When a child asks you to taste something, it’s never good. Never. If he or she is eating something delicious, they don’t care if you try some; in fact, they would prefer that you did not.
I know these things.
Still, when the Odd Number required that we go to his favorite Chinese buffet in Idaho Falls and then pushed the egg roll toward me, I fell for it. Not at first. No, at first my sensible instinct to reject kicked in.
“No way,” I told him and pushed the deep fried cylinder back.
I was eating relatively safe food — a little lo mein and fried rice. Chinese buffet is never my choice, but I remember the days when on our family outings to Boise, my mom would eliminate our 2 favorite restaurants — the Kings Table buffet and McDonalds — from the selection pool, ogre-like. And the Odd Number was already a little freaked out about the date being Friday the 13th, or 7/13 to be more precise and when I had asked him for the time earlier in the day, he reported it was 9:11.
So when he assured me that he wasn’t trying to make me taste a dog turd, he just wanted to see if I picked up on some of the distinct flavors he was noticing, I bit.
With the first chew, I knew I’d been had and the glands behind my molars started to water. As I reached for my stupidly small cup of hot tea to scald my throat and erase the foul taste in my mouth, Odd leaned forward and asked, “Doesn’t that taste like cattle manure to you?” He continued, “You know, like the smell when you first walk into a barn?”
I was angry, of course, but I couldn’t help but admire his highly accurate, extra-sensory description. Yes, for some reason that I do not want to ponder for even a half-second, the egg roll tasted like a fresh, juicy cow pie.
We discussed the etiquette of asking someone, most especially your mother, to taste something that you believe to have fecal overtones.
And thankfully, we both agreed to cross Chinese buffet off our list once and for all.
The high price of progress…