Why I don't eat oatmeal.

The dog may have eaten your homework, but when I was a wee one, the dog ruined my chances of ever eating oatmeal again.

I have a stash of oatmeal in my cupboard. It's been there awhile. I know it's healthy, I know it's probably better than eating peanut butter toast every morning, so yesterday I gave it a shot. And immediately regretted the decision.

The first problem is that I'm a texture eater. If I don't like the way it feels, I'm not going to eat it. It's the reason I don't eat peaches, pears, applesauce or tapioca pudding. And oatmeal tops the list. Is it liquid? Is it solid? Why is it chunky, etc? I just can't do it.

The second problem was the dog, rest his soul.

So it was a school morning. I must have been in about, ohh, third- or fourth-grade. Mom was sick on the couch. The Sister and I were getting ready for school. (A side note: this was a time when oatmeal was a regular occurrence at the breakfast table). Suddenly, as if willed from God Himself, the dog began to wretch. And boy, did he wretch. And before I could say, "Please, God, don't let the dog vomit resemble oatmeal," the dog vomited. And it looked like oatmeal. A huge, tumbling, warm pile of oatmeal.

Did I tell you Mom was sick? Right. I did. So, Mom was sick. Obviously she doesn't want to clean up dog vomit. Sister? I don't know where she was. To this day I don't recall how I was voted to get on hands and knees, with an entire roll of paper towel, to scoop up oatmeal-glop dog vomit. And when I say entire roll of toilet paper, I mean it. I need as much of a cushion as possible between myself and the vile product that I clean up to be certain I can't feel one ounce of hot squish between my fingers. I gag just thinking about it.

Look at me. I'm gagging.

So back to the vomit. It looked like oatmeal. It was hot like oatmeal. It felt like oatmeal (from what I could feel between my hand and the 28 paper towels that protected me). And this might sound quite trivial. I now clean up cat vomit almost daily (not without the gag reflex, of course). But none of it ever looks like something I may ever put in my mouth to digest.

And now I can thank the dog, bless his heart, for my never eating oatmeal again. Ever. And yesterday, whatever that Quaker Blueberries and Cream business was, well, it's in the trash now. And it looks like a pile of dog vomit.