When Tulane Chris signed on to be my new second bird, he brought with him some really good ideas about how we could make the blog better. One of my favorites was a new feature called "2 Birds Investigates.” In this feature, we’d get together every month, investigate something wacky and write about it on the blog. Think: "2 Birds Investigate a Star Wars Convention!"; "2 Birds Investigate a Sex Party!"; "2 Birds Go to Orlando and Stalk Kevin Yang!" Needless to say, I was in. Really any feature containing the words "convention", "sex", "Kevin Yang" and "stalk" in the pitch is already successful in my mind.
We've done two Investigations thus far and while I think our second try was pretty good (and will be up soon), our first attempt was an absolute, 100% bona fide failure. Like, got out on the ice and fell on its ass before the music even began, failure. And then once it was down, it got its period. And started to cry. And then started to hysterically cry. And then its ex-boyfriend walked in, saw it rolling around in its icy, tear-soaked period blood and shook his head slowly at it in disappointment. And for some reason, he’s also sipping an old school Cherry Coke and wearing cowboy garb while doing this. I wonder why I associate that image with ice rinks? I think it has something to do with The Cutting Edge…? But my point in more concise and less crass terms is that it didn’t work.
Now, who's to blame for this failure, you may ask? As leader of the blog, will I be the one to step up and take responsibility? Well, let me answer your question with a series of questions: will I take responsibility for buying the wrong kind of tampons last month? Will I take responsibility for losing my job? Will I take responsibility for making Dr. Reuben cry tears on par with those shed whilst hate fucking a trannie? (ALLEGEDLY. I do not know for certain that Dr. Reuben has hate fucked a transgendered person. I can only make a seriously educated guess.) The answers to these, my questions three (Jesus Christ…why do I blog this late?) are no. No, I won't. But I will admit that I had a small role in all of the above, specifically our first Investigation failure.
We decided to conduct the Investigation the last weekend in June when Tulane Chris was in town for the traumatic Blog Panel and I was house sitting for my parents. You’d think finding something to investigate would have been easy; we had endless resources at our fingertips—a car, a full tank of gas, a big house in the suburbs, Evie, and the greater Washington, D.C. metro area as a whole. However, what we didn't have was money. At all. I'm pretty sure our final budget was $15, the bodies God gave us, and two active imaginations. But Chris and I figured we're both highly creative and intelligent(ish) (personally) people. Surely between the two of us, $15 and whole lot of ADHD medication, we could think of something groundbreaking and provocative to investigate, right? Well, we did: MSG. The Inaugural 2 Birds Investigates was on...MSG.
Looking back, I can see where we thought this would be a good idea: MSG is cheap, mysterious, kind of dangerous, cheap, readily available, questionably sexy?, and most importantly, cheap. Our plan was to buy some MSG and do a taste test with the food in my parent's house to see if it really does makes food taste better. Would it be delicious? Probably. Would it rock the blogosphere to its very core? Definitely.
Unfortunately, we had a few things working against us:
- We were actually pretty busy that weekend, so the entire thing felt kind of rushed. (And yes, that was the weekend I made Chris wait 45 minutes to get lunch because Evie and I were having an “intense cuddle session,” thank you.)
- My parents had been out of the country for two weeks at that point, so there wasn’t any food in the house.
- We couldn’t really afford to buy any more food with the limited money we had between us. (Although, full disclosure: we spent most of our blog funds the night before on steaks and Ultimate Mai Tais at our Ironic T.G.I. Friday’s Business Dinner.) (And at said dinner, I went in first while Chris waited in the car so he could come in later and do the old, “Ms. McBlogger?” “Yes! Chris, I take it. [Hearty handshake] Please, have a seat.” to make it extra official.) (…Although, I think it kind of came off as an awkward blind date more than anything else.) (And no, neither of us went to business school, but I assume that’s what you learn to do there, right? Kogod, baby. Kogod.)
- I was an absolute shit show the night of the Investigation, so my heart really wasn’t into it. Now, I will obviously take full responsibility for this one, but I’d like the opportunity to explain myself.
Our plan was to do the Investigation Saturday night after Anna’s Goodbye BBQ. I know you’re thinking that I probably got “wasted” at the party and that’s why I was in such a state later that night, but surprisingly, that’s not what happened. I drank responsibly. I just didn’t eat responsibly. I have a problem. Because of the fact that there’s never any food in my apartment and at any given moment, I'm lying in bed wishing Subway would do pro bono work, when I’m in an all-you-can-eat food situation, I tend to stock up like a squirrel preparing for winter. I don’t know why I do it and I regret it every time. And it’s not even like I take the food with me; I just cram Swedish meatballs into my mouth two at a time all, “NO TIME FOR CHEWING!!! I HAVE TO PRESERVE MY ENERGY—OLD MAN WINTER APPROACHES!!!!1” So when I got to Anna’s house and saw the delicious spread, I was just genuinely excited to see that much free food and felt like I had to make the most of it. (Christ…)
I pretty much ate everything in sight. And if you know me, you know that food and I don’t get along too well. The doctors are 99% sure my GI tract is held up with toothpicks and duct tape, soooo maybe I should have shifted down a gear. Especially when you consider that the following exchange between Chris and me actually happened:
TC: Hey, it’s almost midnight and we have work to do; I think we should go soon.
M: OK. I’m just gonna get another hot dog and a Bloody Mary, and then we’ll go.
