My spouse has decided to invest some free time each day into a new television series called Chicago Med. The very few random times I’m actually home for a meal also happen to line up perfectly with Robert’s intake of another episode. My life is such (and always has been) that mealtimes are wildly inconsistent – it’s a major source of my weight issues, I’m certain – but no matter the time, lately when I sit down to eat; be it noon, 3 p.m., 10 p.m., or 2 a.m., Chicago Med comes onscreen.

Although I’m not invested in the show’s characters or any sort of ongoing themes, this highly graphic hospital emergency room drama has made me keenly self-aware about one thing : I eat a lot of red stuff. It never fails that just as I finally sit down in my comfy spot in the living room (where I like to eat when it’s not an organized “around the table” sort of occasion) about to bite into some yummy marinara sauce or a chunky bit of salsa, one of the doctors on this show decides it’s time to slice open somebody’s abdomen, spilling a bloody mix of bodily fluids all over the ER floor. I kid you not. EVERY TIME!

While I find the visual similarity of these riveting scenes to my plate quite disturbing; the real clincher for me is the splooshing, splatting sound effects that serve as an underscore. I can avert my eyes, but these keen musician ears miss nothing! Robert finds my reactions highly entertaining. They range anywhere from colorful expletives to unintelligible outbursts like “GAAAHHH!” or “BLEAH!!!” after which he chortles from his recliner and proceeds to accurately repeat the offending sound effect with his voice. I swear he missed his true calling as a Foley artist!

Sometimes, I peripherally glimpse him grabbing up the remote as my famished self stands before the open refrigerator, weighing my options. On these occasions, I attempt to employ a clichéd ounce of prevention by choosing something not red, but perhaps more cheesy, cream-based, or even a few green veggies. Inevitably, the all-powerful and mysterious television gods counter my clever self-defence move by switching up the storyline to involve less invasive procedures but something equally splooshy like projectile vomit which, of course still miraculously manages to match the color and texture of that day’s carefully selected entrée. I’m like: “Really??? How do they know?!?”

So, now that we are basically empty nesters, mealtime at our house no longer sounds like an endless stream of “do I have to eat this???” – type comments. Now it’s just: Sploosh! Splat! “Holy mother of…. Gaaahhhh! Noooo!” Chortle chortle chortle…”Sploooosh! Splllaaaaat!” “Oh just stop it!” Chortle chortle chortle…

So, who wants to come over for supper tonight?