Multitasking, a particularly female talent.

Recently, someone asked me if I could multitask and if so, how do I do it. This is my version of that talent known mostly to women.

Just this morning, while trying to read an article I’d printed out about taking my books to audible format, I put two slices of bacon in a cast iron pan, turned on the heat to medium to start it cooking. I read the first, enlightening paragraph of that printout, then realized I still hadn’t had my first cup of wake-up juice. I sped to the coffee maker, added water to the back portion, checked the bacon and adjusted the heat so it wouldn’t burn. Then I lifted the little K-cup trap door, put the coffee pod into the right place, pressed the button to start it brewing, and got out the bread to make toast. I turned the bacon, picked up the paper to read another paragraph, whipped around and just in time, set a coffee mug under the Keurig machine’s little spout so the coffee wouldn’t run all over the place. As usual, I’d forgotten to dump the drip tray for about six weeks. Somehow, I inadvertently laid the paper I needed to read into a puddle of water, which smeared the print a bit leaving me wondering if that line was supposed to be under the Do column or the Don’t column.

I turned the bacon again because I like it crisp, which means I need to turn it often and make sure I don’t scorch it because if I do, I have to stand under the smoke detector waving a tea towel to dissipate the smoke. I picked up my mug of coffee, sipped, burned my tongue and, still reading, went to the fridge for the eggs I’d forgotten when I got out the bread and the bacon. Noticed I’d dribbled something unknown onto the bottom shelf. Got a piece of paper towel wet and wiped up the “whatever-the-hell-it-was” and turned the bacon again with my left hand while answering the phone with my right to tell my daughter I was up, awake, and yes, of course she could drop in before going to work and offered her breakfast which she refused. Whew! I’d willingly have shared my breakfast with her, if only I could persuade her to read that information to me. Audibly.

I read a paragraph or two, then smelled the bacon, and quickly turned each piece over again. Returned to where I’d left the page I was reading, stepped in something sticky on the floor in front of the sink, wondered “whatever-the-hell-that-was”, got more wet paper towel and cleaned that up, too, while considering telling my financial advisor to buy shares in Kimberly Clark. I cracked the eggs into a bowl, sipped coffee which had cooled to a decent temperature, answered the phone, listened to the scammer claiming to be from Amazon reporting that my Amazon Wallet had been compromised. I was stupid enough to interrupt a recorded voice just to say, “I don’t have an Amazon Wallet, so there!” Stupid and futile or not, it gave me momentary satisfaction. Widowhood leaves little chance to yell at anyone.

I turned the bacon for about the tenth time, declared it perfect and laid it on–naturally–a piece of paper towel to blot up residual fat. Patted both sides carefully then placed them artfully on a plate and turned the oven on to its lowest setting, and set the bacon inside. I wiped out the pan, put it onto an unused burner to cool a little while I whipped the eggs. (Cast iron pans retain their heat but I love them anyway.) I added a trickle of cold water to the eggs and beat them with a little whisk to make them fluffy then remembered I wanted toast. Rats!

With the bread in the toaster, I continued to ponder the words the pool of water had blurred, considered going to the printer and running off another copy, but by then the pan was cool enough so I poured the eggs into it, set it back on the warm burner and began stirring gently so they’d congeal evenly. I drank more coffee. I stirred the eggs because I was making scrambled, not omelet, added salt & pepper, dashed outside for some chives and parsley. One of the neighbors stared at me, jaw agape, then closed his mouth and whistled. What a wolf! Well, to be fair, he did have a dog with him, so maybe that’s why he whistled. I mean, I was on a second-floor balcony, so there’s a chance he didn’t even see me. I think.

I ran back inside. The toast popped, startling me so I spilled the last half of my coffee across the counter as well as that all-important information regarding turning a series of books into audible gems. Cussing, I buttered the toast then put it in the oven with the bacon before I used my five-bladed scissors and snipped the herbs into the eggs which were now nicely almost congealed. I turned off the heat under them, tossed a small handful of shredded cheddar on top, put a lid on the pan, wiped up the spilled coffee with the printout and more paper towel–of course, then set the K-machine to make me a new cup.

Called my daughter back and asked her to bring some burn ointment with her.

Then I got dressed.

Note: Naked women should never fry bacon.

Note: Nor should they rush outside for fresh herbs because there are always fresh neighbors who have dogs, and who whistle at them, making an old, indecently clad lady wish the whistle hadn’t been aimed at a German Shepherd instead of a Canadian Novelist. I mean, we’re a fairly rare breed and need much more attention than we normally get.