When the last installment of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower came out, I snapped it up, read the first chapter, and then put it aside. It had been over twenty years since I had read the first installment, The Gunslinger, and although my knack for remembering minute and useless details rarely fails me, I needed to refresh my memory on the storyline (particularly the characters’ names) before I could proceed. I “skimmed” through each of the six tomes, sometimes speeding through, sometimes slowing down and savoring, before I (strapped on a back support belt and) picked up the last book. It was complicated. It was exciting. It was fraught with lip-biting suspense. Literally. I had kicked the habit (that my mother and sister share) of biting my lips or the inside of my cheek when I was anxious about or concentrating really hard on something but a week of Stephen King destroyed my lips and cheeks in one fell swoop. By the time I finished the book (SO satisfying), my mouth was a mess. I shelved the book and, in time, my skin healed and I could eat a bag of Tostitos’ Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips again without writhing in agony.
Last night, I was mid-way through A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) by George R.R. Martin when I tasted the familiar tang of metal in my mouth. During the first bajillion chapters, I had been surreptitiously nibbling on my lips and tried to blame their ragged appearance on the dry air while passing them off a merely “chapped”; the spurt of blood from inside my cheek denounced me as a liar. I don’t want to put the book aside (especially since I’m trying to complete this novel quickly so I can bring the next one with me to the beach next week) but I don’t know if I can stop myself from ravaging my mouth unless I come up with some solution. Perhaps I’ll treat myself to a bit from Gucci. Perhaps I’ll keep a steady stream of snacks stuffed in my mouth (I have since withdrawn my cravings for lime tortilla chips and pledged my allegiance to Tostitos’ Scoops! but they are no kinder to my mouth than their predecessor was). Maybe I can get a prescription for the common ailment, Stephen King Mouth. Dr. Clo! Help a sistah out!
Recipe for Salsa
2 14.5 oz cans STEWED (note all caps b/c seriously, it makes a diff) tomatoes
3/4 cup spring onions, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp salt
2 jalapeno peppers or 1-2 habanero peppers (if you want it hot)
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Dump all ingredients into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until desired consistency or use your handy dandy immersion blender and a plastic pitcher and do the same. Serve with above-mentioned Scoops!.