How I Got Forked-Another Short One

There really isn’t much to tell about what happened on this particular evening about 22 years ago. My husband , me and the the kids had gone to visit his parents. We only lived about 1 1/2 hrs from them but we always stayed overnight. The kids loved them and had a really close relationship with them. They were the best in-laws a girl could have. I loved them as if they were my own parents. Even after my husband and I got divorced I talked to them all the time (by phone- because I couldn’t drive over the bridge to visit them.) I’m still close to all his family. Nana died a few years ago but Grampa is in a nursing home still going strong at 96.

Anyway, we were having dinner with them one evening. The one thing about Nana, she wasn’t a good cook. I think we were eating one of her specialties–Spam,


mashed potatoes and corn. You always knew what supper was going to be because she had one meal for everyday of the week. You knew Wednesday was Franco American spaghetti day.


Monday night was shake and bake pork chops, Saturday for lunch was always cheeseburgers. There was always a roast beef on Sunday. They never ate fish because she didn’t have a clue how to cook it. There was always a night of hot dogs with jello for dessert.

When my husband joined the National Guard when he was 22, I lived with them for four months while he was in basic training. It was the first time the government had a lottery draft. They literally picked dates out of a hat and if they picked your birthday early on, you knew you’d be drafted. The Viet Nam war was going on. Well, they picked my husband’s birthday second. One out 0f 365 chances and he comes in second when in this contest you wanted to come in dead last. So he joined the Guard and I moved in with his parents. That’s when I got initiated into Nana’s cooking. I would cook small meals for myself that they couldn’t imagine anyone eating. Like rice, fish, asparagus, exotic things to them. They had never tasted Pizza. Grampa was known for the fact that he had never tasted alcohol, coffee, or tea. OMG, I almost forgot, Nana’s idea of a salad? –iceburg lettuce with sugar sprinkled on the top. What’s even worse, she cooked better than my mother.

Anyway, back to the forking. There isn’t much to tell. Just another freakish accident aimed at my head. We were eating and I was sitting on my daughter’s left. She for some reason, was waving her fork around, and as I turned to say something she forked me in the eye.

forkeye.jpgThis is the only picture I could find of an eye forking

Fortunately the fork didn’t really go in my eye deeply, just sort of scraped it. But it hurt and I couldn’t open it, because it was tearing so much. My husband, as usual panicked, and took me to the emergency room. I had a scratch on my cornea. There wasn’t much they could do but wait for it to heal and give me pain meds. They did have me wear a patch on my eye for a few days which the kids thought was sort of cool. I guess they thought I looked like a pirate.


When it happened, my poor daughter cried. I told her it was just an accident but she cried anyway. She kept saying “I hurt my mommy” over end over. She even slept in bed with me that night. I guess just to make sure I was alright.

I just thought of another story. The day my son didn’t recognize his father and he was facing him and only about four feet from him. And it only happened a couple of years ago so my son would have been about 23 or 24. And he wasn’t even stoned. And my husband was not wearing a disguise. It really is a funny one.


26 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. moonbeammcqueen
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 18:23:38

    Oh, Joan, I’m sorry to laugh at your tragedies, but you really do have a beautiful way with words! Your mother-in-law’s weekly menus sound horrendous. I think I would have forked my OWN eye to keep from having to eat that fare.

    Thanks for a wonderful story! Can’t wait for the next one.


  2. joanharvest
    Jan 13, 2008 @ 18:46:33

    I was just laughing so hard at your comment. I’m surprised I didn’t fork myself. She was the sweetest woman that ever lived but Lord, I don’t know how they survived into their 90’s with the food they ate. They always had little bowls of candy all over the house for the kids. It was like Halloween for them because I never had candy in the house. And on Halloween they would inevidably leave their candy on the floor by their beds and the dog would eat most of it. The stupid thing is the kids never learned. They did it every year and then they’d cry. I don’t know how the dog lived so long eating so much chocolate. I thought chocolate was deadly to dogs. Not my dog.


