(This post was originally published on October 23, 2006.)
The number one request I receive in my inbox, other than SHOW US UR BOOBZ!!!!, is for a video of us torturing Chuck with spaghetti noodles, a pastime that has been documented here and here. Months ago I made the decision that we’d get it on tape, but then I stopped making pasta because there were all these frozen pizzas on sale at the grocery store. I bought as many as would fit into our freezer, and then every night we’d stick one in the oven and have a delicious, well-balanced meal within 20 minutes without any work on my part except for the labor required in turning on the oven. That is my only complaint about frozen pizza, that it cannot be eaten right out of the box, although I have done that once and afterward didn’t puke nearly as many times as I thought I would.
This weekend I fixed spaghetti for the first time in several weeks primarily because we tend to cook more when the weather outside is colder. The change in season sets off the Mormon homemaker buried deep inside me, and I cook and clean more than I do at any other time of year, usually while wearing a bonnet and humming tunes whose lyrics warn of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Because anyone who has read the Bible knows that the last thing you want is for the triumphant return of the Lord to happen before you’ve had a chance to vacuum your living room. He will totally notice. And worse, so will your mom.
Normally I like to leave spaghetti noodles very long so that I can twirl them around my fork like people do in the movies. But lately I’ve been trying to make everything as appealing to Leta as possible, so this weekend I broke the entire box of noodles in half. That way she had at least a fighting chance of getting an entire noodle into her mouth without realizing just how slimy and oogly a cooked piece of pasta can be. It didn’t work, it never does, and instead of eating a single bite she spent the entire meal wiping pasta sauce off each noodle. With a wet wipe. Until every noodle in her bowl was clean. As if preparing her personal space for the triumphant return of the Lord.
As we cleaned up the kitchen and prepared Chuck for taping, I realized that the noodles would not be long enough to wrap around his snout. I almost cancelled the whole thing until I saw the look on Chuck’s face, one that said he had been waiting for those noodles for months, woman, do not yank the rug out from under him now. So what you will see here is not the traditional ritual of spaghetti torture, but instead a variation involving large clumps of sticky pasta and the flat, noble head of one very good puppy.