Over the years, I have reported oh-so-many WestEnders mealtime conversations in all their...ridiculous glory. (I know, I know, "glory" is a mighty strong word, here, but just go with it, okay?) You'll probably be pleased and relieved to hear that the topic I'm going to address today has nothing to do with any of that...ha! I had you there for a minute, didn't I? Yeah, this is yet another heartwarming family chat from a recent lunch around the kitchen table. Hey, at least--unlike almost every single other instance--this one actually centers around, you know...FOOD. So, here goes:
It's all pretty calm and normal..."dining as usual"... until the moment when Riley (eating a ham sandwich) suddenly exclaims: "Ugh, I hate it when you get a piece of bread stuck to the roof of your mouth, and you're just trying and trying to scrape it off with your tongue, and you can't get it to move."
Derek laughs unsympathetically at Riley's misfortune, while offering not even the teensiest bit of advice or support whatsoever for the sad plight of his sibling. This is, naturally, not an entirely unexpected response from an older brother...but just you wait...
After the brief hubbub settles, we enjoy several more silent minutes of companionable chewing...at which point Derek abruptly yells "Ah! Bread stuck to the roof of my mouth!" (Uh-huh...feeling some karmic repercussions from the Patron Saint of...Subs and Such...are we? It just goes to show you: beware the...Loaf-Sized Payback, my son...or...whatever...)
It seemed that Derek was receiving his consequences with interest, however, as he continued in an aggrieved tone, "It's even worse when there's dijon mustard on it, so it won't come off, and the mustard is burning...and then you've got to..." (Proceeds to make a series of absolutely disgusting smacking and slurping noises, sounding for all the world like some kind of wild animal chomping on its prey...or...possibly a teenage boy trying somewhat unsuccessfully to manage the myriad complexities of, say... "packaged sliced pork product"...)
At this point, I was equal parts horrified by Derek's atrocious display of....oh, let's just call them "shameful table manners" and leave it at that...and bemused by the new lows to which "polite discussion" have fallen in our household. But it was Riley who I believe neatly captured the absurdity of the situation when he interjected, shaking his head wryly, "Wow...bread stuck to the roof of your mouth...that's the definition of a First World Problem, right there..."
And there you have it, folks--profound truth from the mouth of an 11-year old. And I cannot disagree. What I CAN do is walk away from this silliness and go partake of my salad somewhere else...preferably a location that could be called quiet, peaceful and ...dare I say..."isolated"?! Taking utmost care to avoid angering the Patron Saint of Spinach Stuck in Your Teeth, of course...