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Friday, July 13, 2012

So a Woman Walks into a Bar with A Ham Under Her Arm...


“So I’m wondering what you’d do with a bone-in ham,” she says.

I squint at her.  “Why?  What’d you hear?”

Tamra leans back in her chair, gives me a look from across the top of her desk, a work-appropriate mixture of acceptance and sorrow.  She shakes her head at me.  “I know things are a little tough for you right now…”

I continue to squint.  “And you just so happen to have a spare ham?”

She smiles.  “Actually, yes.”

“On you?”

“Yes.”

"You brought it to work."

She nods.  

We stare at each other.

She breaks first.

“Someone gave it to Phil and I for Easter.  Apparently they haven’t noticed that I’m a vegetarian.  On top of that I’m watching Phil’s sodium intake even if he won’t, so we have no need for a ham.  It’s frozen solid.  You want it?”

Do I want a free ham?

Why I oughta…

And so there I was, yesterday afternoon, waiting for the bus, the temperatures in the 90s, an ice-cold and rock-hard pig rear cradled in my arms.

Not that anyone noticed.

Desperately trying to appreciate summer, the shortest and sweetest of Minnesota seasons, my fellow Minneapolitans and I struggle against the hot, humid wind, smiling at each other in that “well, what’re ya gonna do?” way we have.  All around me, men mop their foreheads with handkerchiefs while women hold their skirts flat against the assailing winds.  Meanwhile, my hair, long known for its ability to foretell the weather -- and no doubt in cahoots with the young woman standing next to me with the pink dreads -- leaps energetically toward the sky, divides into clumps, then plasters itself against my sweaty forehead, neck, and arms.

The bus arrives and we queue up.

And I board, safe in the knowledge that not only did someone have a ham but when they thought of giving it away they thought of me.

And that I am almost certainly the only one on the bus with a frozen ham in my lap.

Not too shabby for a Thursday.


Have a good weekend everyone!  Come back tomorrow!

36 comments:

R. Jacob said...

mmmm ham off the bone with tomato soup!

off to the kitchen...

Shelly said...

And since the ham was frozen, it provided a nice little pocket of cool for you on a hot day. Hmm. May need to try carrying a frozen ham around myself...

joeh said...

good with green eggs.

fmcgmccllc said...

I like it, can you keep it frozen for awhile or are you gonna have to heat the oven in the summertime?

Meeling said...

I think a frozen ham shall overtake the personal fan for cooling oneself. ;-)

bill lisleman said...

frozen ham holding - the latest summer tip from the Pearl of tips. stay cool.

Pearl said...

:-) It was like my own little secret, holding that frozen bit of loveliness. Refreshing and nutritious...

Joanne said...

I'm sure you have neglected to mention how serenely you smiled at all about you as you held the frozen bit of loveliness. I can see it.

TexWisGirl said...

awesome! and now i want scrambled eggs with bits of ham mixed in. and a ham and cheese pizza. and split pea soup w/ ham (oops, too hot for that one).

Amy said...

And this is how only you can make a pig butt so charming and heartwarming, Pearle!
Have you considered or tried to get your blog sponsored?

terlee said...

How cool..!! (Okay, okay, I just couldn't stop myself)

But really, what a wonderful and thoughtful co-worker, and just think of all different meals you can get out of a ham--especially a bone-in ham!!

The Six-Fingered Monkey said...

Awesome. God, I love ham.

esbboston said...

If she would have given you an over the shoulder boulder holder and some sausage links, the green stuff for a salad, throw in a dress also, well, this could have been an a-bra, ham, links, got an iceberg lettuce, add a dress story.

Yes, I have scraped too much paint today, OR maybe it was the vacuuming(?)

Fumes.

Chantel said...

This would only have been better if it'd been bacon. But any pig part will do.

God bless pig, and God bless Pearl.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Hey that pig will keep you cool then feed you, it's like MAGIC! The hair sticking to the forehead thing though, I'm not missing THAT this summer. :)

Eva Gallant said...

I see baked ham with pineappple and raisen sauce; ham sandwiches; yum!

Lynn said...

Yes - you are probably the only one walking around with a ham. :) So nice of your friend!

jenny_o said...

Ham is so versatile. Even so, never would I have thought to use one as a heat shield :)

Nice of your co-worker to think of you. That's worth at least as much as the ham itself (as you already noted).

Ms Sparrow said...

Nice ham sandwiches for weeks to come. And when you get down to the bone, you can make a pot of bean soup. (Let me know if you need a pot!)

Laraine Eddington said...

Only a true friend passes on a ham, the gift that keeps on giving.

Stephen Hayes said...

I love the image of you riding on the bus with a pig's rear. Really funny, and mouth-watering at the same time.

River said...

What a lovely gesture from your co-worker! I love ham. There's nothing quite like a ham sandwich with the ham thickly sliced fresh off the bone! It doesn't even need any additions like cheese or tomato...just the ham on fresh bread with real butter.

Gigi said...

What an angel you have for a co-worker! I'm trying to envision if one of mine would ever give me a ham.....ummm, nope!

Mom of A and a said...

I think you're hamming this story! :P

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Boom Boom Larew said...

And given the typical Minnesota summer, was the ham already thawed by the time you reached home? For that matter, was it cooked by the time you reached home?

Indigo Roth said...

Ooooh, ham. Sorry, totally lost my train of thought...

Susan in the Boonies said...

I want to give you a ham.

I do!!!

Ian Lidster said...

And when you have finished the ham you can use the bone and leftover meat for excellent split-pea soup. My favorite. Hint: add a tiny bit of maple syrup to your soup, it's a French-Canadian thing.

Jayne Martin said...

You have the most finely-tuned cerebral receptacle when it comes to finding stuff to write about. Nora Ephron's mother told her "Everything is copy." You personify that. And you make it look effortless. I think I hate you just the teeniest bit. ;)

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

I hope it was a BIG frozen ham, so you could stay cool all the way home, have roast ham for dinner, have a second roast ham dinner, ham, feed guests for lunch, lunch, sandwiches, split-pea soup and midnight snacks too. Nothing like a good ham on a hot day. Goes well with cold potato salad. What's not to like? ":) ans. It's gone WAY too soon.

NellieVaughn said...

No one has ever given me a ham, although a priest tried to, he really did, last year around Christmas. He thought I was homeless. Strangers always think I am homeless.

Pat said...

I hope it travelled well.

chlost said...

Yes, I believe that only we Minnesotans would either 1) Not notice that a woman on the bus is carrying a frozen ham in her lap on a hot July afternoon; or 2) Ignore the fact that a woman on the bus is carrying a frozen ham in her lap on a hot July afternoon; or even 3) steal the frozen ham from the woman on the bus who is carrying that frozen ham on her lap on a hot July afternoon; or, best of all 4) would give a frozen ham to a woman who rides the bus to carry home on her lap on a hot July afternoon.

Really. Dontcha just LOVE living in Minnesota?

Linda O'Connell said...

Pig butt on my lap...can't stop laughing. One November I went to a Bingo with a group of women. Everyone won cash. I won too. At the end of the night they announced that the person sitting to the left of the last winner would win...a frozen turkey.

Jocelyn said...

There is no quicker way into the depths of my heart than to gift me with meat.

But to do so on a hot day and then let me CARRY THE FROZEN THING HOME THROUGH THE HEAT?

That's a straight-out proposal.