I Accidentally Bought a Bag of No-Purpose Flour. Now What?

I have devoted the remainder of my natural life to the pursuit of proving the flour’s purposelessness to any and all doubters.

I accidentally bought a bag of no-purpose flourIllustration: Joren Cull

Look. Listen. When you’re a busy career woman and mom of 17 who’s always on the go and just trying to have it all, grocery trips need to be quick, efficient affairs. I’ve learned to anticipate well in advance that at some point, my 284-week-old triplets will once again want to make ferret-shaped cupcakes. And I’ve learned to be prepared. Or so I thought.

I can’t explain how it happened. I remember being in the grocery store. I remember grabbing the bag of flour off the shelf. No I did not, quote, “HAVE TIME” to check if the bag said “All-Purpose,” “Some-Purpose,” “Undisclosed-Purpose” or “Still Searching For Its Purpose.” But when I got home and dumped my groceries on the kitchen island, it became clear: the bag said “No-Purpose.” It was one of the most chilling moments of my adult life, perhaps second only to the night my three toddlers informed me in unison that they needed to make ferret-shaped cupcakes. They were standing over my bed when they said it. It was 4:12 a.m.

Okay, so: no-purpose flour. Could just be a mistake on the packaging. Why would such a product even exist if it had no purpose? My first impulse was to disregard the label entirely. I see now how deeply foolish that was.

I quickly whipped up a test batch of cupcakes alone in the kitchen. But when I took them out of the oven, the flour had become rock hard. It cost me 91 per cent of my teeth to make this discovery.

Whilst sitting in my dentist’s waiting room, I solemnly promised a terrible oil painting of some boats on a wall before me that I would not panic just yet. Okay, so maybe the flour had “no purpose” within the realm of baking, but surely it had a purpose in the realm of, like, the world. I didn’t want to just throw it out.

I rushed home with a brilliant, waste-conscious idea: I would use the remaining bag of flour as a doorstop. The kitchen door is always swinging and flinging about, and this was the perfect solution. Except, it wasn’t at all. I’m dismayed to report that the bag disintegrated within 10-12 business minutes and the flour seeped out into a soft and useless pile on the linoleum.

I attempted to use the remnants of the pile to make some homemade playdough for the kids, but the nanosecond the substance was ready, it formed itself into letters that spelled “GET LOST.” It then evaporated instantly before my eyes. No, I have not been enthusiastically celebrating legalization; this really happened.

I then returned to the store and purchased a new bag of no-purpose flour, determined to start fresh and use it as a hand weight during my home workouts, but it inexplicably became lighter than the air itself.

At the time of this writing, there is no known purpose for this flour. I have now quit my job as a popular horse psychic and devoted the remainder of my natural life to the pursuit of proving the flour’s purposelessness to any and all doubters.

How is that working out so far? Let’s just say it’s time to strike “dry shampoo??” off my list because I tested that theory 10 minutes ago and am now legally bald as a result.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada