The Great Sriracha Sauce Massacre

The Great Sriracha Sauce Massacre July 8, 2012


I was going to put this on my Facebook page, but then I realized that this true story is another way to show that Muslims are just like everyone else, only moreso.  We have the same challenges and issues as any other family, and sometimes those challenges can be, well, like this:

The Great Sriracha Sauce Massacre of 2012

It was a quiet afternoon in the Shehata household – too quiet, as it turned out. We had recently left the table where everyone had enjoyed a delicious meal of fish and rice. After the table had been cleared and the dishes washed, various family members scattered to rest or play. The mister went downstairs to organize his office. The missus and her oldest son headed for the computers. The other children busied themselves with toys. No one could foresee the disaster to come.

After a brief rest, the missus’ radar perked up. She hadn’t heard any noise from the youngest child, a busy two year old with a curious mind and an inventive way of getting into mischief. She looked up, cocked her head to listen, even sniffed the air. What was that smell? That sharp, pungent, spicy smell? Was that the smell of Sriracha sauce?

Just as she decided to go out to the kitchen to check the fridge, her daughter called out from the living room. “Mommy, Zaid made a mess!” A mess, huh? She hoped against hope that the mess was a small one, a few Cheerios on the floor or a some drops of milk to be cleaned from the rug. Warily, cautiously she made her way down the long hallway, finally stopping at the stairs, struck dumb by the scene before her.

Reddish-orange stains adorned the walls. Splashes and splatters marred the white paint and large droplets decorated the oak floors. Her eyes followed the trail across the rug, over to the eggplant-colored velour sofa, and back towards where she stood. She realized she had actually walked past some drips and noted that the trail continued back down the hall.

Years of watching fake TV technicians analyze fake blood-spatter evidence on CSI allowed her to take in the scene without fainting, and to piece together the puzzle of what had happened. Hmm, long oblong spatter with a trailing edge meant that the drops started here and moved that direction down the hall. The highest point of the drops was, not so shockingly, about two feet up, toddler level. The vast quantity of sauce meant that the bottle of Sriracha sauce was probably drained, dead, past revival, so she set out to find the “body”. From the living room she retraced her steps down the hall, poking her head into the boys’ bedroom. Yes, the perpetrator had been here. The crayon marks on the toybox were overlaid with orange drips. The mattress had a light sprinkling, the carpet a few small drops. Apparently the bottle had given up most of its life by the time it was brought into this room, but the corpse was still to be found. Sighing, the missus left the room and went to tell her oldest son what had happened, and was shocked and surprised to find in his room the empty bottle of Sriracha sauce. Evidently the toddler had left the bottle here in an attempt to frame his brother.

She cleared her voice. Her son looked up from his work on Minecraft and his gaze followed where she pointed. He mouthed a quiet “uh oh” as he realized the significance of the empty bottle, a bottle that had been more than half full at dinner less than an hour before. “Yeah, uh-oh” the missus repeated as she bent to pick up the bottle and strode towards the kitchen to make a big, big bucket of hot soapy water to clean up after the massacre.

On hands and knees she scrubbed the floor, the walls, the carpet, the mattress, the other carpet, the toybox, the other walls, the other floor, the cat for good measure, until the water was brownish red and the sponge was shredded. Oh, the humanity! Oh, the agony of the loss of the sauce. And all the while the perpetrator, the two-foot-tall wreaker of havoc, the little boy with the innocent face and the deadly aim, sat ensconced in his favorite beanbag chair – which had mysteriously escaped any damage – and ignored the chaos around him as he watched his favorite cartoon, not knowing or caring about the grief he had caused.

Just another day in the Shehata household.


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