Eat from the points

"Can I show you something?" asked my dad.

My brother, who was probably six or seven at the time, looked up from his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Two long purple lines of grape jelly smeared across both his cheeks.

"You need to eat from the points," explained Dad. "You're sawing that sandwich in half, and it's making a mess of your sandwich and your face."

John gazed at the two, sloppy bits of bread in his hands. "Where's the point?"

"Here," explained Dad, holding up the corner of his own toast. "Eat from the points, and you won't make a mess.

He took a neat bite. My brother did the same. The result: food in face, not food on face.

We made a big deal of these lessons, and pretended Dad had hundreds of them. We commonly referred to this one as "Dad Lesson Number 236."

My dad is a sniper of dry wit. As an obnoxious teen, I told a lot of stories of what I thought were my amazing adventures. Most people ate them up. Dad just listened quietly, smiled occasionally, and at the tale's end would quip something like, "You ever think maybe you're a little weird?"

I didn't realize at the time that was Lesson 237.

Henry and Jane now know how to eat from the points. They're very proud to trot this lesson out when Dad and Mum come to visit.

As we ate breakfast together last November, Dad popped up from the table to grab two halves of an English muffin fresh from the toaster. He held them together in one hand, smooth-side out. They immediately burned his fingers. He threw them on his plate.

"Can I show you something?" I asked.

He looked up.

"If you hold onto the smooth side of the English muffin, you maximize muffin-to-finger contact. That's why it's so hot. If you turn them cranny-side out, you'll find them much easier to handle."

He didn't say anything. I wondered if he thought maybe I was a little weird.


Anonymous said...

We use "the points" to convince Isaac to actually eat the (peanut butter or grilled cheese) sandwich... tricking him into consumption by saying "You may be excused when you've eaten all your points." Thank God for triangular food or else all Isaac's calories would come from chocolate milk. I hadn't thought of the practicality of points when it comes to cleanliness (and it is next to godliness, of course) Thanks for this food for thought.

PS- I think you should write a book, not a blog.

auntie said...

Here is my advice to you, for what it's worth:

I don't think you should write A book. I think you should write several, may I say "many" books.

Guelph's own Robert Munsch is likely close to retiring; he's not producing new stories in the wake of his stroke last year. And while I don't necessarily compare your style with his, I DO suggest you could slide right into his vacated slot.

Coming up with a little short pithy story (a la TT blog) should set you up for life and set the rest of us up with unending wise and wonderful stories.

Check out Munsch's publisher. I'm sure they've got their eye out for a successor.

There, my wise elder advice for the day

Decadent Housewife said...

Points. That's what I've been doing wrong. Thanks.

da karn said...

rumour on the street says that dad is on the rampage! good luck!
p.s. i use rule 598 all the time, how to speak properly with a microphone

Unknown said...

Karn: I am familiar with this rampage: a patient, tolerant rampage of understanding. I do not fear this rampage.

Remember Lesson 236b? Every Food Has a Point? He set out to prove, after much challenging, that he could find the point on any food. Even an apple has a point, if you look hard enough (usually on the top half).