  3. Wendy
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 02:01:09

    Hilarious, every bit of it, just hilarious. From the food to the forking to the eye patch. It’s got to be the way you tell it, otherwise it would be horrifying. All the food sounded kind of good, if you didn’t have to eat it all the time, until you got to the SALAD! What the hell … sugar? To each his own, I guess.

    I cannot wait to hear your next story.


  4. Wendy
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 02:01:53

    Oh, and the picture of the fork to the eye? HILARIOUS.


  5. CuriousC
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 10:32:53

    Thank you. (that’s what I like to comment with when I don’t know what to say and when ‘you are so funny’ sounds too stupid to write. That or ‘Rock On…’) But you ARE funny! Keep telling your stories – I love ’em. Thank you, “C”


  6. leafprobably
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 19:26:18

    Wow, I wonder what lettuce and sugar tastes like. It seems gross, but I’m dying to get home and try… It’s just so weird sounding.


  7. David
    Jan 16, 2008 @ 08:06:08

    Wonderful post and excellent graphics Joan! Wow, those were the days. Six meatballs in the Franco American, and Spam (WTF is “luncheon meat” anyway?) running Microsoft Windows. Iceberg lettuce with sugar does have some really perverse appeal doesn’t it?


  8. joanharvest
    Jan 16, 2008 @ 10:35:33

    @ David
    Wow, I just read about Spam on Wikipedia. Very interesting, actually. The ingredients are:


    * Chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added.
    * Salt (for binding, flavour, and firmness)
    * Water (to help in mixing)
    * Sugar (for flavour)
    * Sodium Nitrite (for colour and as a preservative)

    When my daughter was little she went to a friends house for lunch and the mom made a spam dish. She fried it and then added fruit cocktail to it. Sarah loved it.

    I’m not a Spam fan. The ingredients aren’t too scary. I thought they would be worse. The nitrates aren’t good though.

    I only just noticed the Microsoft insignia on the can of spam in my photo. OOPS!

    My ex-husband, for years when we were married still ate his lettuce with sugar on it. He finally grew out of it a few years ago at the ripe old age of 50.

    Amazingly enough, I still have more weird stories to tell!

    Actually, that fork in the eye pic was the only one I could find anywhere. I guess there aren’t too many fork in the eye photos on the internet. I don’t think I would have shown a real person with a fork stuck in their eye anyway.


  9. Wendy
    Jan 16, 2008 @ 21:34:44

    Spam can’t be as unhealthy as one would imagine, after all, the eyes of the world are upon them. They probably had to clean up their act.

    That fork pic was the coolest, I’m glad it was a drawing.


  10. moonbeammcqueen
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 00:06:19

    My sister swears that Spam is the national meat of Hawaii. They even make sushi out of it. I’m tempted to try it.


  11. Wendy
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 01:53:04

    TRY it?! You’ve never had Spam? My dear, you are so missing out …
    Now watch Joan swoop in here and cut me off at the knees for goading you into trying canned meat you can buy at the drugstore (right next to the lovely miniature canned hams).


  12. joanharvest
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 10:58:58

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size: (100 grams)
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories: 310
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 27g 41%
    Saturated Fat 10g 49%
    Cholesterol 70mg 23%
    Sodium 1369mg 57%
    Total Carboydrates 3g 1%
    Dietary Fiber 0g ~
    Sugars 0g ~
    Protein 13g 26%
    Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 1%
    Iron 5% Calcium 1%

    Consider Yourself SWOOPED

    The above is the nutritional content of one serving of Spam. Notice the Fat content: 27 grams. That’s like 4 days worth of fat on weight watcher’s. Notice the sodium content: enough to make your blood pressure so high your ears will bleed. And to top it all off Spam contains Nitrates –BAD, BAD, BAD. You notice BAD is my sister’s initials. Ha! Ha!


  13. David
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 22:37:24

    NOOOOOOOOO! DON’T!!! SPAM IS GROSS! Sorry for yelling.


