Friday, November 2, 2012


When our kids were small, they ate their meals in the kitchen, seated at a table that was attached to the wall.  Rather than just having them face a blank wall I put up a large (3’x5’) world map.  When they asked why, I told them that I thought the colors were pretty.  I never said, “Learn”, but LEARN they did!  What else did they have to look at—each other?  Matt needed a little help for an elementary school geography test, though.  The test was a US map with the states outlined, but unnamed.  He had to be able to tell which each state was.  Mnemonics (like HOMES for the Great Lakes) can be wonderful memory aids.  There were 2 areas which were a problem for him so it was Mommy to the rescue.  From west to east are Mississippi, Alabama & Georgia.  I drew an alligator, sneezing, with a very red nose.  She was “Miss Alla G.” (allergy).  For Ohio, Indiana & Illinois I drew the picture below.  It apparently helped.  Matt is now 50 & we both remember these drawings--& state locations-- clearly.

We were out to lunch with our daughter, a college student, in Italy.  She ordered an appetizer platter of shrimp & calamaretti (baby squid).  My husband, not an adventurous eater, was picking out the shrimp to eat.  After much nagging coaxing he had a calamaretto (the singular) almost to his mouth when she said, “They’re better if you knock their little eyes off, Daddy!”  It took a couple of years before he deigned to try them—now he loves them.
Calamaretti fritti

          My friend was waiting in a bar to join her friends for dinner.  The waiter offered her some calamaretti.  She asked what they were & he told her.  She was about to try one when she asked him what the little things sticking out were.  He told her they were tentacles.  Down went her hand!  She thought he’d said “testicles”.

An exotic food joke: Poachers in Africa opened a restaurant.  Their come on was: “We make sandwiches from ANY African animal!  If we can’t make your sandwich, we’ll pay you $10,000.00!!”   Business was booming for months.  They sold sandwiches made of ground zebra, lion pot roast, leg of hippo, etc.  One day the waiter tries to place an order with the cook.  Together, they sadly go to the manager & tell him that he’s going to have to pay the $10,000.00.  He asks why & they tell him that a customer just ordered an elephant ball sandwich on rye.  He tells them that’s no problem—a new shipment of elephant balls just came in.  The cook says, “I know that!  The problem is, we’re out of rye bread!!”

A reminder:

The incredible (& inedible) fishducky