Monday, February 11, 2013

Kids Say the Darndest Things: I Know from Personal Experience

Where's My Damn Eggs?

My mom always told me I was about the only person she knew who could step in a pile of crap and come out smelling like a rose. Every time I found myself in a fix thinking there would be no way out this time, sure enough, something good would come out of it, and all my worrying would be for naught.

The other thing about me was and still is the fact that you never have to wonder what I’m thinking. I’ll usually offer up my opinion whether you want it or not. So this story I am about to tell pretty much combines the two facts about me—that I’ve always been kinda blessed and that I’ve always been very outspoken. Anyone who knows me and is reading this is probably laughing and nodding in agreement at this very moment.

I was about three or four years old. I had an older sister and a younger brother at the time. My family liked to go away for the weekend, take long drives, stay someplace overnight, and come back the next day. This particular trip, my grandma was traveling with us, as were a couple other family members, my mom, dad, sister and brother.

I don’t know where we went, but we were stopped at an Aunt Jemima Pancake House for breakfast. Aunt Jemima is still around today as a brand of syrup, but back then it was akin to an International Pancake House. Pancakes were their specialty.

I guess I didn’t much care for pancakes when I was young because while everyone else was ordering pancakes, I ordered eggs, sunny side up, bacon, and toast and jelly. I know this because I’ve always liked to dip my toast into the egg; was, and still is my favorite way to eat eggs.

We were all sitting around the table waiting on our food, and finally the waitress came with bunches of plates of pancakes. Everyone got their breakfast, that is, everyone but me. I watched as each of the plates of pancakes was delivered, wondering where the heck my eggs were. I was pretty little, so I was in a booster chair, but I was old enough to realize that I’d been stiffed one plate of eggs and bacon, and I was none too happy about it. Oh, one other thing about me that is true to this day, I don’t like waiting for my food.

As I watched the waitress plunk down the final plate of pancakes, something inside me must have snapped because, as the story has been told, I called the waitress over to me and asked “Where’s my Goddamn eggs?”

Yep, a toddler, and I was already demanding my rights--with the mouth of a trucker. As the story goes, everyone just stopped what they were doing. My father looked mortified, as did my mother. No one said a word. They were in a stupor.

Of course, as with most family stories, the only way I remember this happening is through the telling of the tale over and over again, and I’m sure it picked up many new details over the years, but I am pretty sure that even back then, I knew as soon as the words came out of my mouth that I was going to get a whoopin’ and good. A funny thing happened though--remember, I was somewhat blessed.

My grandma, the matriarch at the table, started laughing first. Once she got a good belly laugh out of it, everyone else started laughing, and I guess the more they laughed, the madder I got, which made them laugh even harder. In fact, they were having such a good time recalling the waitress’ face when I cursed at her, that they forgot all about punishing me for my potty mouth.

Like I said, I am the only person my mother knew who could step in crap and come out smelling like a rose. The truth is none of them touched their pancakes until my eggs came. They had already witnessed my ire once, and being part Irish, I’m not sure they wanted to hear me cuss anyone else out. I can’t remember ever cursing like that again as a child, though. I was smart enough to know when to quit on a high note.

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