  14. Barbara
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 00:21:27

    moonbeam: try grilling a Spam and cheese sandwich. Yum. I’m dead serious here. And don’t get the low sodium one.


  15. joanharvest
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 00:41:13

    Tell me please- you don’t really eat spam anymore do you?

    Remember paste- my sister Barbara, the above fore-mentioned Spam eater and I use to mix peanut butter and marshmallow into a thick paste and eat it. We loved it.


  16. moonbeammcqueen
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 00:46:42

    @ Wendy: No, I’ve never Spammed, but the sushi actually sounds good. It’s Spam fried in teriyaki sauce, rolled up in sticky rice.

    @ David: Sorry, but I can’t take the advice of a man who pickles eggs.

    @ Barbara: I’m so doing this! If you don’t see my comments on Joan’s blog, it means that I’ve died of sodium poisoning.

    Joan, the peanut butter and marshmallow paste sounds delicious. Isn’t that like Fluffernut or something?


  17. joanharvest
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 01:49:03

    If you’re really going to eat Spam I would take some potassium. It will help offset the terrible sodium and maybe you will live and not be poisoned. I have no remedy for the nitrates. You’ll just have to take your chances with them.

    Fluffernutter is when you just put Peanut butter on one slice of bread, marshmallow on the other slice and slap them together. Paste is when you mix the two in a bowl and eat it with a spoon. You have to have the correct ratio of PB to Marshmallow. It is very important to get the right consistency. It’s an actual science.


  18. Barbara
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 02:10:02

    Joan: Yep, I still eat Spam now and then. And paste, too. Most excellent.


  19. Wendy
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 19:42:15

    @ Joan- Will that potassium antidote work with everything? Like if I ate the salt pork from the bottom of the bean pot and then took potassium, would that make it okay? Because I love the fat cube in the bottom of the bean pot. 🙂

    @ MB – This isn’t the only “paste” Joan and Barbara have lurking on their list of family favorites. There’s something with butter and brown sugar also … or is that someone else? No, I’m pretty sure it’s them.


  20. David
    Jan 21, 2008 @ 21:26:08

    OK whatever. So I pickle the occasional egg. Sue me!

    “I’ll have the Spam Spam Spam Spam Spam and Spam!!”
    -Monty Python

    Nuff said.


  21. joanharvest
    Jan 22, 2008 @ 01:41:35

    I don’t know if potassium would help with that much salt.

    I don’t think we’ve done the butter and brown sugar thing but when my sister reads this she’ll be onto it. She would live on desserts if she could. I don’t think it’s weight watcher approved for me to try.

    @ Mr. Spamalot
    I’m going to just have to try pickled eggs. Can you buy them in a store because I know I won’t be pickling my own.


  22. Barbara
    Jan 22, 2008 @ 18:22:05

    Wendy! It’s whipped marjarine and peanut butter and brown sugar, and it is seriously good. Sort of tastes like cookie batter…Oh, wait, what if I added chocolate bits to the paste? I think I’m on to something.


  23. joanharvest
    Jan 22, 2008 @ 18:40:38

    Why don’t I remember this paste? Did you keep it to yourself Sister B.?


  24. Wendy
    Jan 23, 2008 @ 13:26:38

    Joan, it is weird that you don’t remember/know about this paste. I’m pretty sure she eats it every day. For brunch or something. 🙂


  25. moonbeammcqueen
    Jan 23, 2008 @ 14:02:08

    What do you do with this paste? Do you spread it on bread, or just eat it with a spoon?


  26. joanharvest
    Jan 23, 2008 @ 14:08:59

    I talked to Barbara about it last night. It’s her secret paste. It has to be made with a certain kind of margarine , “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter”, the light version of it. You mix it with brown sugar and peanut butter. You eat it with a spoon. She thought it would be good on crackers but it’s only good on a spoon. It fluffs up if you get the ratio of ingredients correct. I know she will show up here to be more precise on the details. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like a weight watcher’s approved item. It’s just as well she never told me about. I guess she has been secretly making it for years.


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