My weightlifting regimen has a nutritional component that includes a schedule of six little meals a day instead of three larger. I was skeptical of the plan at first, but have found that I'm not only looking better but feeling better.
The second meal of the day is a bowl of organic oatmeal with plain yogurt at about 10 a.m. Nothing could be simpler, of course. I just whip it up in the office microwave and eat it at my desk.
This requires a supply of oatmeal on hand at the office, so yesterday I stowed a new, sealed cannister in my messenger bag along with the rest of my daily necessities: phone, iPod, sketchbook, pens, The Man of Property, and the christening shawl.
I was late in leaving the house. I knew that unless I picked up the pace, I'd miss my train. I ran three blocks, into the station, through the turnstile, and up the stairs to the platform. I caught the train with mere seconds to spare, and collapsed on an empty seat.
My jangled brain took a stop-and-a-half to refocus. Finally, I remembered that I need spend my commute time knitting in order to keep the shawl on schedule. I reached into my bag, unaware that my impromptu 400 meter dash had caused the contents to blend.
I whipped the shawl out, gave it a good snap to settle the stitches, and POOF...oatmeal flakes. In profusion. Everywhere. Up to the ceiling of the car, across the aisle, into the hair of those sitting around me. As though Quaker had set off a dirty bomb on the CTA.
What does one say in this situation? Nowhere, in any of my etiquette books, is there a suggestion about what to do when one's lace knitting covers one's fellow passengers with oatmeal. Even Emily Post, who dwelt at length on such vital matters as coping without your personal maid while camping, is mum on this topic.
I'm afraid the best I could muster was a feeble apology, which was graciously accepted by everybody-except the fellow who slept through the whole thing.
I can only imagine what he must have thought when he woke up to find himself dusted with oats.