Monday, August 29, 2005

When generic goes bad

I usually buy generic when at the grocery store. This stems from when MKD and I first moved in together years ago and lived off of one entry-level salary. We had to eat and had to find ways to make our grocery bill as small as possible. So we bought generic. When buying generic, it costs half less than brand names and tastes reasonably close. In fact, I sometimes prefer generic items to the brand names. I like to think it is because the generic one tastes better, but it could be because I have grown so accustomed to eating the generic.

Even though MKD and I are currently better off financially and DINKs (Double Income No Kids), we have set a goal to purchase a place together at the end of 2006. So we are now back to saving and scrounging and living as minimally as possible. Hence, we are buying generic.

So naturally, when in the grocery store last, I reached for the generic microwave pizza for my lunches at work instead of the usual Mama Celeste. I thought I would give it a shot since it was only one dollar and rationalized that screwing up pizza would be hard. I learned today that there are some things worth shelling out the extra money for.

First off, the pizza did not come with a crisping plate of any kind. I was skeptical. So I nuked the bastard anyway and was optimistic when pleasing odors seeped into the kitchen. When I pulled the pizza out, it looked “normal” enough (as normal as microwave pizzas can look) and I took it into my office to enjoy my lunch.

To my discomfort, I had a hard time pulling the pizza away and off of the paper plate, which had fused during the nuking process. After suffering a few third degree burns, I took my first bite. It was not the most pleasant occurrence since I could not even penetrate the deceivingly paper-thin, rock-hard crust. Although disconcerting, I was determined to eat my lunch, and cut (more like sawed) the crap in half to expose the softer center of my meal. Finally, I took a bite and swallowed. The thought process proceeded as follows…“Not bad…crust tastes like matzo…cheese and sauce are okay…but why is there wetness on the bottom?…some sort of sliminess…”

I flipped the fucker over to discover moist, booger-like dark globules splattering the bottom on the crust. They were raised and misshapen and highly disturbing. I understand that they resulted from the cooking process and were essentially “harmless.” But I was too grossed out to eat my lunch and had to be wasteful and toss it due to loss of appetite.

So I apologize MKD, for shelling out money for lunch today. But I have always lived by the philosophy, “Better to be safe than sorry.”
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