Hey nerds! CaptainPrecious will be writing a weekly fanfiction series from now on, called The Odd in Odyssey. Here’s the first one!
Greetings and salutations, my illustrious and faithful readers.
Eugene Meltsner here, having the honor of writing our very first article in our ‘brand new series’ (to borrow the colloquialism) titled The Odd in Odyssey!
We shall begin post haste with the announcement that I have proved to be a miserable cook. Buck and I found this out when, to our chagrin, Katrina was forced to depart from the Meltsner residence for the time span consisting of a few days in order to attend a schooling conference in Chicago. I assured her that we would manage quite well, and she departed with few concerns.
Buck was the one who was suffering from doubts. As we stood on the sidewalk next to Katrina’s car, bidding her farewell, he nearly opened his mouth to speak in protest against my statement that I made to Katrina, in which I assured her that we would be eating top- notch, delectable meals the entire week (prepared by yours truly). However, before he could protest, I may have ‘accidentally’ dropped Katrina’s heavy suitcase on top of his toe and sent him inside to make sure that it wasn’t broken.
Katrina was long gone by the time of his return. When he emerged from the bathroom, he was in the act of informing me that his toes had suffered no damage, when he stopped, surprised, as he saw that I had adorned an apron and was laboring over the ironing board.
“What are you doing, Mr. Eugene?” he inquired.
“I am in the process of ironing your Sunday shirt,” I responded. “Since your mother is currently absent, it is now added to our daily list of tasks to do whatever it is that she might have done if she were here, including laundry, dishes, vacuuming, cooking, and the general upkeep that every standard household requires.”
“That’s all right, I guess,” he said to me slowly. “By the way,” he added, “my toe isn’t broken.”
I laughed nervously. “Ah! Excellent! And, again, I extend my most humble apologies for that trying incident.”
Buck laughed. “It’s all right. But hey, since we’re going to commence the ‘general upkeep that every household requires’ and all that, could you show me how to set the washer?”
“Certainly, my dear boy. Anything that will advance your housekeeper’s knowledge.”
I set the iron to rest on Buck’s shirt and we made our way to the laundry room, where I spent a minute or two showing him how to work the various dials and buttons of different kinds. He set the washer and we returned to the living room.
“What’s that smell?” Buck asked. “It’s like burnt cotton or something.”
“OH NO!” I ran to the ironing board and lifted the smoking iron, where we beheld the terrible sight of a black, iron- shaped mark directly positioned on the front of his white shirt. The buttons had turned black and were melted into the fabric.
“Mr. Eugene!” Buck cried to me in disbelief. “That’s my favorite shirt!”
“But- but- but-” I sputtered. “But how? Or why…?” I sank weakly onto the couch and hid my head in my hands. “Oh dear.” I looked up at Buck, who was staring at me reproachfully, soiled shirt in hand. “I’m sorry, Buck,” I said faintly. “But I hadn’t the slightest notion that…”
“Oh, it’s all right,” Buck sighed. “It’s just a shirt anyway. Besides,” he added, his face brightening. “Miss Katrina got it on sale just last week. I can always get a new one. C’mon, it’s four-thirty already. How about we go find something to make for dinner?”
“Well, all right,” I sighed, arising from the couch. “I recall Katrina leaving us some uncooked spaghetti in the pantry. Perhaps we can use that to make a suitable meal.”
A few minutes later found us in the kitchen, a box of spaghetti in hand. Buck seemed to be exasperated as he watched me microwaving a single noodle in a bowl of water.
“Have you finished counting the noodles yet?” I asked.
“No,” he replied. “But so far I’m at two hundred. Are you sure we should do it this way, Mr. Eugene? It’s going to take me an awful long time to count all these noodles. Wouldn’t it be easier just to look up directions on the Internet?”
“Buck, that is the third time you have suggested such, and for the third time, NO! I am perfectly capable of cooking a pot of spaghetti without consulting the aid of online resources. Now if you please, keep counting.”
“But why do I have to count all these anyway?”
“The answer is quite simple. We will discover how long it takes to cook a single noodle, multiply the discovered time frame by the number of noodles that we have, and then we will know exactly how long to cook the spaghetti.”
Buck sighed and kept counting. It appeared that he wished to debate further on the matter, but I could visibly see that he didn’t like to dispute me. At last, I came to the conclusion that it takes exactly ten minutes to cook one spaghetti noodle to perfection. Leaving Buck to his counting, I departed to gather the necessary items such as the frozen meatballs, spaghetti sauce, etc.
It was quite a while later when I returned. “Well, Buck, how many do we have?” I asked,
“One thousand and two hundred,” he replied.
“Excellent! Now,” I whipped out my trusty pocket calculator. “One thousand, two hundred noodles times ten minutes, divided by…” I paused. “Aha! We must cook the spaghetti for exactly 200 hours.”
“Two hundred hours!” Buck exclaimed. “Mr. Eugene, I’ll be starved by then! Look here,” he grabbed the box from the counter. “The box says we can have it done in ten minutes. Three steps, see? 1. Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to taste. Add pasta to boiling water. 2. For authentic ‘al dente’ pasta, boil for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Drain well and serve immediately with your favorite Barilla sauce.’ Does it get easier than that?”
I studied the box carefully. “I have to admit that it doesn’t,” I said. “I’m very sorry, Buck. I guess I should have listened to you in the first place. If it hadn’t been for my foolishness, we would be through with dinner by now. I suppose next time I will follow the advice of others.”
As a result of this resolution, a very short time later found Buck and I enjoying a delicious meal. The microwave popcorn had been buttered to perfection, and the pretzel sticks that we found in the pantry were excellent as we watched our favorite TV show. Buck reached for the bowl of jellybeans that we had found from last Halloween.
“It’s too bad I dropped the colander with the drained spaghetti in it all over the floor,” Buck remarked.
“It is,” I replied. “For the rest of this week, let’s just stick with take- out pizza.”
This is CaptainPrecious reminding you that to join the nerds, go to Odysseynerds!