Saturday, October 30, 2004

A romantic Friday night

It all began so well. Last night, we were planning to meet friends for a 7:10 showing of "I [heart] Huckabees." We decided not to run out for a fast dinner, but instead to make a sort of skillet saute with sausage, rutabaga - which I think is my new favorite food - and apples. I actually got home from work with enough time to put this together. Darren defrosted sausage while I diced rutabaga and apple. After the sausage defrosted, he said, "Does this smell off to you?" I sniffed it, didn't get a hint of anything and said, "No, it's fine."

I'm sure you know where this is going.

Darren cooked the sausage for a while, then we spooned out most of the grease and added the rutabaga and apples. We cooked it at relatively high heat until the apples were soft and scrumptious, and the rutabagas were tender. We sat at our kitchen island, pleased with ourselves that we had 20 minutes before we had to leave for the movie. And then we took the first bite. Blech. Bad sausage is very bad.

So, what to do about dinner in 15 minutes? Nothing in the house would work - I'd been too efficient about eating leftovers for lunch all week - and the hippie burrito place by the movies is somewhat unpredictable when it comes to service. So we did the unthinkable: McDonald's. We haven't been there in a year or so; it's definitely the fast food of last resort. (If only we had a Taco Bell nearby for dinner emergencies like these...)

We ate our processed burgers and processed fries in the McDonald's parking lot, joking about the romance of the street lights and the glow from the Ford dealership across the street. Then, with our meals scarfed down, Darren turned the car back on and we headed over the bridge. Except the car - Darren's Subaru - was behaving really oddly. It wouldn't go when he pressed on the accelerator, but then it would surge ahead. It almost died in one big intersection, but Darren coaxed it through into a somewhat legal parking lot behind the main office for his company. It died in the parking lot, and together we pushed it into a parking spot. (Note: Subaru station wagons are very heavy.)

Darren's gas gauge is broken, so he relies on the gas light to notify him when the tank is getting low. It had never come on. Then we checked the oil. Pretty much nonexistent. Then we squabbled a bit, and panicked that the engine had seized due to lack of oil.

Eventually, we met our friends at the movie theater. We abandoned the movie plans, they drove us home to get our gas can, we eventually got some gas in the car (but not without it spraying all over all four of us) and, bingo, that did the trick. We made a quick stop at my office to wash off the gas, then went to a local brewpub for a few beers.

It all turned out just fine, but it certainly wasn't the evening we'd expected. And I have definitely filled my McDonald's quota for the next 12 months, too.