Leave It To Cleaver - Part 2

And now the conclusion to Leave it to Cleaver, Part 2 - Enter the Dragon.

Fast forward two years and three moves later to just before I met my wife…online. To that point in time I used my shiny, stylish meat-cleaver exactly one time and made even fewer omelets. Needless to say my motivations in obtaining most of my kitchen décor had less to do with practicality than it did with giving off a certain impression, thus much of it went unused. In the lone incident involving the use of the meat cleaver, I became curious as to whether I could cut a baloney sandwich in one whack.

With sincere force, I slammed down on my Oscar Meyer special in much the same fashion a mountain man would when splitting logs for a fire. The results were less than thrilling as the cleaver inflicted more squishing than cutting, and nowhere near the clean slice of a cartoon cat’s tail. Since then the meat cleaver sat forgotten with the majority of its culinary cousins until being discovered by Ashley.

It’s funny how things come back full circle in life. I’d long since stopped employing eggs and cutlery to draw women to me, opting instead for the internet, which of course, led me to Ashley (or her to me). Now, I’m not saying that my neglected meat cleaver sealed the deal with her, but it sure helped, and without the aid of any omelet experiments either.

Upon discovering the cleaver’s existence, Ashley held it up to the light letting its reflection bring a sparkle to her eyes. “Ooooo, this is nice,” she said lowering it some so she could strum the blade with her thumb. “It’s sharp too.” She looked like a seven-year-old who had just found the cutest puppy in the pound. It was love at first site.

At first, I was glad to see that some of the junk I had accumulated was actually being put to use, and the dishes Ashley cooked up were way better than the years of Healthy Choice frozen entrées I had been used to eating (so as to not mess up my kitchen tools). In fact, it seemed I as if I was seeing that meat cleaver in every load of dishes I ran through washer, but then things just started getting weird.

One afternoon I came upstairs to find Ash making grilled cheese sandwiches, which in itself isn’t unusual, but the fact she used the meat cleaver to spread the butter on the outer layer raised an eyebrow.

“What?” she said noticing my reaction. “All the butter knives are in the dishwasher.”

The explanation was plausible enough, but when she started licking the excess butter from the large square portion of the blade, I decided to keep a quiet eye on the situation – a decision that proved to be most unnerving.

Over the course of the next several weeks I watched as Ashley used the cleaver - which at some point she named “Cuttey” – to flip pancakes and eggs, stir boiling spaghetti sauce and eat cereal. I remained silent however, reasoning that whatever she was thinking, at least “Cuttey” was limited to the preparation and consumption of food products, which still feel within the scope of its originally intended purpose, so what if it’s a bit unorthodox, it’s not hurting anyone. It’s when Ashley started to regularly use Cutt… I mean the meat cleaver for tasks outside of the kitchen like opening letters, hanging pictures and shaving her legs that I resolved to share my concern with her at the earliest opportunity.

That opportunity came several nights later when I found Ashley on the couch watching TV. Coming around the living room to join her I noticed she was holding the cleaver up close to her mouth and whispering to it.

“Who’s a good little cleaver? Cuttey is. Who is? Cuttey is that’s who?” She must have not seen me, because when I took my next step her eyes shifted to me and she froze, her lips touching the blade.

“Honey, we need to talk.” I said questioning the merits of online dating. I then questioned her relationship with… Cuttey. The next thirty minutes were awkward and intense, but I finally backed off when Ashley started flipping the meat cleaver in the air and gabbing it by the handle on it’s way down. Sometimes you have to compromise in a marriage and this was one of those moments. After a while, I started getting used to Ashley carrying the cleaver around when she went to get the mail or how she used it as a bookmark in her Bible.

Outside of the meat cleaver, who I started regularly calling Cuttey as well, the relationship was going great eventually leading to wedding nuptials. It was as if we had a little pet – a stainless steel, razor sharp, easy-grip little pet. I didn’t give it much, if any thought, until we were creating or wedding registry at Crate and Barrel where, after reviewing the final list of items I was shocked to notice Ashley had selected, not one, but three new knife sets with meat cleavers.

“Does Cuttey know about this?” I almost was yelling.

“Stop it, Ron,” Ash said without a hint of guilt. “Cuttey’s lonely and needs friends.”

I was incredulous. “Friends? Who are we? Chopped liver?”

Thankfully, no one will be competing for Cuttey’s affection since meat cleavers make lousy gifts.

Now, I’m drawing the line. Several nights ago I was awakened by a repeated chopping motion being made on the mattress. Ashley kept raising her arm over her head and slamming it down on the bed like a black belt karate master would when breaking boards. I grabbed her arm and shook her awake.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

It took Ash a minute to orient herself from her groggy state. “Huh? Oh, I was dreaming that I was chopping off fish heads.”

All I could envision was me becoming the biggest item on Digg or Reddit with a news headline proclaiming me the latest victim to hold the same dubious honor as John Wayne Bobbit. “Fish heads? Who dreams about chopping off the heads of fish!?”

Ash seemed surprised at my emotional concern. “Well, Cuttey for one.”

The next morning I threw the meat cleaver out. If any of you see Cuttey at the pound, please DO NOT return him to us.

Miss Part 1 of Leave it to Cleaver?

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