Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bringin' Home Da' Bacon: The New Hunter/Food Gatherer

Me and my Homies on a typical day Bringing Home the Bacon.
The thought of our ancient cousins hunting animals and gathering food in order to survive is subconsciously ingrained in our mind's eye. It must have been rough.

Yet, for us guys, it must have defined our manhood. The ladies stayed home, wove blankets, nursed the kids and cooked. A neat division of labor which worked well until women decided they were sick of it and went to work.

As a kid, I grew up with the concept that it was the man's job to "bring home the bacon" or the frijoles in the barrio. The hunting and gathering had now metamorphosed into getting a job and a paycheck and bringing it home to the old lady. I did a pretty good job at this for most of my life. My wife never worked and I brought home my paycheck while she paid all the bills, shopped for groceries and did all the cooking.

Now that she is ill, and I am retired, the roles have reversed. My retirement check still brings home the bacon in a sense and I have figured out how to retain my machismo (manhood) as Hunter/Food Gatherer. Now, I hunt for bargains in the stores, check out the sales, and gather the food for our dwelling.

I hunt for milk, coffee, eggs, bread and meat at Grocery Outlet, Costco,the 99 Cents Store, Food 4 Less, and Safeway. I gather fruits and vegetables from the Farmer's Markets and neighbor's fruit trees whose branches lean over the fence to my side of the yard. I gather tomatoes and chiles from the scant plants in my back yard, offering them to my mate.

I hunt for space in the Refrig to gather the fruits and vegetables into. I separate the meats from the hunt, ribs, hamburger and wieners (sometimes New York Steaks when they're on sale!) into Ziplock bags and gather them into the freezer. It is I who hunts for pots and pans with which to prepare the meals.

I gather bleach, fabric softener and detergent, to wash clothes with. I hunt for mismatched socks after the dryer ends it cycle. Does anybody know where socks go to? I have a dozen without mates.

As the sun sets, I lift my spear skyward. I am still da man: Bringin' home da' bacon (and chorizo too!)

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