It is some while since she has graced our family with her presence. Prior to the drive home from school I take the girls aside to remind them of the frequent aural agony of traveling with the boys. I stress the short nature of the journey, both in time and miles.
During the 7 minute drive to the accompaniment of Hanna Montana, sung with great gusto the boys cover their ears in the back of the car.
On arrival home, the children stampede into the house. “Geez what is that godamawful stink!” “Chicken Jalfrezi…..a very, very mild curry.” “How come you eat Asian food?” “Well "Chicken Tikka Marsala" is said to be our National dish these days. I expect you can probably smell the garlic though.” “Yuk! Garlic is for Nazis.” I have no terms of reference with which to comment, so I say nothing. “Are we gonna eat that?” “ We shall, for supper, but I think you’ll be back with your own family by then.” “Aw can’t I stay for supper?” “I don’t think that’s in the plan.” “What plan?” “Er….your parents’ plan.” “How do you know what their plan is?” “Um……I don’t…….I’m just……..thinking ahead.” I’m not entirely who I’m trying to convince. “Can I have a snack?” “Yes, would you like Satsumas, pretzels or carrots and dip.” “Can I have a cookie?” I smile, “I don’t think your mum would allow cookies before dinner.” “She would.” I’m not convinced but opt for the truth, “sorry, we’re a cookie free zone at the moment.” “No cookies!” “I’m afraid not. I need to pop out to the shops.” “How can you not have cookies?” I assume this to be rhetorical and move on. “Would you like a drink with it? Milk or water?” “Water? Milk? Geez dontcha have any soda?” She steps towards the fridge to swing open the door, “what is all that stuff?” I look over her shoulder at ‘stuff,’ to try and determine what, if anything, might be odd? “Which stuff?” “The green stuff. Is that English food?” I look at the bok choy, leeks and spinach. “Er not particularly I don’t think.” “Is that why he passes wind all the godamned time?” Such a euphemism catches me off guard, especially from this particular quarter, “quite possibly, I suppose.” “You oughta give em American food, that’ll fix him.” “Thank you, I’ll bear that in mind.” “How come you talk so funny?” “I expect it’s the accent.”
This piece is fictitious, or rather a compendium of Friday afternoon play dates.
I think the trick is to avoid cooking whilst we have visitors as few Americans appreciate British Cuisine, let alone the residents!