I hope yis don’t ever have the bad luck of tryin’ to help your wife make chicken noodle soup while your nosy neighbour is outside cleanin’ his yard, or you might end up with the cops at your door tryin’ to press charges against ya.
They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and in the case of my googly-eyed neighbour Dave, that goes double. What happened was, I somehow got roped into helpin’ Minnie make a big batch of her homemade chicken noodle soup. Both kids are sick as a dog with the cold, so I guess she figured it’d be a good thing to make for them. I agreed to help, but I always find it right hot in the kitchen when the stove’s goin’, and this is where I made my fatal mistake – I opened the window over the sink. Unbeknownst to me, that meant Dave could hear our conversation without seein’ what we were doin’. And I guess if ya were nosy and eavesdroppin’ and got a filthy mind like Dave, you might have the wrong idea about what was goin’ on.
OK, Billy, Minnie says – gimme the bird.
Now, the way we set it up was, I was at the end of the counter by the fridge, and Minnie was at the end of the counter by the stove, and I’d pass her all the ingredients whenever she needed them, as a helper, like.
There were two chickens in the fridge, a bigger one and a smaller one, so I said – You want the big one?
It’s a good size, she said, but we gotta get it ready before we put it in.
OK, I said, do you want me to start with the legs or the breasts?
Try the breasts, she said. And be gentle with the skin, don’t just go pawin’ at it.
Now, yous know what’s really goin’ on here – I got a raw chicken laid out on the counter and I’m tryin’ to cut the skin away and slice the meat off in chunks because that’s how Minnie likes to boil them when she’s makin’ soup. But ya can imagine Dave standin’ outside the window, not able to see anything, only hearin’ what we’re sayin’.
These are good sized breasts, I said to Minnie, and when I did, she looked over and didn’t like how I was cuttin’.
Wait a minute, she said. Ya can’t just go at them like that. Here, she said, hold the breast sideways with one hand and pin the leg to the counter with the other one. That way you’ll be able to get right in there.
Anyways, I did it the way she told me and then I went over and plopped the chicken into the boiling water.
No! she said. Don’t put it in so fast! Look at the mess you’re makin’. Just put it in a little bit at a time until the whole thing’s in there.
So I did that, and while the chicken was boilin’ in one pot, Minnie was makin’ the broth in a separate pot.
I took a little taste, she said, but I found it awful salty.
So I tried some and said, G’waaaay, it’s delicious! Wait ‘til the next cold night we have, you’ll be lookin’ for something hot like this in your mouth.
Now that I know he was out there, I almost wish I coulda seen Dave’s face when he heard what he thought he heard even though he was hearin’ somethin’ else.
OK, Minnie said after a few minutes, I think I’m ready for the noodle.
Just put it right in? I said, holdin’ the bag of noodles.
No, she said. I like to do it separate for a while and then put it in.
And I remembered Minnie sayin’ before we started, she cooks the noodles separate because before she adds them to the soup she likes to drain them to get the starch off.
Ya want to get it good and hot, Minnie said as I turned up the burner on the stove. And after a while, even if the noodle’s a little bit stiff, we’ll put it in anyway.
Sounds good to me, I said. And a couple of minutes later we were ready to add the chicken and the noodles to the pot of broth.
All right! Minnie said. Now it’s time to put your parts and my parts together, and then we’ll really be cookin’!
That’s hot! I said, takin’ the cover off the broth pot for the first time.
Careful puttin’ it in, Minnie said, worried I’d burn myself.
And I guess it was somewhere around there Dave musta called the cops.
You can imagine my surprise when there was a knock at the door and two of the town’s finest were starin’ back at me.
We got a complaint about some indecent activity at this residence, one of the cops said.
I didn’t know what that meant, so I laughed and said – I did watch the last few Leafs games of the season, which was pretty indecent.
But then the older cop piped up and told us about the complaint they got. And Minnie laughed her arse off (laughed too hard about it, really), slappin’ her knee and sayin’ somethin’ like that would NEVER happen around here.
Anyways, we explained about the soup and even offered the cops some. The older fella said sure, why not, and when we went back in the kitchen, I hope to cripes Dave was still listenin’ outside the window when the cop took a sip of soup and said, Mmmm, my wife’s don’t taste like this.