August 2, 2014 – I decided this morning to tackle the first order of business on my to-do list: eat my weight in worms. In order to do this, I first needed to know how much I weigh. This sent me on an arduous journey to procure a scale. I know Mom has one, but she was out for the day, and Sugarplum, the adult feline, was manning the door to the house. Rather than get in a skirmish with a wannabe empress, I opted to try to build one of my own.
Waffles and Betty offered to help. First, we needed to find an object whose weight was certain. A pound of spaghetti immediately came to mind, but we couldn’t figure out if the pound referred to the pasta before or after it was cooked. Finally, we decided that a pound of flour must surely weigh 16 ounces and since Sawyer happened to have a bag set aside for baking, it was the clear choice.
Next, we needed something to hold the flour and yours truly. Waffles spotted a couple of dented hubcaps in the garage – perfect platforms to hold our weight. She also found a yellow bucket, a brown-handled net and an old pair of fishing waders, but opted to save those for her Halloween costume.
After more digging, we uncovered the handlebar to a small bike, a bamboo rod from last year’s tiki torch, and a green metal umbrella stand. We connected the pieces using Mom’s drill, a few screws, and a nut and bolt we borrowed from the lawnmower. (I need to remember to put it back before she cuts the grass!) A couple of chains and the hubcaps were hung from each end of the handlebar.
We stood back and admired our ingenuity. It was rough around the edges for sure, but by golly, we had us a bona fide system of weights and measures. We positioned our scale on the platform deck behind the house. Waffles and Betty carefully placed the pound of flour into the hubcap on the left. Immediately, that side of the handlebar lowered. Perfect. Next, we pushed a small step-ladder alongside the hubcap on the right. It was perched a good three feet off the landing.
“Wait, Hap!” Betty shouted as I started to climb the ladder. “Shouldn’t you be wearing your colander helmet?”
I thought about it for a second. It wasn’t a bad idea, but since I didn’t know how heavy the colander was, wearing it would surely throw off my calculations. No. If I wanted to know how much I weighed, I’d have to go at this without any safety precautions.
Waffles held down the side with the flour until I was ready. Gingerly, I stepped off the ladder and lowered myself into the waiting platform on the right. Betty moved the ladder away when I gave her the thumbs up. I took a deep breath and then nodded to Waffles to release the other side.
As soon as Waffles let go, the bag of flour shot into the air, up and over the handlebars. It exploded, covering the three of us in a puff of white batter. The hubcap I was in, crashed into the deck with a loud bang. I was ejected and unceremoniously dumped on the ground at Betty’s feet.
Waffles leaned down and offered her wing.
“Well, we know one thing for sure,” she said while I dusted myself off. “You weigh more than a pound!”
By then, my stomach had started to growl in discontent.
“I’m good with that,” I laughed. “Let’s eat!”
I knew for a fact that we hadn’t secured as many worms as I had pictured in my dreams, or even as many as could fit inside a bag of flour. But what we did nab, tasted great served over the fickle-weighted spaghetti we cooked up along with them. We shared the bounty with the entire flock, delivering it piping hot inside two extremely dented hubcaps.
I changed the first item on my to-do list, to: feast on worms with friends. Then I crossed it off; mission complete. I love it when a plan comes together.