December 13, 2008

To Bee an Onion

Say stung tongue... 5 times, fast.

I got stung by a bee in a rather delicate place. Oh no, it's not what you think, not that delicate place. This is the other one... maybe it would be better if I told you the full story. It all started, harmlessly enough, with lunch.

It was a rather substantial lunch, involving about the same amount of food as the annual domestic product of Portugal. So after lunch, these guys want to wash it down with fruit juice.

Now this juice guy really loves his work... he puts a little bit of himself into every drink he makes. All too literally, and that, my friend is the problem. He FINGERS everything. The fruits, the ice, the water, the sugar, the glasses, you name it. All handled by him, physically, using his fingers.

I positively refused to drink any juice made by him, but the others laughed off my petty peeves. He's old school, they said. We've grown up on stuff like this, they said. We Indians are immune to this, they said.

Old school, my arse. He is old, all right. He is so old that he's actually dead. He just hasn't realised it yet. And like most dead people, hygiene isn't really a burning issue for him.  But with lunch weighing down heavily upon me, and the sun competing with a furnace, I experienced what is medically termed "a weak moment". I succumbed. I ordered a buttermilk. How badly can he screw up an innocuous drink like that ?

So he goes to the fridge and takes out a packet of curd, and a bowl of some chopped vegetables. He picks up some bits from the bowl at random, with his fingers, and adds it to the vessel. He then wipes his brow, and adds some more bits.

He then proceeds to open the packet with his fingers, and adds it to the vessel too. He then adds a glass of water, and some ice, which again, he picks up with his fingers. He adds all of this to his mixer, and lets it go for about 10 seconds. He then adds some salt, and no prizes for guessing how he did that.

He then lifts the jug, and pours it into a glass, and hands it to me, with the air of a bartender who's just juggled a bottle around for five minutes without spilling a drop. The glass has something black floating on the top.  Raghu counters with "That's just the onions". Famous last words, as it turned out.

A space traveller once said that jumping through hyperspace was unpleasantly like being drunk. When asked what was unpleasant about being drunk, he said "Ask a glass of water".

This glass of buttermilk, and more specifically the floating "black something", also known as Raghu's onions, definitely didn't like jumping through hyperspace. I got stung on the tongue, and that is what I'm gonna name my rock band, if I ever start one.

While I'm like yelling and screaming, Raghu says, "Go on, it can't taste all as bad as that." As it turns out, the sting wasn't too bad. It hurt real bad for a day after that, and I was lisping for about three days till the swelling came down. But I surely will have my revenge on Raghu's onions.