While the Cat’s Away…
Odd Number is 17 and a high school senior this year. So when Iron Chef and I both had to travel for work for a week, Odd pretty much had the run of the house. We left him some grocery money, the co-parenting of my Sidekick Lucy, and cat watching duties.
The grocery money didn’t go to groceries, well at least not in my book. If you must know, he blew it all on “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” and “Mrs. Butterworth’s Pancake Syrup.” Both in quotations because they are neither butter nor syrup. Serum, perhaps, but not syrup. Frankenfoods. He bought Frankenfoods the minute we were out of sight.
I was left alone as a teen a time or two, but back then we were blissfully oblivious to the dangers of hydrogenated pseudo-oils. My parents didn’t have to fret about the evil omnipresence of corn syrup. Parents had it easy when the temptations were just cheap beer and wine coolers that tasted like Laffy Taffy. And Laffy Taffy.
When I came home and opened the fridge, Odd had left the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” tub front and center, like he was proud of this accomplishment. When I turned to face him (or rather look up to him now that he’s taller than me), I said in an even tone, “You’d better believe it’s not butter, mister.”
He shrugged and seemed not the least bit contrite. Neither was Mrs. Butterworth contrite, but rather smug with her arms folded calmly in front of her apron, as I gripped her neck.
“It’s so spreadable,” Odd said, and I swear to God Mrs. Butterworth, that temptress of the devil, winked at me.