There are some weeks when column ideas easily sprout chicken wings. And then some weeks they don’t. Over the years I have pulled ideas from lots of places. My occasional go-to, extra-crispy fried place was the daily newspaper. That is until we recently canceled our decades-long subscription. I know. Who does that after so many years? Think the customer service dude’s brain was instantly air-fried when he looked at my long history. I just couldn’t take it anymore. It was getting harder to find a buttered popcorn kernel of positive, funny, interesting or uplifting news, except perhaps for the comics. B.C. always gave me a chuckle.

The daily paper’s weekly food section was filled with weird culinary sustenance. I haven’t clipped a single recipe in over 10 years. Now there is an idea for a column! Then there was the birthday section. I always shared with the hubster whose birthday it was and asked him if he thought that was interesting. Several months ago, the birthday section started filling up with people I have never heard of. Even the advice section was getting the strangest questions and advice from outer space. And don’t get me started on some of the below-the-fold, stir-fried, front-page story choices! I’m absolutely burnt to a crisp on the daily paper.

My major issue with column inspiration this time was due to a number of grueling days spent with a family member in the hospital. It doesn’t take long for your brain to broil in that environment. Great hospital … some slightly questionable food, so I’m writing about that!

Let’s face it … trying to get better in a hospital has at least something to do with eating. The first day I scrutinized the hot dinner entrée options on their menu. Surely, the turkey with gravy and stuffing had to be the perfect meal for my loved one. Unfortunately, we’ve been down this long and winding hospital road with food before! The word “moist” need not appear on the menu for a reason!

I thought if the turkey was served dry like shoe leather, at least there would be creamy gravy to bring it back to its formerly succulent life. Wrong! You know you are in trouble when the chunky slice was difficult to stab with a metal fork. Yep … the fork tines were denied penetration of the tough bird. My guy wasn’t going to get much in the way of plump protein if this turned into a hospital food trend.

We found other meat options weren’t much better when chicken- or beef-related selections were made. My guy might have been happier with a sandwich for lunch and dinner, but he held out such hope for a satisfying hot meal. Sadly, the fruit plate was eventually voted his favorite entrée. Thankfully, they don’t boil blueberries and strawberries! When Uber Eats and Door Dash can figure out how to service the intensive care unit, they will have a gold mine.

Did I mention before the lunch/dinner hour approached, my dude often asked if I wanted to order something off the hospital menu for myself? My reaction spontaneously combusted. It was as if I had touched a sizzling hot stove.

“That is totally OK, sweetie pie. I will just go downstairs to the cafeteria and be right back,” I stuttered.

That is not to say the food is any better in the cafeteria. But they did have a welcome sight … a Chick-fil-A option! The food selections on the menu were definitely limited. But there were grab-and-go nuggets, their basic chicken sandwiches, waffle fries and a selection of sauces. It was the real deal … good old Chick-fil-A to the rescue. I almost cried. Who knew the black and white cow would invoke such emotions?

So, while I won’t be getting inspiration from the daily rag anymore, at least this week there was Chick-fil-A. Thank you, Chick-fil-A! Your nuggets were delicious!

Dixie Frantz
Author: Dixie FrantzWebsite: http://www.lifesloosethreads.comEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a long-time Houstonian in love with writing, blogging, travel, quilting and reading. I have written “You Gotta Laugh,” a humorous newspaper column, for the past 21 years. The columns showcase the funny, amusing and sometimes touching slices of life from the suburbs. My writing credentials include more than 430 humorous columns, features and travel stories for The Tribune Newspaper.

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