Do Not Eat The Shoes

I bought a bottle of aspirin today and peeled back the paper cover to open it. When I did so, I found one of those little silica gel packets with the “do not eat” warning.

Why is this necessary? Who is stupid enough to actually pop one of these in their mouth?!

I guess I kind of, sort of, in the remotest sense possible get it in this case, since aspirin is something you swallow. Ergo, you might possibly (if you were really ignorant) be inclined to ingest the silica gel. What I don’t understand is why those same packets say “do not eat” when you’re buying a pair of shoes. There’s no chance those things are going anywhere near your mouth in the first place. (I hope). And speaking of pairs, a pair of shoes makes sense. So does a pair of socks and a nice pair of tatas. But why do we call it a pair of pants? There are two leg holes, sure – but technically it’s only one pant.

I hate it when I think too much.

Ever wonder what would happen if you did eat that packet of silica gel? I did, and so I “Googled that shit” (to borrow Tara’s favorite phrase). The good news: it would take 58,800 packets of the stuff to absorb all the moisture from a human being weighing 210 pounds, so it’s not like the stuff would kill you. But it would still be an unpleasant experience: the silica gel acts as a desiccant, so the moment you swallowed the stuff all the moisture on your tongue, the sides and roof of your mouth, and your gums would be whisked away, and your instinct would be to spit it out. If you did end up swallowing it, you’d experience dry eyes; an irritated throat; aggravated and dry mucus membranes; and an upset stomach. I can think of better ways to treat my body, so I think I’ll continue to heed the warning, unnecessary as it is.

I bet you learned something today.

You’re welcome.

So today is Father’s Day, which means another opportunity to fail miserably in the ongoing Card War with my brother. Remember how he always one-ups me on birthdays? In that last post I mentioned how my lame card wouldn’t compete with whatever he picked out for my mom. My only hope in emerging victorious lay in the slim chance that Scott might have forgotten my mom’s birthday completely. Though this would have made my mom sad, I was really hoping this would be the case, but a day later she called me – sure enough – raving about the beautiful card my brother had sent. I even have a picture of the damn thing.

Scott’s latest volley in the ongoing Card Wars.

As usual, the card is sweet and sentimental. But that’s not even the worst part: check out that handwritten message on the envelope. He even drew a picture of a present wrapped in ribbon and a bow. Man alive, I don’t stand a chance against schmaltz of that sort!

However, as of last night – Tara and I went over for dinner – my dad had not yet received a card from my brother. And today is Sunday, which means he’s late!!! YESSS!!!

I win I win I win I win I WINIWINIWINIWINIWIN!!!!!!!!!!

Err. Yeah.

Anyway. We were over there for dinner last night because my mom’s best friend from childhood, Linda, is in town with her husband Joe for a brief visit, staying in my parents’ guest room. Being an Air Force brat and constantly moving, I don’t have any friends from childhood that I’m still in touch with, so I’m always impressed (and a little envious) of my mom and Linda. Adding to the interesting dynamic is the fact that Joe was my mom’s senior prom date, and Linda only met him because of her. Lucky for all of us they didn’t hit it off romantically (though they get along just fine and dandy these days). It’s all very strange and cool. My mom made stuffed cabbage rolls (hello, Polish heritage!) and we sat around the dinner table talking for hours afterward, until the shadows had lengthened sufficiently to remind us it was time to go home. On the way out Linda said to me, “I really like Tara,” which made me feel all sorts of good. And then Tara told me she really felt like a part of the family after the visit. I was pleased by how wonderfully everybody got along, even if much of the conversation did revolve around my lack of housecleaning ability. I took it all in stride, though – I tend to have a self-deprecating streak anyway. And besides, Linda was also mocking Joe, so there was sort of a brothers-in-arms type of unspoken solidarity happening there between us.

I hope to hang out again with them soon. They’re good people.

And I can’t help but marvel over how proud I am to “show off” my girlfriend. She’s probably the first person I’ve ever been with whom I knew without a shadow of doubt would impress family and friends without even really trying. I don’t mean to knock any of my exes (especially since they might be reading), but I never felt so incredibly comfortable and at ease introducing anybody I dated before like I do with her. Tara is warm and sweet and funny and sane (the importance of this last point cannot be overstated), and people take to her like flies to shit.

I’m so romantical, huh?


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

18 thoughts on “Do Not Eat The Shoes

  1. Those silica packets are taking over the world!! I’m glad you listed the symptons if one were to swallow it. I’m just glad my symptons were mild.

    Congrats on winning…lol

    Go Tara!! And yes, you are romantical. (Is that even a word?)

    I kid, I kid about the silica…;)


    1. The silica does sort of resemble little pearls of barley. One might accidentally throw them in a soup. Of course, if that happened, there’d be no broth left…

      I don’t know if romantical is a word, but I like it!


  2. Mark, this post cracked me up because about three years ago I wrote a post about those damn silica packets!

    “Why is this necessary? Who is stupid enough to actually pop one of these in their mouth?!”

    My sentiments exactly!

    We get those things in boxes that are delivered to my workplace, and the first thing I say when I spot one is, “Oh, thank god they warned me because I was just getting ready to EAT one!”

    And may I chime in with Tara’s comment and say, “Congrats on winning!!!!!”

    Sounds like you and Tara had a great time at your folks house.

    “Tara is warm and sweet and funny and sane (the importance of this last point cannot be overstated), and people take to her like flies to shit.”

    Bwhahahahahahahaha! Yes, you are soooooo romantical!


  3. You are very, very romantical ‘n shit. One of the many reasons why I love you so much!

    I had a great time visit you parents, Joe, and Linda. They really are good people. Would love to hang out with them again when we plan our trip to Jersey. 😉


    1. Thanks, my dear. You bring out the best in me! A trip to New Jersey would be fun. Just a passing thought this morning, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea! Hmm…


  4. This silica stuff is exactly the info I was looking for today. In fact, I woke up this morning with that very querry–what would happen if I swallowed this shit? Now–the real question, for you? How could you use that to make a great card? Happy Father’s Day, my friend.


  5. The sad part is they probably had to write on it because someone did in fact eat one, and sued them or something. Its like getting coffee with the warning saying “coffee is hot”

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    What does Geronimo say when he jumps out of a plane?

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    Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

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    How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work?


  6. Did your brother one-up you on Father’s Day by hand delivering a card & cake to your Dad or was he truly late for the first time? Nice story – I love cabbage rolls!


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