A Good Question From A Nine Year Old
I was not disappointed.
On Monday afternoon we were on an emergency run to Wal-Mart (Because United Airlines lost our luggage, thank you very much you Sons of TSA.).
My wife, the lovely and the only one in the car who knew the way to Wally World, Dawn, was driving. I was riding shotgun.
In the back seat was JiJi, as she is known, our nine year old niece – a precocious child and not afraid to ask questions. I predict that someday she will either rule the world or hold it captive for a lifetime supply of Snow Crab. The Kid has expensive taste.
Cruising along through the shimmering Texas heat I heard a question wafting my way.
“What does escargot taste like?”
“Why? Are they serving that in school lunches now instead of tater tots?”
“No, I’m just curious. Are they any good?”
Since I was the only person in the car who had actually eaten escargot it fell to me to answer her.
Well, Jiji, have you ever chewed off the eraser from the end of your pencil? It’s a lot like that – only with garlic butter.”
My better judgment stopped me from embellishing my opinion on escargot with, “And I hear that you can get them in the Snack Aisle at Office Depot.”
“Oh, really? I’ve chewed those erasers off. They’re not very tasty,” said Jiji, sounding a bit disappointed.
At this point Dawn chimed in saying, “And they bring them to you still in their shells and you eat them with those little shrimp forks.”
“You see, JiJi,” I added, “They really want you to think that they’re like shrimp, only instead of catching them in the ocean, you pick them up from the sidewalk.”
“Sidewalk Shrimp, Uncle Krafty?”
“More or less, Kid.”
I felt obligated to tell the child the truth. I wouldn’t want to tell her a fib about snails and then have her come back at me some years down the road with, “You lied to me! I tried the escargot. The only thing missing was the #2 pencil.”
I do not want a grown-up JiJi mad at me. She is smart, resourceful, cute as a button, and already more clever than 98% of the population. The other 2% are bad prop comedians and lawyers who advertise on TV.
While at Wally World I surreptitiously checked the Grocery aisles to see if there might be freeze dried escargot or a new Lays product – “Snail and Eraser Flavor Rippled Chips.”
No luck, so I bought some underwear instead. I didn’t relish the idea of wearing the same shorts for a full week or going “Commando.” Thank you again Untied Airlines. They say that their skies are ‘Friendly,’ but I say ‘Littered With Lost Luggage’ is more like it.
Am I bitter? Just a bit. In that suitcase were both of the Hawaiian Shirts I got last week from one of the “Usual Suspects” at St. Arbucks back in Terre Haute (That’s French for “We don’t lose luggage.”)
Oh, my God!!!
We just got a phone call from the airline saying that they have found our luggage and will be delivering it within 30 minutes!!!
I’ll believe it when I see him bringing it to the door. I just hope it is really our bag and not something left behind by someone who was smuggling Burmese Pythons.
Let’s order pizza!!!