Why do the unpleasant memories persist, while the fun ones evaporate almost immediately? Is it a Darwinian thing? Whatever the case, I still retain a memory of sitting at the dinner table at 8pm, a plate of something cold and congealed in front of me. Everyone else has gone on to do their evening activities, dinner having concluded at 6:30.
This may have been right out of the Dr. Spock playbook, the bible for all parents in those days. Read it as kid, and found that it made very compelling reading indeed. I had no idea that parents had a ‘how to’ manual on raising kids. There seemed to be a remedy for every given situation. No wonder parents knew what to do in every situation – there was a text book dedicated to it.
But, back to the dinner table. Vividly, do I remember pushing around a viscous, gelatinous amorphous mass on the plate. Just as we do at the ‘All You Can Eat’ buffets, where patrons are warned not to leave any food on their plates, a great deal of ingenuity is required to minimize the leftover detritus. A crumpled napkin can disclose a great deal. The position of the cutlery on the plate can conceal, as well.
My strategy was inelegant, to say the least – I filled my mouth to its capacity, and made a beeline for the lavatory. Within, a deposit was be made to the First Bank of Septic Systems. This became my go-to method of undesired food disposal until, on one unfortunate day, I neglected to flush away some carrots. Punishment was swift and severe: 10 days in a minimum security prison, my bedroom, leaving only for meals, bathroom, and school.