Saturday, 31 January 2009

Not 28.349 grams of malice


(Photo by Ellie. W, who likes to sign her name across her pics)

I just chopped some pistachios for a dish that I am cooking. My daughter came up to me and asked whether she could eat one. "Of course, baby. Here, have all of these"

I suddenly remembered one occasion when I found myself in a similar situation as a child. I sat cross-legged opposite my mum peeling roasted pistachios, happily chatting and munching away.

My mum had a strange sense of humour when it came to interacting with me and my sister (more on this in a future post). On this occasion she suddenly said to me:
"If you see one that's kind of green, it's off; don't eat it. Give it to me."
Of course they were all kind of green and so I peeled them, examined each one, and, finding them kind of green, duly passed them on to my mum who in turn would look me in the eye, grinningly put the pistachios in her mouth and brazenly eat them.

I simply marvelled at the particularly bad batch of pistachios we acquired. How could it be that they were all off? Every one was one shade of green or another; I even wondered whether a particular hue of dark green was really a strange form of brown and whether it'd be safe to eat this one at least. I'd show my mum and make the appropriate enquiry.
"Nope, bad one!"
she would say. And I'd hand over the dangerous nut and she would dispose of it. This continued until we finished the bag.

I was a very bright child (all by myself I invented the times tables, infinity and atoms) but I was not very astute when it came to deception.

It never occurred to me that she might not be telling me the truth. It also never occurred to me to ask why, if they were bad, she was eating them, or what was going to happen to me since I had already eaten a few.

There was not an ounce of malice in me. My mum on the other hand....

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