Friday, May 1, 2009

I just finished making a bundt cake for my son's elementary school fundraiser.  It will be delicious.  I know this because I licked the batter from the spoon when I had finished filling the pan.  I'm a batter eater.  I love batter.  And cookie dough, too.  Bring me your raw, your uncooked, your bowls teeming with salmonella.  

Years and years ago, way back when I was in elementary school, I remember an afternoon spent baking cookies at a friend's house.  I remember the horrified look that crossed over the face of my friend's mom when I popped a big wad of dough into my mouth.  
"Spit it out," she demanded.  And, because she was very tall and also the gym teacher at my school and I was used to obeying her barked commands, I did.
"It's not ready," she said.  "It's filled with bacteria.  You could get very, very sick."
I opened my eyes wide and tried not to cry.  As a child, (and truthfully as an adult) I hate to disappoint.  
Later when I returned home with a little baggy of crunchy cookies, I asked my own mom about the dough.  We always sampled.  We never talked about bacteria.  Were we going to die?
"Some people worry about that stuff," she said.  

I thought about Mom this morning when I dropped my daughter at pre-school and a fellow parent confided that he had a stash of Tamiflu.  He'd picked it up for the Avian flu, but it's still good and it'll work for Swine Flu, too.  
"Wow," I said.  "You're prepared."  I was impressed.  I'm impressed because I haven't thought about the Swine Flu too much.  This is the same Dad who thinks nothing of lighting up a smoke in the parking lot of our school.  For him, the distant threat of Swine Flu weighs heavier than cancer.  

Some people worry about that stuff.

Let's be clear.  I do worry.  The list of things that keep me awake at night is long and varied.  Of course I worry about things that may never happen.  But I try to remember that while sometimes a noise in the dark is a serial killer, more often it's just a noise in the dark. 


Elizabeth said...

Ditto on all those sentiments -- except maybe for eating raw cookie dough. I don't eat it because of the bacteria thing; I just don't like it raw! But Tamiflu made me crazy once when I took it -- really crazy. Personally, I'd rather sweat it out in bed.

Criticlasm said...

That reminds me of one of my favorite Howard's End quotes (what doesn't)? With infinite effort we nerve ourselves for a crisis that never comes. The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is not that of the man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken.

Anonymous said...

Irrational fears are suffocating our children.