I've been doing nothing of late, or so it seems. I've certainly not been productive in the usual sense of the word. Oh, I've been working on my golf swing, getting my handicap back down (currently at 7.9), visiting with some of my friends and hanging out, mostly in Arizona.
My parents are visiting right now and that leads to the usual level of angst. Of course, no visit from my parents would be complete without the trip down memory lane. It started at lunch today at the house. We were standing around the kitchen and my mother was eating a corn chip and my father said, "If you eat those you'll turn into a monkey."
I'd heard the saying a thousand times and ignored it just as I had all the other times. But my wife, Wendy, was curious. I had told her that somewhere in everything my dad says is some truth and she couldn't help but ask him where that one came from.
"Years ago," he began, "they did a study on the preservatives used in fried snack foods and found that it could cause hair to grow all over your body." I was ignoring the entire conversation. My mother had her usual look of scorn having to be subjected to this "scientific" explanation of how one transforms into a monkey simply by eating corn chips. And my father was simply enjoying the traditional family gathering.
Of course, Wendy wanted to know more. My father asked me to tell her about cherries so I did.
When I was very young, probably about six or seven, my two younger sisters and I found the Maraschino cherries in the refrigerator. We delighted in their sweet taste and quickly consumed all that were there. My father walked into the kitchen, looked at us and said one thing before turning around and leaving, "If you eat more than one of those a day you'll die."
We were stunned. We had each consumed a good half-dozen of the luscious treats. We stared at each other wondering who would be the first to go. It wasn't until years later that we learned the issue had to do with a food coloring with alleged links to all kinds of bad things. I'm still here and my sisters are still here though I don't think any of us eat Maraschino cherries any longer.