Don’t Distract the Author: The Exploding Packet Soup Incident
There was an incident the other night. It wasn’t pretty. It looked like a style your own murder scene. There was a lot of red sticky gore.
It’s confirmation. I should not be allowed to do anything else concurrent with writing a new story, with two exceptions, coffee drinking and the making of the coffee to drink, and breathing. All other activities should be suspended.
Because the clean up is a bitch.
The first two novels I wrote were fuelled entirely by porridge. Tear the pack, add the milk, microwave, stir, try not to burn your tongue. Perfectly legitimate way to eat. They have different flavours for variety. I did try to vary things by eating fruit for lunch, you know fruit – zero prep time, if you can forgive the annoying peeling part.
This went on for some time, immensely practical. Shame I had to leave the office to shop.
But even I got bored with it.
There was the yogurt is dead easy phase, the crackers are dead easy phase, and the meal delivery service phase which was the pinnacle of achievement because it included real food.
I’m in a new phase, the if it’s liquid, it’s easy phase. This included the aforementioned packet soup – tomato.
I did not know that adding hot water and shaking packet soup in a container was a bad idea. It says you can do it on the instructions. Packet soup has instructions, and I may have read them because me and kitchens, you get the point.
Yes, the lid was on, I may have dietary issues, but I’ve not yet starved every brain cell. I checked that lid was on tight and I held it down.
It’s a very bad idea. Do not do this at home.
I might have lost a hand.
That lid blew off so hard it landed on a cupboard top and I need to borrow a ladder to get it down.
There was half dissolved packet soup from one end of the kitchen to the other. It was in my hair, in my ugg boots.
In was in my ear and crusted one eyebrow. Nice.
Both cats shot down the hall so fast, the hall runner ended up in the bedroom.
Soup sludge dripped from the ceiling.
I was one half chapter away from finishing my twenty-first novel. That novel with the aid of soup was going down.
Except it didn’t. I’m here to report that exploding soup does not lend itself to the finishing of tear jerking emotional novel ending.
I was not amused.
Mopping was required. A lot of mopping.
I’m still discovering red soupy cat paw prints in unusual places.
The one thing that might’ve made this incident funnier is my mother calling in the middle of it.
There is a God.
He sent my neighbour instead. I’ve learned something new about my neighbour. She’s unflappable. Or possibly completely blind.
While I mopped the ceiling she told me an unrelated story as if the carnage in front of her and my state of personal splatter were everyday occurrences.
Or possibly my status as the street’s eccentric is so well entrenched, anything goes.
I think I like that.
Don’t ever accept an invitation to eat at my place unless you have confirmation I’m ordering take-out.
The one dinner party I ever staged – the food was pre-prepared – I am nothing if not authentically incapable in a kitchen — the cat of the moment brought a live, shrieking rat into the room. People got very excited and no one was hungry.
My culinary incompetence does not muck around. It’s the full 360 degree sensory overload.
The book is finished now. It’s book one of a series called Offensive Behaviour.
I may just go back and write in an exploding soup scene.
See you in the take-out queue.