There are a lot of things in this world that taste bad. I mean really bad. Bad beyond any taste sensation we humans were ever supposed to experience.

It had been a late night. I had been drinking single malt scotches and Ale all night, and I was feeling rough.

As I walked home, a horrible film began to build up in my mouth. I recognized it ? it was the dryness of mixing your fine liquors and beer. There was also the taste of those Dutch Masters I had smoked outside the bar.

Walking up the front steps, I fiddled relentlessly with my keys. I needed to get to my toothbrush. The more urgent my need for the tube of Crest, the less I could see the hole in the door that my key would magically fit through.

I finally stumbled in and made it to the bathroom. I didn?t turn the light on, for I knew my eyes and head couldn?t handle it. I opened the medicine cabinet and searched for my tube of lovely mint flavored toothpaste. I found it, and instinctively put it on my brush. I began to scrub my mouth furiously.

Yet no familiar suds formed to signal the ritualistic cleansing. I began to realize that the awful taste of stale alcohol was being replaced by something even more horrendous.

I flicked on the light. On top of the sink was the tube of diaper ointment that I had gotten after my first tattoo to keep it from peeling. I had been brushing my teeth with a lethal lotion made of zinc oxide.

I wondered if I should call poison control like the label advised, but I became distracted by how bad it tasted rather than how poisonous it was. I simply passed out, safe and secure with the knowledge that my mouth would be free of diaper rash.

Although I think my ingestion of zinc oxide still has mental ramifications today, its most lasting effect was the memory of how bad it had tasted. Now no matter what I eat, I am always comforted by the fact that at least it tastes better than diaper rash ointment.

This is a disclaimer ? I don?t really know how many of you actually try any of my recipes, or if you have, if you actually found them as tasty as I did. Perhaps I made a typo and said that you needed to add half a cup of salt when I meant sugar.

No matter what kitchen calamities you might encounter, as long as you can say ?at least it tastes better than zinc oxide,? I have done my job.

If any of you lovely devoted readers out there has a recipe that you think tastes better than medicated ointment, please e-mail them to me at cc012g. In the meantime, brush your teeth three times a day with an ADA approved substance, and bon appetit!

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