Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Captain's Log, Day 159: Oh, Fudge.

          About three things I was absolutely positive. First, I was hungry. Second, my butt hurt. And third, I had an appalling lack of furniture in my apartment room.
          Also, I liked brutally murdering famous quotes, but that wasn't really applicable at that precise moment in time.
          "So what now?" Rach asked, hanging upside-down over the edge of my bed.
          I had been sitting on my desk, since Rach had declined my chair and I thought it would be rude to occupy the only legitimate butt-rest in the room. We'd just finished watching a movie, which had been of a long enough duration for the desk to get really uncomfortable. At Rach's query, though, I popped up. "I dunno, but it should involve food. I'm hungry."
          "Yeah, me too," Rach complained, face turning red as a result of her position. With a grunt, she righted herself. "Well, sort of. I'm not super hungry, but I could eat something. What do you have?"
          I mentally ran through my pantry. That was a depressingly brief exercise. "Pretzels."
          "That's it?" Rach made a face.
          "In my defense, I was going to get groceries today," I pointed out. "You kinda sidetracked me."
          She shrugged, stealing my dog blanket. "Well, let's go get some groceries, then. Can I use this as a cape?"
          I stuck my tongue out at her. "No."
          A few minutes later, we were installed in the car my parents were loaning me: a Toyota Matrix. For anyone unfamiliar with the car, it's basically the size of a shoebox, and about as intimidating. Rach, of course, thought it was "cute." I told her that she was nuts and promptly smacked my knee on the steering column as I tried to squeeze in.
          "Gah, I wish I had a truck," I muttered, unaware that, in three years, I'd actually get my wish.
          "Why?" Rach demanded.
          "It's small and has the impact resistance of a tin can," I complained, with the knowledge having been gained in a crash I'd been in the previous semester. (Sorry, Ma.) "Also, the horn sounds like it's terrified of the other cars." I gave that some thought. "Actually, it might be."
          She buckled herself in. "Can I hear it?"
          I wrinkled my nose. "Eew, no. It's embarrassing."
          Rach gave me her best pleading-puppy face.
          "Okay, fine." I honked the horn. The car made a noise that Mom once said sounded like a plea of don't hit me! Rach cracked up.
          "See? Told you it was bad," I grumbled.
          "Do it again!"
          "NO. And I'm not looking at you," I snorted, pulling out of the parking lot.
          Not my best decision.
          "RACH! STOP BLOWING MY HORN!" I swatted her hand away. She didn't try to hit the horn again, possibly because she was laughing too hard.
          We made it out Walmart without further incident other than Rach shuffling all the stations on my radio. I let her, since the alternative was apparently the horn. However, a new difficulty was presented once inside.
          "Um...what are we getting?" I asked.
          She shrugged. "How would I know?"
          I gave her a look. She returned it with interest. "What? I thought you were the one who needed groceries!"
          I sighed. "True, but I never made a list! I do need milk, though. Hmm, what goes with pretzels?"
          "Chocolate," Rach replied promptly, investigating various hats.
          My eyes widened. "You're brilliant!"
          "I know," she said absently, trying on a Sonic the Hedgehog ball cap. "Wait, what?"
          "We can make chocolate-covered pretzels!" I exclaimed, making a beeline for the chocolate isle.
          "That is a good idea," she agreed. "What kinds should we make?"
          I gave her a blank look. "There are kinds?"
          Rach started pulling baking chocolate off the shelves and tossing it to me. "Milk, we don't want bittersweet...we could try white...ooh! Butterscotch!"
          "That's not technically chocolate," I pointed out.
          "Whatever," she said dismissively. "It'll still taste great. Come on, let's get your milk."
          We made it back out without further incident; I decided to try to make up a grocery list and do my shopping at a later date. (I still mostly ate at the caf, a decision my wallet rejoiced in while my stomach complained. Caf food was notoriously bad.) Rach promptly honked the car horn five or six times before I could stop her, since I incapacitated myself by whanging my knee into that dammed steering column again. That was impressively painful.
          "I should watch my language," I muttered while pinning Rach's hands to the center console with my forearm.
          "'Damn' is hardly swearing," my horn-happy compatriot pointed out, trying with little success to free her arms.
          I fixed her with a look. "I'll let you go if you promise to not honk the horn."
          She remained mute.
          "...until we park?" I suggested.
          "Okay, fine," Rach capitulated. "Man, I wish I had a car like this."
          "You can have it," I grumbled, putting it in gear. "Besides, you'd never quit honking."
          She grinned. "But it's so cute though!"
          I groaned. "I don't want to drive a cute car!"
          Three minutes, two beeps, and one protracted chase later, we were back in my apartment. My suitmate (well, one of them, anyway), Zach, was hanging out in the living room when we burst in. "Hey guys, what's up?"
          "Chocolate-covered pretzels," I announced.
          He gave me a disbelieving look. "Oh, like you know how to cook?"
          "Shut up," I advised him, dumping my ingredients out on the counter. "Where'd I put my pot?"
          Zach snickered. I ignored him.
          I managed to get locate the pot, while Rach blatantly stole one of Zach's for her butterscotch brainwave. Zach decided that TV was going to be nowhere near as interesting as watching this debacle unfold and pulled a barstool over to the counter. "You should add milk," he offered. "It'll cook better."
          I turned to face him. "I'm pretty sure we don't need milk," I began.
          "Too late," Rach announced, dumping a liberal portion into both pans.
          "First my horn, now my milk?" I demanded, throwing a pretzel at her. She caught it deftly and ate it.
          We started stirring and sneaking handfuls of various chips. However, our concoctions didn't seem to be melting like I was expecting them to. After about five minutes, we were staring at--
          "Fudge?" Rach demanded.
          "That's weird," I noted unnecessarily, sticking my finger in to sample it before belatedly remembering that it was still on the stove. "OW!"
          Zach came over to investigate, then doubled over laughing. "Well...that's not the worst way to screw up!"
          "I told you we didn't need milk!" I protested.
          "We can try again," Rach reassured me, handing me her spoon and taking both pots. "I'll make fudge squares. You melt some more chocolate."
          "Fine. I'm stealing another pot," I told Zach.
          He shrugged. "Don't wreck it. I'm going to work."
          "Have fun," I said absently.
          Rach had finished with the squares by the time I had the chocolate melted. She got some pretzels arranged on a plate, then took the spoon from me and began artistically drizzling chocolate over them. After a few moments, she stepped back. "What do you think?"
          "Nice. You missed a spot, though," I noted, upending the pot onto the plate.
          She glared at me.
          "What?" I demanded. "You get better coverage this way!"
          She burst out laughing. "Engineer!"
          "You know it," I returned. "Let's eat."
          The pretzels tasted great. The fudge was surprisingly good, too.

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