But the fridge is barren and it's nearly high noon.
Online supermarkets are lawless territories. They remind you of the wild west, or at least the spaghetti west, where knackered homesteaders are forever waiting around for stagecoaches.
The man with the van finally arrives. You try not to panic. You know something weird will ambush you from the grocery bags.
He tells you to have a good day. You are not fooled. You unpack gingerly.
You are no turnip. You know it will jump out and sneer at you like Jack Palance.
This time it's the rice.
You ordered rice. In a bag.
The man with a van has brought you vacuum-packed, half-cooked, microwavable rice. Not in a bag.
Though you are an old hand at Molvanian marketing, the label really takes the cake:
We understand that cooking rice can be a chore. That's why we have done all the hard work for you. Rice so good you will never need to cook it from scratch again. Microwavable in two minutes. Suitable for vegetarians.You mumble "suitable for idiots". Then you feel like an idiot. Luckily no one is watching, except maybe Jack Palance.
You lean against the counter and recall other hateful food impostors of note: low-fat yogurt, non-alcoholic beer, margarine, decaf anything.
You wonder: when did cooking bog standard rice become challenging? How do these rice-baffled people manage to spoon breakfast cereal into the correct location? How do they muster the energy to chew cake?
That beloved word triggers a vivid memory of every beautiful piece of cake you've ever met in every gin joint in this town. Chocolate cake. Coffee cake. Banana cake. Lemon cake. Carrot cake.
Then you realize with a start that you've let the microwave run far longer than two minutes. Now you have scorched crap rice all over your microwave.
You are a turnip. The food item gremlins - perhaps even the terrorists - have won.
Somewhere, Jack Palance is smiling.