Friday, January 20, 2017

Too well taught?

My brother Phil is a nice guy. Why, once he took a couple of young nephews to lunch simply to give them something to do and give their mother a break I suppose. But Phil is also, and rightly, a stickler for not wasting anything, especially food. And the nephews, 9 and 12 respectively at the time, were notorious for doing just that.

So Uncle Phil laid it on with a trowel: I will buy you whatever you want, he told the boys, but you absolutely must eat everything you order. Period.

The boys took the lesson to heart and dutifully ate their entire meals. Yet as it was, Phil finished his before they were done; he is kind of a fast eater. As he had finished his Coke too, he turned up the glass and took a couple of pieces of ice in his mouth and began crunching them.

The youngest boy's eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped. "We gotta eat the ice?" he asked his Uncle Phil incredulously.

Phil stifled a laugh and said no, you don't have to eat the ice. But he did stamp that day, lesson learned. At least when Uncle Phil is buying.

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