Caught Red-Handed


This is a cautionary tale for all you men out there.

When you have a particularly bountiful crop, you can spends much of August and September storing and preserving vegetables. If you’re lucky enough to have a good friend to keep you company, the chore can actually be quite pleasant. But one year we had a harvest my husband Ted will never forget.

Our daughter-in-law Valerie had put a lot of peppers into the trial garden that summer, and her experiments were a bit too successful. We gave peppers away to customers and friends, and still had two huge baskets full of them.

Ted said, “Lois, why don’t you chop them up and freeze? I’ll help you.”

We turned on the CBC and set to work, chopping and chatting away. I noticed my hands were feeling hot. I thought, “Oh, for heaven’s sake, we’ve got some hot peppers mixed in.” I wasn’t too worried, since I was sure that we hadn’t picked any really hot peppers like jalapenos and habaneros. Still, my hands were beginning to feel like they were on fire. I asked Ted, “Are your hands hot?”

“No,” he shrugged.

We kept chopping and chopping, and from time to time, I’d run to the tap to cool my fingers. I kept asking, “Ted, are you sure your hands aren’t hot? Because mine are really getting painful.”

“No, no,” he said.

Finally, just as we were getting to the end, Ted excused himself. Maybe he should have thought to wash his hands first.

A minute later, I heard this mournful wail from the bathroom: “LO-O-O-ISSSS!” I guess his hands had been hot after all!

He walked very gingerly for the rest of the day.

-Lois Hole, I'll Never Marry A Farmer