Oh come, my friends, and listen to
My epic tale of woe!
A story of sad suffering
So many years ago!
Now, this is not the tale you know—
No boats or albatross—
Just fear and failure in the fridge,
And lots of pasta sauce!
The tale begins one autumn night.
The air outside was crisp,
The leaves were rustling on the ground,
Each cloud a silver wisp.
Inside the house, a father tried
To cook his family dinner.
He’d done it many times before,
So he was no beginner.
In fact, tonight was nothing new,
He knew they all would savor it.
His special chicken parmesan,
The hands-down family favorite!
He tossed a salad, toasted bread,
And coated all the chicken,
Then opened up the over door
And set the timer tickin’!
When everything was said and done,
And everyone was seated,
He served it up and, one by one,
They all began to eat it.
But just when they had sampled it—
With joy, he had no doubt—
The father’s face froze up in fright!
They spit it right back out!
“Oh, blecchhh!” said one kid in disgust,
“It tastes like Billy’s sneaker!”
“Does not!” yelled Billy angrily,
And hurled some at the speaker.
The father looked for help then,
From his ever-caring wife.
She said, “This is the grossest thing
I’ve tasted in my life!”
“What have you done?!” they bellowed
As their faces all turned green.
They gagged and retched, the saddest sight
His eyes had ever seen.
He swore that he had done it right,
The recipe was sound!
The kids then tried to feed it to
The eager Bassett Hound.
But even Droopers wouldn’t touch it—
How he shook and whined!
The father searched the garbage can
To see what he could find.
The chicken packet smelled okay,
Not old or rank or rotten.
The cheese was purchased just today,
So what had he forgotten?
The bread was fine, the lettuce fresh,
No spots on the tomater.
Just then he saw the jar of sauce
In the refrigerator.
Right there upon the label,
Just as small as small could be,
He saw the warning: “Best if used by
Oh woe! Oh drat! Oh deep despair!
Oh shoot! Oh crud! Oh heck!
How fresh the marinara was,
He hadn’t thought to check!
He popped the lid off, took a whiff,
And very nearly fainted!
It smelled like moldy macaroni!
Sour, spoiled, and tainted!
He hung his head and threw it out,
Prepared to take the blame.
He slumped down in his seat again,
And felt the weight of shame.
And though he won their hearts again,
And everyone forgave him,
It shouldn’t take three pizzas and
A cookie-cake to save him!
So when you plan your next big meal,
Take heed! Avoid this fate!
Cook carefully, and always check
The expiration date!