Ever since the Writing Bug (which I have carried for as long as I can remember, but which had lain dormant for some years due to the pervasive state of Brain Fog that accompanies raising young children) reared up and reinfected me with the need to...I don't know...express my innermost thoughts in unapologetically rambling fashion for all the world to share on a regular basis...one corner of my brain is always on alert for suitable (or at least...semi-appropriate....or whatever) stories to tell.
(And...WOW, that's an absolutely terrific example of an egregious run-on sentence, complete with accompanying...ahem..."creative non-standard punctuation", wouldn't you say? Eh, it's not like I'm getting graded on this--thank goodness--so I'm gonna go ahead and flash my Poetic License...and leave it as-is. Yep, that's me: proudly making English teachers cringe since 2008...)
Anyway, sometimes a funny moment will occur and I'll think, "Ooh, maybe I'll blog that!" but later I decide not to, because it's too small an incident to stand alone. And then, a couple of these pile up, and perhaps they even revolve around a common theme, and BAM--a post in the making. Now, I know this is going to come as a huge shock...to no one...but today's leitmotif (sorry--I was dying to use that) is (dah dah dah DAH) FOOD. (Right? Who didn't see that coming?)
Let's set the tone with Derek, my almost-16 year old son who--for a wiry, not-one-ounce-of-spare-body-fat athlete--seems to be able to consume his own weight in edibles...on a daily basis. (Seriously, I gave up watching what he packs in his lunch, and what he gobbles down after school to fuel his utterly ridiculous--and frankly enviable--adolescent boy metabolism, because I found it equal parts fascinating...astonishing...and horrifying...)
So, we were in the car driving to one of his soccer practices, and I mentioned that while he was running around with his teammates I'd be visiting Costco...as I do EVERY DANG WEEK these days. He laughed appreciatively (but not at all sympathetically), then sobered up to comment thoughtfully, "Yeah, I realized recently that my backpack really wouldn't be that heavy...if it weren't for all the food I bring to school!" (That actually explains a lot, since I've noticed that his bookbag appears so full that it strains the seams, at all times, regardless of such factors as, you know, how much academic material he's carrying around at the moment. Huh...who knew?)
Then, on the way home a few hours later, with all available cargo spaces now taken up by, apparently, Derek's Provisions, we were chatting about the tons of assignments he has due this week, since it's the end of the 3rd quarter. He was particularly concerned about needing to access his laptop to complete something, and in trying to help him figure it out I suggested he might take his computer to school to work during his Study Period. He glanced sideways at me before proclaiming firmly, "Nope...can't! FOOD!" (Siiiighhhhhh....we'll have a conversation about "priorities", my child...another day, perhaps...)
Our next tale fits neatly under the heading of...Stupid Sibling Smackdowns. One day Riley asked me, "Does Derek make his lunch every night, or does he sometimes wait until the morning?" Oh...kay....that's random...but I believe he generally packs it before going to bed...whyyyyy? Riley nodded sagely and replied, "Because he refuses to separate the carrots, so if it's a new pack, he waits for me to do it." (Note: For their school meals, I buy 4-packs of individual baby carrot servings, which are held together by a sticky label that wraps around the stack. Yes, this is crucial information for the ensuing nonsense, trust me...) He continued in what could only be described as a triumphant tone, "But when I have to take the tape off, I get my own carrots out, then wrap them back up and leave them for him!"
Oh, for the Love. Of. Pete--are you kidding me with this? Of all the petty, pointless things to argue about...reeeaaally? This is what you're going to fixate on? So, of course I was unable to help myself--I had to enlighten Derek regarding what his younger brother was doing. And you know what? The even-tempered teenager just shook his head in a bemused fashion and responded with, "That whole thing is in his head; I don't pay any attention to the whether the carrots are open or not." Actually, this made perfect sense to me, but the saga wasn't finished quite yet. A few mornings after that, when we were all in the kitchen before heading our separate ways for the day, the subject came up again while Riley was assembling his lunch.
And let me tell ya, there was much shouting ("You open the carrots!" "I'm not gonna do it--and you throw away the tape!")--albeit teasing, not truly angry--culminating in Riley attempting to fasten the tape to Derek's shirt and escape out the door. To which Derek retorted, "Oh, you have started a Carrot War, my friend! You did NOT want to do that!" Ay yi yi. This was delivered in what I assumed he meant to be a menacing tone, but the presence of his usual enormous, goofy grin nullified any potential threat he could have mounted. Meanwhile, Husband slapped his forehead and shuffled off to his office down the hall, muttering something half-jokingly about how "Some days it's not so great to work from home"...while I called after his retreating back, "See what you missed, being an only child?" (I'm not sure just what's to come in the Carrot War...but suppose time will tell. Or, you know, they'll just let it completely drop, as guys so often do, and we'll never hear the slightest peep about it ever again...fingers crossed...)
Finally, brace yourself for an outrageous discussion surrounding the topic of: asparagus. (You heard me, folks--what, doesn't everybody's family talk about...woody stalk vegetables...in their house? Oh, of course not...never mind...) Bear in mind that this transpired at the barely-coherent-or-civilized hour of 7:30 a.m., when Team WestEnders was running over the evening's agenda, since both of our footballers (as Riley's coach--who sounds like he should be British but most assuredly isn't--likes to call them) had workouts scheduled that would require parents to chauffeur them in different directions. At the conclusion of the exchange, Husband called from his desk, "You're on your own for dinner, Riley!" To which I indignantly chimed in, "Hey, I'll be with him! Who needs you guys--we'll eat the fresh asparagus that came in our produce box this week!"
This is where it started to get weird, as Husband's comeback consisted of, "But...you don't pee the right way!" Sadly, I knew EXACTLY what he was getting at, but Derek's flummoxed expression was priceless as he turned to his father and sputtered, "W-What????" A little background is required, here: you see, several years ago we were having dinner with some friends of ours, and asparagus was on the menu. In pre-meal conversation, the couple (who both happen to be physicians, but I'm almost 100% certain it was the man who brought it up, because, well, it involves bodily functions...) informed us that asparagus changes the odor of some people's urine, but not everyone's. It evidently depends on whether your body produces a certain enzyme or not, and therefore is genetic.
Okay, back to the present, where I noted that I DID, in fact, experience the...altered...output, just as Husband does. However, neither of our offspring follow in our footsteps on this particular hereditary path, as it were. "Hmm," I mused, "that's kind of strange, for both parents to possess a trait, but neither child." And I swear to you, Riley looked around at his family matter-of-factly, and the following words flew out of his mouth, with precision and without pause: "You guys must be heterozygous dominant...and we have two recessive alleles."
Holy....hereditary...hoopla, Batman--what the HECK is going on around here? As we all stood around gaping at Riley, he added, "What? We did just finish our genetics unit in Science!" Alrighty then, I'm...pleased?...that you were paying such good attention. And that, fortunately, wraps up our... compendium of...culinary kookiness...for now. Until next time, may your pantry shelves be stocked, your crisper drawer peaceful, and your...forget it, not going down the slippery asparagus slope. Let's just say...Bon Appetit... and leave it at that, shall we?