Wednesday, January 17, 2007


After JR's music class on Wednesday nights, we often go to dinner with his classmate Sam. The boys are both high energy, so we tend to frequent local burger joints where the fries are yummy and no one looks askance at boisterous behavior.

The only problem with burger joints is that the main vegetable featured on the menu is usually ketchup. And ketchup truly skeeves me. It is the one food item that makes me want to run for cover and hide in the bathroom until the dry heaves have subsided.

JR and Sam, however, love it.

So tonight, there we are at a new local burger joint and the boys are in rare form (of course, with these boys, it's not such a rare form). They have practiced running slides through the tables. They have hidden under the tables. Sam has unshelled a peanut, dropped it on the floor and then retrieved it and popped it into his mouth before I had a chance to say "Don't eat that!" (Sam's mom was over at the condiment counter, filling up little cups of ketchup for the table at the time). JR has stuffed fries in his mouth and Sam and JR have extended fries from their nose and tried to fight like swordfish with them. My cheeseburger, delicious but gulped between "put that downs" and "watch your elbows" is starting to form a solid lump in the pit of my stomach.

And at that point my darling son decides to out gross all of us. He takes his lemonade straw, places it in his ketchup cup and ....

(I'm not truly sure what happened next because Sam's mother kindly covered my eyes and told me when it was safe to look). All I know is that when my eyes were uncovered, the ketchup cup was empty and JR's mouth was unkissably stained with red.

"Not that this matters to you," she said, "but at least it was Heinz."

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