Illustrious. Roast.

A few weeks ago, I solicited my Facebook fans for one noun, adjective, or verb. Thanks to Jennifer Grant and Jane McDaniel, I received two words: illustrious and roast, respectively. Undeniably an adjective, illustrious was easy. However, roast can easily pull double duty as noun or verb. Though for me, roasting conjures images of my car, baking in the Florida sun, and me, nearly suffocating after entering said sweltering car. So, I tend to think of roast as an action word. But I'm a writer. Is it not my duty to use "roast" as both noun and verb? Read on for the result.

      It all started with a simple pork butt, guaranteed to fall apart in my Crock-Pot. I'm no Rachael Ray, but my roast is pretty illustrious--at least in my two-person household. Plus, it feeds us for about a week. And since, outside of my roast, I'm pretty much allergic to cooking, a leftover-stuffed fridge is a very good thing.

      I entered the kitchen with my grocery bag of tricks, and after stowing my purchases, I snatched the Crock-Pot from its vacation hideaway and rolled up my sleeves to rinse the beautiful butt. A few minutes later, the pork wore a fine coating of sea salt and pepper and was ready to be laid to roast in the Crock-Pot, bathed in vegetable broth, splashed with a touch of olive oil, and crowned with a few rosemary sprigs. There was just one problem. I had forgotten the rosemary.

      With most things cooking-related, I would've ignored it. But with my roast, the rosemary flavors the meat to perfection. So, another trip to the store was in order.

      Since the Florida sun turns cars into human-roasting ovens in less than five seconds, I parked under the shade of an old linden tree. Rosemary in hand, I dashed out of the store in record time. I even managed to grab a bottle of wine to pair with dinner. I was just about to unlock my car when I heard the buzzing.

      A bee whirred by my head. Startled, I dropped my keys. As I kneeled to recover them, I looked up. There was a massive, throbbing nest on one of the linden tree's limbs, and more bees were breaking free. I felt a sting. And another one. And another. Bees attacked mercilessly until I managed to unlock the car and pry open the nearest door while simultaneously swatting the swarm away long enough to hurl myself inside.

      By the time I realized I was in the back seat, I couldn't feel my hands. By the time I fumbled my way to the driver's seat, I couldn't feel my tongue. Was it a good idea to drive? Probably not. But my house was only five minutes away, and a double dose of Benadryl sounded better than winning the lottery.

      Grocery bag looped onto an ever-expanding elbow crease, I staggered to the medicine cabinet. The thongs of my flip-flops threatened to dissect my watermelon-sized feet. My hands were no better, which made opening the box of Benadryl a similar feat to solving a Rubik's Cube while wearing mittens. Somehow, my Hamburger Helper hands dislodged two pills and slapped them into my mouth, where I battled my swollen tongue to choke them down.

      Despite my Stay Puft state, I was determined to at least get a roast out of this ordeal. So, I stammered into the kitchen and wrestled the groceries off my arm. I ripped into the thin produce bag, clawing at rosemary until I had a few sprigs in my marshmallow-like fingers, and then I dumped them into the Crock-Pot, covered it and twisted the knob to "Low." Then I passed out.

     When I came to, I was on my back on the kitchen floor and soaked in red wine. A broken bottle was two inches from my face. Apparently, it had rolled off the countertop after I hit the ground. Thankfully, I had not been cut. Better yet, except for bazillions of inflamed bee stings, I had shrunk back to normal size. Even better still, my husband would be home from work soon, and the roast smelled like heaven.