My Mouth Will Never Be Clean Again

The Palinode brought home two bags of salted pistachios, because he is a very good person who knows how to please his salt-loving wife.

Once I get going with those nuts, I lose all sense of portion control. I basically work my way from one end of the bag to the other, methodically eating each one in a precise fashion. I usually throw the entire nut and shell into my mouth, suck every last molecule of salt off the shell, crack open and remove the shell with my teeth, spit it out, suck off what remaining salt might still be on the pistachio, and then, only if all possibility of further salt finds has been removed, I finally eat the pistachio.

That this process ensures that my tongue becomes painfully shredded is the one thing that keeps me from consuming an entire bag.

So, I was working my way through this bag of pistachios, deeply involved in the process, when my tongue came across something that just didn't feel right. Hmmm. I felt around a little more, thinking that it must just be an extra crispy bit of that skin that covers the nut. Hmmm. That wasn't it.

I spit the whole mess out into my hand to see what it was and recoiled from the repulsive sight before me.

A portion of the nut was not a nut at all but a MAGGOT. That's right. I had just been feeling up a LARVAL INSECT with my TONGUE.

I reflexively threw the offending evil onto my desk and ran from the room.

"What's going on?" the Palinode asked.

"I was... the... in my mouth... LARVAL INSECT," I panted from the doorway.

"What about maggots?"


"You had a maggot in your mouth?"

"Yes... the pistachio!"

"That's really disgusting."

Somehow, even the fact that I had just had a maggot in my mouth did not stop him from trying to dominate Lego Star Wars with Lord Palpatine.

I went back to the office, loathe to pick up the pistachio that had so offended me but knowing that I had to get rid of it one or another. I looked to where I had thrown it down, and it wasn't there. I checked the rest of the desk. It wasn't there, either. I imagined the maggot dragging its precious pistachio through our apartment. I knew we would have to move.

Then, thankfully, I spied it. Onion was eating the nut, maggot and all, like it was the most delicious, illicit find of his life. He looked up at me, smacking his tongue in his mouth and hoping for more.

"Good cat," I said, "But now I can never let you lick me again."

And then it hit me. I have to somehow come to terms with the fact that my mouth will never be clean again. IT HAS BEEN BEFOULED BY MAGGOT FLESH. Hold me.

Grace in Small Things: Part 265 of 365

Five Star Friday's Edition #66