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January 29, 2012

Epic Oatmeal

On a cloudy Sabbath day now passed
I awoke in a droll, huddled mass
Woe to me, for the previous night
Saw not sweet dreams, but fiendish fright.

I gazed at my clock – nine and a score;
Time now wasted, and mine no more!
Yet drained as I was, what could I do
But tumble and doze another two?

I mustered my strength, and all my will –
“By my pride, I shan’t stay still!
This morn, though bleak, shall never best
My steel resolve!  To hell with rest!”

My muscles coiled; I clenched my teeth
And thus threw off my cotton sheath!
Not my clothes, I hasten to add;
Nay, all but hidden mattress pad!

My dog, so small, did sound a cry
As through the air he soon did fly
But by his pride, he sveltely landed
(And with sharp barks he reprimanded!).

“No time, dear hound!  Now fetch my trousers!
I aim to dine – though triple pounders
Are unbefitting of my wiry frame;
Mounds of meat are mine brother’s game!”

I stroked my chin and gave a thought
As to what dear mother had soundly bought
And stored in pantry stone’s throw away
To be inhaled throughout the day.

“Dear hound,” I reasoned, ceasing deduction.
“The time is nigh for great production!
A hearty meal, swiftly prepared
And thusly had in my office chair.”

The loyal pooch loosed confused whine
His head a-cocked, brown eyes so fine
That they doth gazed into my soul
To ascertain my lofty goal.

I opened wide my magic mirror
A gateway making info nearer
Such had been my day’s routine
Betwixt my gaming magazines.

I waved my finger.  “Na├»ve Henri!”
(My dear hound’s moniker, you see.)
“What I want is no great feast
But something made with effort least!

“My machine doth awake, like me
And you know, too well, that I must see
A wide array of mystical news
Fused with age-old movie reviews!”

With sacred tunes gracing my ear
I left my sanctum without fear
With Henri trotting close behind
With mounting my leg fresh on his mind.

My heart now hardened, I ventured in
The bathroom – where battles begin
To duel to death bad hygiene
Lest we all fall to gangrene.

Though I admit, I know not how
Such maladies arrive – tut, tut!  For now
Showdown of fate, clash of pride!
My noble brush shall turn the tide!

“Foul beasts!” I howled, my mouth a-foamy.
“You wretched beings are far below me!
Invade my mouth and pillage my teeth?
Blasphemy!  Return to the heath!”

Our war raged on, with both sides tiring.
Swallowed by fury, all soldiers kept firing
But fear not; I claimed the win
As brilliant guitar solo kicked in.

“Cursed knaves!  Spread thine ears wide!
The gods of metal – they decide
Today, victory goes to
Ye who wields the toothpaste tube!”

With triumph had, I sealed their fate
And said goodbye to food once ate;
I banished the fiends to parts unknown
To wither in pipes, lost and alone.

I clapped my hands in celebration
With fanfare blasting in admiration
(For my mind’s eye, as my tome of songs
Had been running for much too long).

With trotting hound at my side –
And strutting in a cocky stride –
I ventured at last to Hestia’s den:
The land that birthed feasts for men.

I scanned the sanctum, and what should I find
What fortune – no resources denied!
Milk fresh from humble cow’s teat
(A grizzly image that shan’t be beat!).

From jungles afar, a simian’s delight:
A duet of bananas, golden and bright!
My eye did rove to pantry doors
Knowing full well what was in store.

I flung the wooden doors so wide
That alert Henri did yelp and hide
While I reached in and seized the chest
That would deliver breakfast best!

“Huzzah!  Hurrah!  Take note!  Behold!
Instant oatmeal – and cinnamon roll!
My favorite flavor; there is no better!
Sweet, and faultless to the letter!”

Right then and there, I loosed a laugh
That shook the walls and every shaft
Of my bloodline’s great citadel;
To think I’d conjured such a yell!

But soft!  My plan had a flaw
(Hast thou heard of Murphy’s Law?):
A fatal step in execution
Leads to tasteless retribution.

“Be still, my heart!” I whispered soft
To keep my quaking hand aloft;
To make a meal of grand design
Would take skill well beyond mine.

With slinking dog cheering me on
(And shrieking for my scraps anon),
I seized two packets of dusty oats
And amused smile I did emote. 

The scent of cinnamon wafted on high
As did a plume into the sky.
A thousand shards, falling like sand
From russet paper in my hand.

“What ho?” I gasped.  “Some bits are stuck;
Mayhap I shall now try my luck
At rending the pouches that dare to steal
A single oat from my perfect meal.”

Whilst surging with impassioned flame
I tore the bags that were to blame
But in my haste, I quickly spilled
Some candidates to earn my fill.

“Confound it!  Gravity, you cruel wench!
Can no calamity your hunger quench?
Ye, who crush man’s birds under your heel –
What business have ye with my oatmeal?!”

