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If it’s Sunday, this must be spaghetti

If my pasta ever looked like this, it was at the Mueller's factory.

If my pasta ever looked like this, it was at the Mueller’s factory.

For some of you, it’s a Superbowl night and you’ll be teary eyed after watching the puppy and the Clydesdales in the Budweiser commercial, assuming you haven’t already seen it on Yahoo, Facebook or YouTube, and then–like me–you can forget about the game and find something else to watch while feasting on spaghetti.

If you’re old enough to see the hidden reference in the title of this blog, you’re probably too old to be surfing the net on a computer. By the way, very few people use the <g> symbol any more to show they’re grinning, so if you leave a comment with a <g> or a <vbg>, then you probably saw the 1969 film “It it’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium.” It starred Suzanne Pleshette who was hot in those days.

Here’s the thing about spaghetti.

When the sauce is home made even when the pasta isn’t, it (the whole shebang) tastes better the second day around like beef stew, pot roast and possibly haggis. Serving spaghetti on a low key Sunday when there’s time for the sauce to simmer a couple of hours in the Dutch oven while I play Angry Birds and Words with Friends, guarantees that I’ll have a passable meal tonight and a superb meal on the typical high-stress Monday when Hollywood, some insurance agent, and reporters are all trying to talk to me at the same time.

tuesdayIn real life–as opposed to my author’s fantasy life where I remember Suzanne saying, “Malcolm, at least we had Belgium”–I’ll be buying groceries. If I lose track of what day it is, all I have to do is notice the Hunt’s Tomato Sauce on the aisle to remind me, If it’s a Grocery Store, This Must be Monday. Like traveling tour groups who go to Belgium on Tuesdays, I tend to fall into a pattern of doing the same thing on this week’s days as I did on last week’s days.

A Writer’s Structure

That way, I don’t have to think about what I’m going and can get all the chores done on auto-pilot while I’m actually thinking about how the main character in my next novel is getting off the mountain without falling. (My wife always knows when I’m thinking about the novel-in-progress because I’m rather absent from the reality she perceives.)

While contemplating a sex scene in the novel I was working on, I was once interrupted on a Monday by somebody wearing a red apron. He asked me if I was lost.

“Yes,” said. “I can’t find the sluts.”
“They’re on aisle three next to the tomatoes,” he said, without missing a beat.



My sense of order tends to create disorder around me, so I try to control it by making spaghetti on Sunday, grocery shopping on Monday, reading review books on Tuesday (though seldom in Belgium), going to the pharmacy on Wednesday…well, you get the drift.

If this were an upscale scent-empowered blog, you’d be able smell the vine-ripened tomatoes transforming themselves into spaghetti sauce with judicious amounts of rosemary, oregano, and a random bunch of secret herbs and spices.


You’d also know–from the oregano alone–that as a contemporary fantasy writer who dabbles in magic (for artistic purposes), I tend to be superstitious: Hell’s bells, it’s Sunday and I accidentally made haggis. The week is doomed almost as surely as going to Belgium on a Thursday.

Well, haggis would doom the week no matter what day one made it. But, for purposes of magic and this blog, haggis is a never on Sunday kind of event.

Some of you who are imagining the tomato aroma are probably sitting there with 55-gallon drums of salsa and bathtubs full of chips thinking, “Hell, if it’s Super Bowl Night, it Must Be Sunday.” Okay, that works for today, but it’s not the kind of thinking that’s going to get you through next week, is it? It would be safer to say, “If The Good Wife is On, it Must be Sunday.” At least, you’d be right more than once a year.

I need more order than pacing my life with Super Bowl Sundays. Toilet bowl Saturday’s come around a lot more often and give a writer the kind of structure he needs to put up with “real life” while building fantasy words in for his books. If you’re not a writer, don’t try anything in this post at home.


SOF2014lowresMalcolm R. Campbell is the author of the comedy/mystery “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire,” some of which was written in a Kroger store while he was buying tomato sauce on aisle three.

  1. Lordy, Malcolm… I must not learn not to be in mid- sip when I read your posts! You are one funny man, and I love that in a person!

    February 2, 2014
    • Sipping while reading is always dangerous. Thanks, Rhett.


      February 2, 2014

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