Pick your poison with care


There are many disadvantages to being partnered with a man of Italian descent.

Two of the more obvious disadvantages are pasta and pizza.

Without the wish to become too highbrow, in genetic parlance, this is a bit of a double whammie, as these loathsome menu choices also find favour with 3 of my four children: a dominant gene no doubt.

In my limited experience , if a restaurant commonly provides pasta and pizza, they rarely serve fries. Currently, the only food on any menu, that my youngest son eats, would be fries. Hence my current research project to find the restaurant that served all three items. My studies are hampered due to the three persistent phrases that my son perseverates upon: ‘responsible, responsibull, responsiball,’ ‘shake your booty’ and ‘Egg nog, epilogue.’ I hope that at least one of them is merely seasonal. These phrases whirl around me in a continuous stream as I hunt the internet for the perfect restaurant.

As we are in the heart of Silicon Valley, this should not be too much of a trial. I should point out that there are a wide choice of cuisines available to suit nearly every palate. There are any number of curious combinations such as steak and shrimp, served on the very same plate. I kid you not. This is the land where an entre is the main course, rather than an appetizer, but maybe that’s just to punish the French? It is also the land where individual salads are served in dishes the size of a washing up bowl. If you would like a pound of cheese on your pizza, no-one will give you grief. If applesauce can be a starter, there is no cheese board available to finish up a meal. Anything is possible out here, but I defy you to find a pizza with an anchovy on it in the whole of this land. How can a whole nation hate anchovies and yet have also invented Caesar salad? Thus it was, that before too long, I found the perfect place.

Once we were installed in the perfect place and placed our orders, I took my youngest, fries eating son, to the stalls. He is still at the tender age where it is not safe for him to visit the bathroom alone. His privacy or other people's, is of no concern to him. Whilst I have never had cause to climb the walls in a stall, I expect that it would be possible. Mind you, if I were only 6 years old, that might be a bit more of a feat as there is the height to wall ratio. To make the feat of climbing the walls of a stall even more challenging, it might be an idea to attempt to reach the top of the stall wall in under a second. Do you think that might be possible?

Well I am here to tell you that I witnessed just such a feat, with my very own little eyes. If I had blinked I would have missed it of course, but I didn't miss it because the scream that he uttered was enough to puncture an ear drum. But I suppose that's only to be expected if you're not expecting a random event, such as a toilet that flushes automatically.

If by any chance, you happen to be the woman in the next stall from us, let me take this opportunity to apologise to you, without reserve. I assure you with my hand on my heart that there was nothing personal in his remark. I can barely imagine how I would feel myself, were I in your unfortunate position. You had already left by the time I had managed to persuade him to come down from his perch. I too would have been surprised to find a small boy’s head hanging over the top of the wall. He really isn’t a peeping Tom. He had no interest in your business, really. Would it help if I explained that he has no volume control, he always bellows? Would it have been any better if he has whispered “shake your booty!”

Probably not.

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A convention of potential buyers with light refreshments

[From pre-blog days when I ‘tidied’ their language]

I find that I am roped in [translation = persuaded against my better judgment] to throw a bit of a do [translation = host a party] for my mate. [translation = Brit friend.] Mrs. C is branching out and launched herself into the perilous waters of selling jewelry. In a feeble attempt at support I attempt hosting. My version is that of a mere amateur. Others, such as my “pal” [translation = American friend] manage matters in a such a professional manner, that I am brought to my knees in awe. [translation = very impressed] When the woman describes herself as “Queen,” who am I to suggest otherwise? [translation = the “mayhem” tempers the monarchy]

