton-based chef put through the ringer by Gordon Ramsay on Hell’s Kitchen (nj.com)
- Gordon Ramsay Feud: Master Chef Talks No Swearing, Food, Mushrooms (theepochtimes.com)
- Gordon Ramsay: ‘ghost-writing machine’ forged my signature (telegraph.co.uk)
- Gordon Ramsay Sued Over Unpaid Accounting Bill (contactmusic.com)
- Gordon Ramsay’s Vegas Empire (video.foxnews.com)