Great Moments in Guy-ness

So I’ve been putting a little time in on the oven lately. The bread oven, you know… that thing I started four months ago but can’t seem to get finished. Not because I’m lazy, but because I’m not talented. I have no brick laying ability. Thus I’m at the mercy of various contractors, none of whom can stay focused on the job for very long. Let’s face it, as brick laying goes, it’s a pretty small gig. And so they come, they look, and they work for a few hours. At which point I guess they get bored, because then they leave, never to be heard from again. So I call the next master mason down the list.

Now, the one thing I can always count on a back-up contractor to say, whether I’ve hired him to finish putting up a garage or install a faulty bathroom fixture, is that whoever the idiot was who was here before him, the guy should be put in prison. That’s a given. So I figure, if everybody who puts in time on the oven is doomed to eventally becoming a moron, why shouldn’t I give it a try? Just join the parade of fools, you know. How hard can it be to be a bad mason? And so there I was late afternoon on Columbus day, out in the yard mixing concrete and shoring up the foundation. It looked like it needed it.

When the wife and the girls came home about 5:30, little 3-year-old Josephine inevitably asked What are you doing daddy? Mixing concrete, I said. Here, this is how it works. It’s like making pancake batter. You just pour some dry mix in the bucket like so, the add a little water like this. Stir until it’s thick and you’re ready to pour! At which point I tipped the bucket forward and put a small puddle at Josephine’s feet. See? Just like momma’s pancakes!

Which is supposed to mean what exactly? came a curt reply from across the lawn. At which point I suddenly put together what I’d said: concrete pancackes. Doh. Here I should point out that the wife is a little sensitive about her pancakes. She makes them every Sunday and they are delicious. Delicious. But I dunno, maybe it’s being married to a baker and/or baking blogger, makes you overly self-critical. Aw hon, you know I didn’t…

Never mind, she said, putting her key in the door. I need to get the girls some dinner. And my fate was sealed. Curse me and my stupid baking and pastry analogies! I’ll be persona non grata at the griddle this Sunday for sure. But some things, once they’re said, you just can’t take back.

2 thoughts on “Great Moments in Guy-ness”

  1. I wonder if this relates in any way to the the situation that I often find myself in, which goes like this: I find myself enjoying someone’s baking products and wondering how they achieved that certain taste, texture or whatever. So what do you do when you have questions? You ask. So I do, often mentioning how I happen to do that certain thing. The next moment I hear all kinds of sentences with a subtle, but definitely present apologetic tone, trying to somehow say that, though it may not be the best way (and they mean it as the way I know it is done) that’s how they do the thing. And I’m like oops… that’s not I meant! Then I start with apologetic sentences trying to explain that I was simply interested in enlarging my own baking experience. And, despite whatever else that happens to be added, the conversation always ends up on an awkward tone.
    It’s bad enough, so sometimes I wonder if it would not be easier to simply avoid any indirect approaches in making our opinions known and just state whatever bothers, annoys, … us. That way we don’t end up having people think that we might just meant something that we actually didn’t.
    All in all, maybe it just is that moments like that happen and I simply have to live with it. Life’s more interesting that way.
    By the way, you have quite a history with the blog – seven years already – that’s something. The more reason for us all to love your work, Joe!

    1. It’s easy to get in trouble sometimes, isn’t it, Silviu? But thanks very much. Here’s to seven more!

      – Joe

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