That’s correct. I chased dinner with brunch. Whatever you’re thinking about me right now; it’s completely justified. Needless to say, by the time we had said our goodbyes and got to my car, things were feeling a little unique.
“Chris, I don’t feel very well.”
“Well, that sucks because we still need to get MSG and food to do the taste test with. I’m thinking we’ll get a few cans of Chef Boyardee, some pudding, a few—“
“STOP IT. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I NEED YOU TO STOP TALKING ABOUT FOOD.”
“Uhh, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you do realize that we have to go home and eat more, right?”
It’s at this point that tears welled up in my eyes and I actually broke a sweat. The thought of putting any more food in my body was unbearable, but I knew this was our last chance to get the Investigation done and it really was my fault for fellating an open buffet the night of our MSG taste test. (Side note: it’s a sobering moment when you realize that the phrase, “it really was my fault for fellating an open buffet the night of our MSG taste test,” is applicable to your life.)
“Well, I need to go home and lay down for a while, so let’s get this over with.”
Now, this entire weekend, Chris promised me that MSG would be easy to find, based solely on the fact that his grandmother sent him some when he moved to Philadelphia. In actuality, MSG is not easy to find. Somewhere in the backroom of five major grocery stores in the greater Montgomery County, MD area, there exists an obscene amount of security footage of me and Tulane Chris in various condiment aisles at 12:30 in the morning; Chris leisurely looking for Accent and me doubled-over in pain, alternating between moaning, doing Lamaze breathing and telling boxes of Bisquick to stop judging me, “you sick sons of bitches.”
By the time we got to Shopper’s Food Warehouse, things were touch-and-go at best. I genuinely couldn’t tell if I was about to vomit, shit my pants, burst into tears, or all of the above. (Another side note: I’m currently writing this at a coffee shop and the guy sitting across from me keeps makin’ eyes at me. I can’t help but wonder what he’d think if he knew that I’m writing about the time I couldn’t tell if I was going to vomit, shit my pants or burst into tears?) (Please say he’d be turned on, please say he’d be turned on...)
“Chris, I can’t go in with you. I can’t do another one. If I see any more cans of discounted food, I’m seriously going to lose control of something and it’s not going to be pretty. “
“Alright, well stay in the car and digest; I’ll go look.” The minute Chris slammed the car door, I unbuttoned my pants, slid them down, put my seat all the way back until I was horizontal, blasted the AC and started whimpering ever-so softly. A few minutes later, my phone rang.
“Good news—they have MSG!”
“What food should I get to put it in?”
“Chris, I really don’t care.”
“Well, I’m doing this for you. What’s light and easy to digest?”
“I will pay you $40 in cash if you use your discretion and not have a conversation with me right now about what is and isn’t easy to digest.”
“Meg, we both know you’re not good for that. Do you like butterscotch pudding?”
“Alright, fine, fine. “ I hung up, closed my eyes and hugged myself tighter. When I opened my eyes again a few minutes later, I was surprised to see a man standing in front of my car staring back at me with a concerned look in his eyes.
“What’s this asshole’s problem?” I thought to myself. As I was lying in my car. At 12:45 in the morning. With my pants pulled down around my thighs. Hugging myself and whimpering. And that’s when it clicked—this man might be under the impression that I maybe was just a liiiiiiiittle bit…raped. My hand instantly flew to the electronic seat adjuster, which returned me to an up-right seated position at the painfully slow rate of .00002 mph, all while I shifted my eyes back and forth (desperately trying to avoid eye contact,) and shimmied back into my pants.
Thankfully Chris returned shortly thereafter, because nothing would shock me less than if the following landed in the local paper’s police blotter:
Police were called Saturday night when a man mistakenly thought Sherwood graduate, Meghan McBlogger, had been raped in the Shopper’s Food Warehouse shopping center. Upon further investigation, Ms. McBlogger had just eaten too much at a local bon voyage party and was emotionally preparing herself an upcoming MSG taste test for her blog. No charges were filed.
When we finally made it back to the house, my parents were home.
“Hi honey! Hi Chris! How is everything? How was the blog panel?”
“Well, the moderator asked Chris if he felt emasculated because his vagina has a yeast infection, I ate a small horse tonight, I feel like I’m going to die and now we need to eat some shit with MSG in it for the blog.”
“Well. Good to see not much has changed while we were gone.”
We kicked my parents out of the kitchen and spent the next 20 minutes or so conducting The Investigation. Here’s a play-by-play:
We got MSG.
We got 2 cans of Chef Boyardee instant ravioli and put MSG in one and not the other.
We did the same with leftover mashed potatoes from Chicken Out:
Then we tried to see if we could taste a difference between the two. I think “we” could taste a difference in the mashed potatoes and pudding, a little bit in the ravioli and not at all in the beer. And I say “we” because those are technically just Chris’ findings; I agreed with everything he said each round because at that point I would have told him I tasted Fascist unicorn feces it meant I could stop eating food and go to bed.
Finally, we were done and I could stop eating and go to bed. And the clouds parted, trumpets played and angels wept, for it was the happiest moment of them all. And then Chris left the next morning and we never talked about The Investigation again.
Sooooo, that’s what happened during our first “2 Birds Investigates”. Final summation: MSG—It maybe makes your food taste better, I guess?
Yep. Washington D.C.’s #1 blog. You’re welcome.