A Tale of Two Fishes, Shavasana and Charred Parsnip

After a lady in my writing group remarked how much she enjoyed the book she was reading because it was so hilarious, and that there are not enough funny stories shared in the world, I was inspired to share one of my own.  I’m no comedian but this tale from a few weeks ago was truly a comedy of errors!

Ever since I was pregnant with my second child, I have had yoga classes once a week.  After baby number two and three, I usually had a few months off but then I was straight back into it.  Wednesday is the one night of the week when my husband is always home before six o’clock so I can have my hour and fifteen minutes of exercise, meditation and child-free bliss.

Usually I have dinner done or ready to go before my husband arrives home.  As our butcher gets fresh fish in on a Wednesday, that is what has been on the menu most yoga nights.  The fish is either in the fridge or on the bench ready to be cooked, the homemade chunky chips are nearly perfect in the oven, and the carrots and greens are set to be steamed on the stovetop.

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On yoga days I finish my work day as a teacher, meet up with my boys, who attend the same school, and they begrudgingly tag along with me to the butcher to buy some fish before picking up their sister and continuing home.  I always have to buy two types of fish as half of our family love salmon (which I believe to be an excellent, regular healthy option), and the others want some other sort of fish, because why would everyone ever want to eat the same thing???  I bought three pieces of salmon and two barramundi fillets and popped the bag on the car passenger seat.  On this day, as my children and I alighted from the car, we had to lug the usual loot inside –  so many things: schoolbags, guitars, kinder bag, my handbag, work bag and shoes and socks that had been thrown off.  Did I forget something?

I pottered around the kitchen, cut the potato, parsnip and pumpkin and popped them in the heating oven, and chopped the greens and placed them in the steamer on the stovetop ready to go.  The boys were preoccupied with building something in the playroom and my daughter wanted me to read her books in her room. I happily did that in the fifteen minutes before I had to squeeze into my yoga outfit and run out the door as my husband walked in.

‘Fish in the fridge, chips in the oven, veggies on the stove.  Love you!” I relayed breathlessly before jumping in the car.  Ten minutes later I basked in the quiet of the low-lit yoga room with the background hum of thrumming music and choral voices, and my teacher’s lovely, calming voice instructing us to remember to breathe as we lunged into the warrior pose.

Twenty minutes later as we lay on the mat in shavasana, my mind started wandering, Did I put the fish in the fridge?  I shook off the thought.  I absolutely brought it into the house when we got home.  Of course I put it in the fridge.

When we lay down for the final meditation, unusually I found myself grimacing. Did I put the fish in the fridge? Oh my gosh, what if I didn’t?  I envisioned my husband pacing the kitchen searching for the fish and my children wailing how hungry they were (as they often do even when they have just had a snack).  Oh no. . .

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I’ve never rolled up my yoga mat so quickly at the end of the class.  As I jumped into the car and the smell overwhelmed me, I cursed myself as it was confirmed that I had indeed left the fish in the car!  I tried to keep my cool as I drove home and raced inside with the bag of fish and a very apologetic, “I’m so sorry!”.

Strangely, it was peacefully quiet inside.  The boys were still caught up in whatever they were doing and my husband emerged from my daughter’s room – not upset, not consoling wailing starved children.  He’d just been reading her books too.

“I’ve got the fish! I left it in the car!”

My husband looked somewhat relieved.  At an earlier date, he’d done a ‘boy look’ and had waited until I returned from yoga to point out where the fish was plainly visible in the fridge.  He thought the same thing had happened this time and was waiting for me to come home and tell him where it was.

“What about the chips?” I asked.  As if on cue, one of the boys came in.

“It smells like something is burning in the kitchen.”

“Oh no!”

We collectively rushed to the living area.  The chips had been forgotten while they were all out of the room and were at best, super crunchy, inside and out, and the majority, particularly the parsnip, significantly charred.  What else could you do but laugh?

As we eventually sat down to some very nicely cooked fish, a woeful portion of chips, and some steamed veggies that had been topped up with frozen peas and beans from the freezer to round out our tummies, well, we all still had a good dinner.

Do you have a comedy of errors story like this?  Feel free to share in the comments. 🙂

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