Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's a Good Day for Breakfast

Yesterday morning was a little strange. There we were, yawning and stretching, getting ready to start our day, just like any other. I was watching Good Day Sacramento, our local morning show, when Mark S. Allen jumped out of a news truck and announced he was on our street. He had a chef with him and they were ready to cook some lucky family breakfast.

I yelled to the kids, “Go, go, go! We have to be the first ones out the door to shout “Breakfast at my place!”

The kids said, “Huh?”

I yelled, “Just go!”

My wife yelled, “What are you yelling about!?”

I yelled back, “Good Day is here and they want to cook us breakfast!”

She yelled, “Huh?”

I screamed, “I don’t know… There’s a news van outside and they want to cook someone breakfast. Mark S. Allen just told us to run out and shout ‘Breakfast at my place!’”

She yelled, “Why are we yelling?”

I said, “I don’t know. I’m just excited. Let me calm down for a minute.”

Meanwhile, the three boys were already out the door and down the street claiming our free breakfast. I love them so much.

When my wife had fully processed the situation and saw Mark and Steve the cameraman coming toward our house, she looked back at me and began yelling again. “You’re bringing a camera into our house!?”

“No,” I said in a soothing voice, pointing at Steve. “That guy is.”

“Are you crazy!?” she yelled, “This house is a mess!”

“Are you crazy?” I responded. “Free food!!”

You see, this is one of the main differences between men and women. Back before cell phones and toilet paper, men and women had distinct roles. Men were in charge of the hunting and gathering, and women were in charge of keeping the cave livable, raising the children, and criticizing what the men brought home. After we all moved out of the caves and wolf attacks became less of a problem, those roles evolved. The man’s position as “hunter/gatherer” changed to become “dejected mid-level corporate manager,” and the woman’s role actually did not change at all.

Nowadays, no matter what modern roles we take on, those primal instincts are still with us. Take me and my wife yesterday morning as an example. We have switched traditional roles. She is now the underappreciated breadwinner and I am in charge of the cave and the three little cave people. Yet, when faced with a very primal situation, our true hardwired nature kicked in:

Situation - There is free food just outside our door.
My reaction – Go tackle it.
My wife’s reaction – “I don’t want all of the greater Sacramento area to see the inside of this house that you are failing to keep spotless! What if they come into the kitchen?”

“I think they’re going to have to come into the kitchen if they’re going to make us breakfast.”

“I really don’t appreciate this.”

See what I mean. True hardwired nature.

It was too late for my wife’s objections to matter, anyway. A storm front of energy in a suit and tie named Mark S. Allen was making his way into our house with our three boys in tow, followed by Steve the cameraman and Jesus “Chewy” Chavez, the owner/executive chef from Chewy’s Restaurant in Sacramento.

Any misgivings my wife may have had soon faded away. Great things began to happen immediately upon the invasion of our home. Chewy unloaded an entire restaurant of food onto our kitchen counters and began using our stove for a previously unknown purpose: making delicious breakfast. Honey Nut Cheerios do not require using the stove, so we had no idea. Chewy is a culinary genius. I love him.

In between hovering over Chewy and getting interviewed in the kitchen, we continued to watch Good Day Sacramento in the living room. It turned out there was another CBS news crew from Sacramento in our sleepy town of Rocklin that same morning. A man on the other side of town had gotten drunk and barricaded himself inside his home, possibly with weapons.

For some reason, my wife felt the need to go outside every once in a while to explain to our neighbors and anyone passing by that the deranged drunk man in Rocklin was not me. We only had a news van in front of our house for breakfast. And also, would any of the ladies like to come in and meet Mark S. Allen. I’m not sure why she felt like she needed to assure people that I wasn’t drunk at seven o’clock in the morning, or why she kept talking about Mark S. Allen and using his full name, but she did.

Speaking of Mark S. Allen, he spun around our kitchen and living room like a tornado of professional entertainment. He radiated pure energy. He sang. He danced. He played the William Tell Overture by flicking his fingers on a Number 2 pencil that he held between his teeth. (I am not making that up.) It was hard to look at him sometimes because he was glowing white-hot with awesomeness. At one point, Chewy ran out of burners on the stove and actually heated up some tortillas on Mark’s head.

I could see my wife visibly falling in love with him. I couldn’t really blame her, though. I was falling in love with him, too, after he managed to accomplish something in five minutes that I have not been able to do for ten years: he figured out how to make our children quiet. It turns out all you have to do is put a camera and a microphone in their face and they shut right up. If I had known that I would have bought a camera and microphone years ago.

Then we ate. And ate. And ate. Steve filmed us while we ate and Mark tried to interview us while we ate, but Chewy’s breakfast was so good we ignored them both. I was actually deep in thought about how to kidnap Chewy and keep him in my kitchen, but the show was live, so I figured it wouldn’t work.

When they had enough footage of us eating in silence, it was time to end the show. Mark had his work cut out for him on the closing segment as Steve filmed us waving goodbye on the driveway. Between the boys’ apparent camera-shyness, and the food coma we were all fighting off after devouring Chewy’s amazing breakfast, it was hard to get anything else out of the boys.

Mark asked Son Number Two how he would describe the morning, and my normally eloquent, well-read middle child responded, “Good.” Ever the tenacious reporter, he did not want to end on that lukewarm note, so he asked Son Number One to elaborate. Number One was able to stir from his impending nap just long enough to respond “Best breakfast we’ve ever had at our house.”

Ouch, man.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I totally agree, but let’s not announce that to the world on television.

Thanks again Mark S. Allen and Chewy. I love you both.

Steve the cameraman, let’s just be friends.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2014 Marc Schmatjen

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  1. Haha! That is awesome!

    But, um, what did Chewy make?

  2. He made the boys cinnamon French toast and eggs, and he made Sandy and I breakfast casuelas - basically a potato scramble with linguisa and chorizo and cheese and onions and eggs on top. So. Damn. Good.

  3. This was CLASSIC! Anyone who says they wouldn't like this treatment is lying or crazy! Congrats on your success at attracting the news crew. Wish I'd been there. Next time....N DuVall

  4. Thanks, Nancy. It was a ton of fun. We went to Chewy's restaurant the other day with the whole family and it was great all over again!