My “non verbal” speech delayed five year old reads from the computer screen at 5:45 in the morning. I am approximately awake and decide to check whether anyone has responded. It is my experience thus far, that RSVP roughly translates to ‘rarely send verification positive.’ [translation = silence regardless of whether you’re coming or not]
“What it is a 'e-vite'?” A good question, but this is my first try at the non paper version.
“It's an invitation to a party that comes on the computer instead of the postman.” [translation = mail carrier]
“A party!” he says with incredulous glee, 'whoop de do, I am so happy. The party it is for me?”
“No it's just for girls.”
“Girls?” he is instantly deflated but doesn't understand why he sister isn't invited either.
“But she is a girl too, why she is not go?”
“It's for grown up girls, er I mean it's for women.”
“It is for wommins? Not girls?”
“That's right.”
“You are a wommins? You are going to the party?”
“Yes,” last time I checked, “the party is going to be here, at our house.”
“Ooh, we have balloons?”
“No, no balloons, it's not that kind of a party.”
“Oh. We have cake?”
“No, I expect everyone will be on a diet at this time of year. Anyway, I'm making the party food.”
“What food you are making?” I am safe here, as the majority of food, party fare or otherwise is loathsome to my little “neophobic” one.
“Anchovy sandwiches,” I beam with confidence. I can hardly wait to see my guests delighted little American faces.
“Anchovy? What is it?”
“Its…..oh right, um it’s a little salty fish.”
I should have found a better alternative description. ‘Salty,’ ‘little’ and ‘fish’ will add up to ‘Goldfish’ for him, his all time favourite food.
“Ooo lovely. I am liking little salty fish very much.”
“These aren’t Goldfish, they’re…..” [what can I say to deter him?] “wet.”
“Wet? I am thinking that I am not liking that new food. I am thinking that maybe I am hating those things. I am thinking those things are boring for me maybe? They are 'boring' they are 'hating' which they is?”
“In your case, probably both.”
“It is a birthday?”
“No, not a birthday, just a party to buy jewelry, or look at some at least.”
“You buy jewelry. I buy jewelry too?”
“That's an idea, but I don't think you have any money do you?”
“I am needing the monies for the buying?”
“Yes, I'm afraid so.”
“Oh darned it! Why I have no monies?”
“Because you don't go out to work. You don't have a job to earn money.”
“I am liking jewelry too. You are buying jewelry for us? You have your monies for us?”
“Probably not, but nice job to think of your brother and sister too. No, it's not really suitable for boys.”
“Because it's for big people, not little people.”
“Only big people can be wearing jewelry?”
“Sort of. Some of those necklaces are very long, you might trip over them and fall down.”
“I can have a short one?”
“They're all long I'm afraid, no little kid jewelry.” He hangs his head in thought and disappointment. He glances back to the screen.
“The party is after breakfast?”
“After breakfast?”
“It is saying 7:30?”
“Oh right! No that's 7:30 p.m., not a.m.. P.m. is evening, a.m. is morning. This party is in the evening.
“a.m., p.m., what is these letters? What are they meaning?”
“Oh! Hmm. Let me see, I'm not sure. I think it's ante meridiem and post meridiem. Ante is before and post is after. Meridiem means noon. Is that right?”
“I don know. I am asking you the question. It is my question. It is you answer. You are doing the answering.”
“Yes, sorry, I was a little confused for a moment there.”
“You are confusing? I am confusing too? Both of us, we are the confusing.”
“Oh dear, yes, it's just that I failed Latin amongst other things.”
“Latin. What it is Latin?”
“Oh gosh. Well Latin is a different language, like Italian or Spanish. It's just that it's an old language that we don't use any more.”
“It is old and mold? Why you are saying Latin then? Old peoples are saying Latins? Old wommins are saying Latins?”
I try and recover ground before we disappear down a cul-de-sac.
“You know, it's not really a party at all, not the sort of party you go to, it's more of a meeting, or a convention.”
“'Meeting?' What it is 'meeting'?”
“It's where people get together. They meet each other in one place.”
“So 'meeting' is different from 'party'?”
“Where am I?”
“You? Oh. You lot will be in Nonna's room watching a film. A movie.”
“We have movie night? It not Saturday? Why it is movie night again?”
“Because that way you children can have fun, whilst we grown-ups have fun at the same time.”
“We have pop corn? We not have anchovy?”
“I can wear jewelry for movie night?”
“Umm. Yes, I'll lend you some jewelry to wear. You can borrow some, it will be free.”
“No monies, it is free?”
“So we have movie convention with pop corn and jewelry, you have meeting and monies and anchovies?”
“That's right.”
“I like popcorn jewelry movie convention best.” Now there’s a guy that knows a neat deal when he sees one! [translation = chap]

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