Left without answer, I stifled a shrug
(Yet to be frank, I needed a hug);
I scraped stray oats into the trash
Where my hounds’ tongues could never lash.

The next phase of battle – the direst of all;
One slight mistake would bring my fall.
To add the milk, with a steady hand
For too much would defile flavor’s land.

But be wary!  Too little is no better pick;
A barren wasteland, hard and thick!
No spoon or sword could pierce its hide –
An epic fail, my kin would chide!

Wisdom and experience, I had;
Rarely had my meals gone bad.
A tad bit thick was my preference –
A soupy mess?  Pure decadence. 

I shook my breakfast-time concoction
Hoping not to brew a toxin.
“Aha!  It’s done!  The task, complete!
On this day I shan’t taste defeat!”

With mixture set, my hunger I staved
As I heated my meal in the microwave.
I bided my time while searing the stew
Preparing the rest for a minute or two.

The timer chimed with a voltaic squeal
With great haste I reached in, and soon did feel
The heat of the mix, pervading the bowl
And signaling the realized fruits of my goal.

“What now?” I asked, stroking my chin.
“Perhaps I’ll add a pinch of cinnamon?
Nay, not yet, not till my first taste
For to add more now would be such a waste!”

I summoned a spoon from a drawer quite near;
I swallowed hard to suppress dark fear.
My nerves lashed out, and thrashed in my skull
But I stifled my panic – and took a bite whole.

The flavor was good – brown sugary bliss
But whilst bite digested, something was amiss.
It seemed a bit hard to chew on this clump
And as the truth dawned, my heart loosed a thump.

“Good God!” I cried out, tears welling fast.
“Oh, how I wish to return to the past!
To correct mistakes, to understand why
My pristine oatmeal turned out so dry!

“The oats, they cling like knitted pajamas
So maliciously woven they’re unfit for llamas!
King Arthur himself could not force his way through;
Excalibur’s useless; he’d need at least two!

“Egad!  What’s this?  The mix is not thorough?
Blast you, foul milk!  I thought you could burrow
Through each nook and cranny, to soften the mix
And now I’ve fallen for your mean-spirited tricks!

“What sorcery is this?  Still-sand-covered grains?
Why bother with milk if the result is so plain?
I trusted thy skills, and believed we could win!
Enough, damned milk!  You’re no longer my kin!”

Wrought with despair, I slammed down my hands
On the table, and mourned the collapse of my plans.
Distraught, I turned my gaze to the door,
Where little Henri wailed from the depths of his core.

Seeing my dear hound cry to the gods
Ignited my fire.  I gave a quick nod –
“Fret not, dear friend; I haven’t lost yet
No one has best me – and none shall, I bet!”

I brandished my trident (figuratively)
And throttled the milk for its cruel treachery.
“See here, foul schemer!  Spoiler of meals!
I won’t waste thy time with foppish appeals!

“I’ll have what I want, by the pride of my clan;
An unstoppable force of immovable span!
My fork, Jeremiah, hath laid waste to ten score
And I see no harm in impaling one more!”

As if to transform my boast into law
My noble hound loosed a roar from his maw
The milk quivered swiftly, like the coward it was,
And revived my oatmeal, its nerves all abuzz.

With an indignant eye, I gazed at the traitor
(Should he con me again, he’d be in Hell later).
I took my next bite, eager to be vicious
But there was no need; the meal was delicious!

My face bright with glee, bananas I sliced
With great butter knife, the white fruit was diced!
They fell into place, turning food into art
And with a slow nod, I began to depart.

I took my seat in my personal throne
While hungry Henri let loose a quick moan.
Blame him, I could not, for my repealed defeat
As the meal in my hand was certainly sweet.

The dissonant hotness of bananas and oats
Created a symphony as they ran down my throat.
My taste buds did sing in immaculate chorus
By blessing of sugar and milk most amorous.

Such texture!  Such smoothness!  Like two waltzing lovers
They tickle the insides (as one soon discovers);
Fresh-sliced bananas so firm and so true
And most lovely of all?  It’s healthy for you.

“Beautiful,” I whispered, wiping tears from my eye
Yet could not help but have a good cry –
To have such a meal, a notch on my belt
So very triumphant my soul did soon melt.

“Hear me, gods!” I yelled to the sky.
“Take fretful heed of this young warrior’s cry!
On this day I have mastered the oatmeal craft!
And soon, even you, I shall surpass!

“By the thunder in skies, and the rumbling earth!
This one bowl of grain hath proved my worth!
Come tomorrow, beware!  Ascension draws near!
By my great Jeremiah, you shall know fear!”

If that were to happen, it would be so sweet
But alas, that fate I have yet to meet
But who is to say what will happen next time
When once again, on oatmeal I dine?

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