I have a long list of excuses: "Senior moment" (most valid, of course), "I was distracted" (it's my ADD), "I'm new here" (I look like a foreigner wherever I am), "Sorry... instinct" (you can't blame me for a knee-jerk reaction), or "I didn't get the memo" (aka: "Why didn't you tell me?").
What are these excuses for? For my "Duh" moments, which I will refer to as my "What Was I Thinking?!" moments. Let me start with the good ol' bagel incident.
For those of you who've been patiently reading my online ramblings, I wrote about my first encounter with the bagel here: Romancing The Bagel.
As if my romance with this wanna-be-donut pastry wasn't enough humiliation (however private it was) sure enough, I had another episode where I just knew that someone behind me had said, "What the heck is she doing?"
We were at a hotel breakfast spread. I was barely awake (excuse #1). They had the average fare: cereal, oatmeal, fruits, coffee, juice, milk, doughnuts, muffins, sliced bread, and bagels. Some hotels have waffle makers and microwave ovens; this one had a contraption -- like those pizza cooking gizmos -- with a conveyor belt and a heating element over the belt so that you toast only the top portion of whatever you want to toast the top portion of… like maybe your bagel. But unlike pizza conveyors, this one doesn’t go in one end and out the other -– it goes in one end and out underneath.
In other words, you put the bagel on the conveyor, and it slowly travels into the toaster, falls through the back end, and slides forward so you can pick it up just under the belt. Easy.
This was our first time at this hotel, and the first time I saw this contraption (excuse #2). And that morning, I wanted a bagel. What I've always done with my bagel was split it open (learned to do that already), spread some cream cheese on each half, and pop the cheesed slices on the toaster oven. I get warm bagels with a slightly crusty cream cheese topping. Just the way I want it.
So, instinctively (excuse #3), I picked up a bagel, split it open, and spread some cream cheese on the slices. I looked up and about for a toaster oven, but it seemed this conveyor contraption was all they had. So I placed by cheesed bagel slices on the belt. And they started traveling into the machine.
Suddenly, it's like I woke up. Aach! Before I could take another breath, my slices rode deep into the machine, disappeared from view, and fell into the back of the toaster... cheese-side down.
I had to grab the longest pair of tongs on the table so that I could reach the bagel slices now upside down and totally stuck to the back end of the chute where the bagels slide out.
I dashed away with my warm half-bagels, nevermind that most of the cream cheese topping ended up on the floor of the toaster. I was hoping nobody noticed, but surely someone will whisper a curse when his bagel gets stuck in the chute because some idiot put a cheesed slice in the toaster.
The good news is, that was a lesson well learned. I will know what to do (or not do) when I use that conveyor toaster again.
The better news is, now there's a bagel toaster that doesn't use conveyor belts to heat only one side of the slice. These bagel toasters are regular sliced bread toasters but with wider slots to accommodate the fat half-bagels; and if you press the button that says "Bagel" it heats up only one side of the slot.
Here's the model we got:
All I have to remember is to cheese my bagels -after- I toast them.