Several years ago, I conducted a now-infamous science experiment on Uncrustables here on the blog. Well, it’s possible its infamy doesn’t extend any further than my wife, but she flipped out when I suggested feeding our son an Uncrustable sandwich for lunch the other day.
First, the experiment: The Uncrustables Experiment. To re-cap, I had left out an Uncrustable and a proper-made Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich for 25 days, to see how much they would decay.
I barely remember just what I was trying to prove — even re-reading the post only gives me a vague recollection of what my thought process was. I had jokingly conceived that an Uncrustable sandwich would survive forever and never decay due to the ungodly amount of preservatives it was packed with. However, the results turned out somewhat surprising, at least to me.
One anonymous commenter was quick to challenge and correct my scientific method — that the control group bread I bought wasn’t truly organic. I don’t know. I don’t know what I bought. I admit my grasp on science is tenuous at best. But I did write the description, “the strange weightlessness of a dead bird on a playground” to describe a rotting Uncrustable, so I feel like I contributed to humanity.
I ended the post with: “I stand by my earlier declaration: I swear I will never eat another Uncrustable.” And for seven years, it was true. I was so disgusted by the experiment of living with that bright green mold-covered sandwich that I couldn’t even pass by them in the freezer section.
But parenthood has made my brain fuzzy. I’ve started to forget things out of exhaustion. Lately those Uncrustables looked awful convenient, mess-free, and would only require unwrapping plastic, instead of trying to make the freakishly-long-armed child a sandwich while he grabs for the knife and runs around with it (how the hell can he reach the counter?)
Those Uncrustables started calling to me, seducing me with their siren song. Why exactly had I banned them from my life? I could get these….to feed the kid lunch…it would be so easy…
Until the wife stepped in between us and snapped me out of it.
“NO. WE’RE NOT EVER FEEDING THOSE TO OUR SON.”
We went back and forth a little bit with me defending myself. She’d acted like I had suggested feeding him a KFC Double Down. But that was the end of it. Until last weekend while we were at the beach. We were eating at Hooters.
(Tangent: It is totally a family restaurant and has an undeserved taboo as being inappropriate. Women have bodies and skin! Shocker. Let me shield my son from it and act like women in tight clothes is something slightly dark and perverted. Plus they have high chairs and crayons. And fried pickles. And we were sitting outside overlooking the ocean.)
Anyhow, being at the beach and on vacation, the wife had grown weary of feeding the kiddo anymore fried delights. She ordered him the peanut butter and jelly, which felt like the responsible mom thing to do.
It was an Uncrustable. The kid devoured it unlike any other food I’ve ever seen him eat. Generally he gets antsy five minutes into dinner and starts throwing bits of food around before attempting to stand in the high chair, spill a soda, and dump all the salt on the table. He relished each bite of that Uncrustable. It was like art. Like watching Muhammad Ali fight? That’s the kind of beauty with which my son approached the Uncrustable.
Thank you, Hooters. Thank you, Uncrustables. Not because we enjoyed a peaceful dinner that night, but because I won some non-existent victory over my wife.