“Can you tell me what comes with the garlic chicken?” my husband asked the waiter.

“I can tell you,” I said. “Bad breath.”

My husband rolled his eyes at me. We were out to dinner at our usual place and decided the chef must have come into a surplus of garlic, because everything on the specials menu featured garlic. Good for garlic lovers. Not so good for the people who have to sleep with them.

I actually like garlic as much as the next person. But I try not to eat it when my husband is in town because I know that no matter how hard I try to keep my nasty breath to myself, I will invariably roll over while I’m sleeping and breathe hot, stinky, garlic breath all over his neck. The last time this happened, my husband said he had really bad monster dreams and woke up with a strange urge to call me “Vampira.”

My husband is usually pretty good about not sharing his garlic breath with me, as well, but tonight, we seemed destined to have a full-on garlic assault. For the first time ever I was actually hoping he would snore so I could slip breathmint strips in his mouth while he slept.

“If I get the Garlic Chicken, I promise I’ll gargle with mouthwash tonight,” he assured me.

“It won’t work,” I protested. “The garlic smell doesn’t come exclusively from your mouth. It also comes from your stomach, and your pores, and the hairs on your head. When you eat garlic, it’s a full body experience.”

“Really?” he replied.

“Yes, and it’s actually not that good for you,” I informed him. “Science has shown that eating too much garlic can lower your IQ and make you more susceptible to Hoof and Mouth disease.”

“You read this where?” he wondered.

“Um, National Garligraphic magazine.”

He shook his head.

“It also makes you more attractive to naked mole rats,” I added.

“Naked mole rats?” he repeated.

“Yes.”

“They don’t usually come in the bedroom,” he said. “I think I’m safe.”
“… and it can also cause the paint to peel off the walls if you breathe on them,” I continued.

“I’ll try not to talk to the walls, honey.”

Eventually the waiter came back to take our order and my husband did, in fact, order the Garlic Chicken, along with garlic mashed potatoes, and spinach sautéed in garlic and olive oil. It was the trifecta of garlic breathiness and I knew, without a doubt, that I would be getting a hotel room that night.

“Okay, fine,” I sighed. “I’ll have the steak, medium rare, and asparagus.”

“Are you sure?” he asked. “You know what happens to people when they eat asparagus.”

“Yes,” I replied. “That’s why I’m having it.”

“I don’t understand,” he said.

“With your garlic and my asparagus, I’m hoping we’ll cancel each other out.”

— For more Lost in Suburbia, follow Tracy on Facebook at facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage or on Twitter at @TracyBeckerman.