My friends and fellow McBoners,
I have offended, and I seek forgiveness.
Imagine Super Bowl Sunday, if you will. Like so many people, we had a party. Envision the people coming and going, the conversation, the laughter. The drinks...maybe I had one too many.
There were hors d'oeuvres as well. Several of them, some prepared at home, some brought by guests--people I thought were friends.
People I trusted.
But I cannot in good conscience blame others. It was a party. I was drinking, feeling good. So maybe I let my guard down. Does that make me a criminal? A psychopath? Some sort of depraved lunatic with suicidal tendencies? We all make mistakes, don't we? It could happen to anyone at any time.
No. I'm making excuses when I promised myself I would not. What happened was my fault and mine alone.
Nate, have you tried the crab dip? asked a guest (let's call her "Carol V.") out of the blue, aware, no doubt, that I am a cook and have a keen interest in food. "I got the recipe from epicurious.com. Do you know it?"
Epicurious? Sure. They've got some good stuff.
Well, I should have run to my computer right then. The recipe was in cyberspace. Two minutes was all it would have taken. Her manner, though--it was so innocent, so without the malice that must have been lurking beneath that placid and guileless smile.
Ever striving toward politeness and temporarily forgetting my own rule to always be suspicious of any "dip," I popped up from the sofa, seized a pita chip, scooped a tiny glob of dip and sealed my fate.
I ate it.
I wave of nausea rushed over me at once. My throat constricted. I began to sweat profusely, but I dismissed these symptoms as a reaction to the Mitt Romney ad that was running on TV.
It was not until an hour later that my wife, Alex, called to me. By then I was desperately ill, beset by some terrible malady. A fever. No, worse. Avian flu. Rabies.
Baby, did you try the crab dip? she asked with a glint of mischief in her eye. Next to her, barely able to contain her sinister delight, sat Carol V.
Did you like it?
Yeah, I lied. It was good.
Do you know what it has in it?
Bolt upright I sat. Panic gripped me, and I knew beyond any doubt of what, exactly, was in it. Crab dip?!? How could this have happened? What had I done? Crab dip! Nate, you fool! What is always in crab dip??
Both Alex and Carol V. shrieked with delight while I howled in dismay. What to do? Through the alcohol I could feel it, coursing ever so slowly through my veins, infecting every inch of me. I fled to the bathroom and stuck two fingers down my throat--to no avail. The alcohol must somehow have suppressed my gag reflex. All I could do was climb into the shower and stand under scalding water, trying to cleanse myself, knowing that the toxins had already begun to do certain and irreparable damage. How many years of my life were forfeited in that one moment of unawareness?
That night I went to bed early. How I wept.
After four days I'm still paying for my lack of vigilance. Night after night I awake in horror--dreams, dreams that yellowish-white worms are eating me from the inside, and others too ghastly to speak of.
And now, gentle McBoners, I offer you my apology. I know that as a co-founder of the Anti-Mayonnaise Alliance, it is my sworn duty to be aware of all dips, salads and sauces, and of any places the white menace may be hiding. I failed in that charge. I vow not to again.
I am sorry. The healing process begins with those words, which I hope in my heart of hearts you will embrace. I offended, but I am no mayonnaise offender.
Forgive me, and let my tragedy be a warning to you all.
Pictured above: Carol V's offending dip.