The Gearhead asked me out on a date. Well, sort of. It was only to accompany him to Canadian Tire to buy a new serpentine belt for my car [wife edits: oooohhh new word: serpentine. I like it, insidious, snake-like]. The belt blew as I was barrelling down the 401. Don’t worry, only the battery indicator came on, it wasn’t some epic explosion or anything. [Wife edits: boring!] The indicator light didn’t twig any response on my part, except to slow the car down a wee bit closer to the posted speed limit. But I was prompted to exercise full core contractions on the off ramp, wrestling the lack of power steering round the bend. I retained my faith in German precision technology and it delivered me safely, if stiffly, to my own driveway. When I arrived, I felt doubly euphoric: I had made it home and I had a Pilates workout! Woohoo.
Tut tut from the Gearhead though, in the summer time this stunt would have blown the engine. He hung the shredded rubber belt out in front him like a dead rat. So Hi Ho Hi Ho off to Crappy Tire we go. The little children cried, “can we come? Can we come too?” but the Gearhead disagreed. [Wife edits: actually they didn’t say it like that, it was more of a, how can one describe this? a Caterwaul. They aren’t so little anymore and the Gearhead was demanding some alone time with his wife.]
When you haven’t been out on a date in a while, sometimes it takes a bit of time to settle in, to hit your groove. In the car the Gearhead started in on Trump and the coming apocalypse. He was disgusted when I explained the issue was splashing across social media. We talked about the merits of investing in solar panels versus gold bullion. The subject of aliens came up. Again. I felt like Nicole Kidman in that movie, Days of Thunder, when she shrieks at Tom Cruise, “let me out of the car Cole!”.
At Canadian Tire we wandered the aisles as zombies, argued over which dish soap we should buy, joked with the cashier about the pervasiveness of security cameras. On the way home, the Gearhead relaxed into slightly less sinister subjects: the kids. How earlier that afternoon he’d felt like he was in a Monty Python skit because #2 played the clarinet version of Billy Idol’s Mony Mony while #1 hollered she couldn’t find the nose strips to alleviate her stuffed nose. [Wife edits: I didn’t tell him he should try the morning commute, how the kids and I battle the radio dial between Nicki Minaj rapping, All these bitches’ flows is my mini-me, and the CBC news. How #1 screams at me to avoid bumps because it’s messing with her makeup application and #2 stares out at the passing landscape wishing she were riding far away on a unicorn and I practice deep breathing exercises and repeat, “I will not lose my sh*t” over and over and over again. All this before 8 a.m.]
So back to the date. Only the car got lucky: pulley systems rubbed and outfitted with a new rubber belt. Ha! No shades of grey with that sentence. Collapsing into bed at the end of the day I said thank you for the oil change and the new serpentine belt. And the Gearhead replied that this sounded like poetry to his ears.
Recipe for some sort of aphrodisiac? Chocolate is good. For all things really. This is a Gourmet Magazine recipe for Chocolate Espresso Spelt Cake. Complete instructions may be found here. Don’t be fooled into dissing this because of the “healthy” ingredients: spelt, dates, lack of icing adornment. This is a delicious chocolate cake that even improves after a day or two, if it makes it that long (the moisture from the dates permeates the crumb). Do source decent cocoa for this cake. And espresso powder enhances the chocolate. This is quick to put together but long on delivery. For all you valentines out there, I’ll resist the urge to weave any allusions into that last sentence.