A Macaroniconic Creation by Zo!, Thanksgiving 2010
By now, it’s no secret that me and food are extremely close and have a very special relationship. So much so, that each morning I wake up, it is not out of the norm for me to map out an entire day of meals in my head simply because I’m that excited about having a “clean slate” of menu choices… Oh yes y’all, it’s serious. But there is one food in particular that I could probably eat at least once or twice a week for the rest of my life and I never get tired of it… Macaroni and damn cheese. Or to put it as the late, great Bernie Mac would probably put, Macaroni and… muthafuckincheese. To me, mac and cheese is “main dish material” while the chicken, steak, or whateverthehell that is served with it automatically becomes the side dish. Percentage-wise, my plate will run anywhere from 40-50% macaroni, and the rest will be left for the remaining 2-4 items that have been included for dinner. As a matter of fact, I’ll tell y’all how I became ruined… In college, I learned how to make my own from scratch….. and perfect it. I then became an official “Macaroni Snob.” Now, I can’t even eat everybody’s macaroni… Or better yet, I won’t eat everybody’s macaroni. I mean come on, you’ve had bad macaroni and cheese before…It’s pretty much tragedy on a plate. It’s even worse when someone hypes up a family member’s mac dish to you…
“Maaaan, you’ve gotta try my aunt’s macaroni… It’s CRAZY!! Best you’ll ever have!”
………then you have a sample of it……… *delivers a STRONG screwface* and it tastes like some damn noodles with Kraft cheese slices sitting in milk. That is the WORST. You’re left standing there damn near feeling sorry for the family as you wonder if that’s the best they can do as a unit! *reminisces on Wonder Mike’s last “Rapper’s Delight” verse*
Now while I don’t remember when or how my connection with this dish became so deep, I do know that it was early on in my life. With that being said, let me tell you a story…. Mac and cheese and I have a rich history.
Before I share this story, I need you to understand that I played baseball from the age of 9 until I was 22 years old and didn’t break ANY bones. I played football a couple years in high school… NO broken bones. Matter of fact, I have had a broken bone only ONE time in my life… I was in kindergarten, which probably meant that I was all of about 5 years old and I was doing what most little kids do during the day - “Plaaaaaying” © The classic 5-year old answer to “What have you been doing today?” Well, in the middle of my playing around… Moms made an announcement that absolutely made my entire day.
“I’m making macaroni for dinner…”
I know what you’re thinking… “Your mother made macaroni for dinner, ONLY?!” NO. See, that’s the only thing I remember HEARING. To ME, whatever she said probably sounded like this…
“I’m making MACARONI and dfnkjandsljnf and nfjdlkadjsnfanadn for dinner…”
From that information, a shot of adrenaline went through my body that resulted in my jumping up and down repeatedly literally cheering for my mother and yelling her praises so loudly that the whole house could hear it, that is until…………………. *hangs head in shame* I lost my balance. Instead of jumping up and down and landing on my feet, I somehow lost my footing as some young kids do and I landed on my left arm. My excitement instantly turned to pain and my “hip, hip hoorayin’” turned into some pretty intense crying as the bone in my forearm made my arm look like I had two elbows. My father who was home and heard me crying in pain sat down and “re-set” my arm a/k/a put the bone back in its place BEFORE going into ER. I can remember going to the emergency room and getting the official word that I had in fact broken my left arm. They put that itchy ass plaster cast on my arm to wear for 8 weeks or so. I remember going to school and having my little unsteady handed friends sign with their “well wishes.” Pure hilarity. I even remember getting the cast OFF and thinking about how light my arm felt now that it was free. Anyway, I’m telling this story to get to the bottom line…. and the bottom line is: I broke my arm due to excitement caused by… MACARONI AND CHEESE. Now if that ain’t some history…..
…and after all that, I don’t think I even GOT any mac and cheese that night.