March 10, 2008

Pardon Me...

I love Mustard. (This is a true story. If you have children you will probably relate to this father.)

As ham sandwiches go, it was perfection: a thick slab of ham on a fresh bun with crisp lettuce and plenty of expensive, light brown, gourmet mustard. The corners of my jaw aching in anticipation, I carried it to the table in our backyard, picked it up with both hands but was stopped by my wife suddenly at my side. “Here, hold Johnny (our six-week-old son) while I get my sandwich,” she said.

I had him balanced between my left elbow and shoulder and was reaching again for the ham sandwich when I noticed a streak of mustard on my fingers.

I love mustard.
I had no napkin.
I licked it off
It was not mustard.

No man ever put a baby down faster. It was the first and only time I have sprinted with my tongue protrudi ng. With a washcloth in each hand, I did the sort of routine shoeshine boys do; only I did it on my tongue.

Later, after she stopped crying from laughing so hard, my wife said, “Now you know why they call that fancy mustard 'Poupon.'”


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