My happiness from the whole lawn thing, plus the facts that:
1) I love her, even if she is a bit fruity when it comes to vegetables
2) We aren’t Jewish
3) Lettuce gets along on a ham sandwich, quite nicely
convinced me to break down and eat a little lettuce. In fact, I had
even resolved to go so far as to eat a whole bunch of lettuce, just to
make her happy by dint of there being a noticeable dent in her lettuce stockpile.
So I pulled open the vegetable drawer and, lo and behold, there
was a big pile of absolutely nothing, staring me in the face. The lettuce
was gone! I was free! I didn’t have to mow the lawn or eat the lettuce.
Life was good!
Mom had been threatening to take the lettuce and give it to people
she worked with, thinking21, that this would cause us to become
irrationally jealous and therefore make of us eaters of green, leafy
It did not cause jealousy, although we did worry a bit about how
long she could hold onto a job after her boss caught her hauling in
lettuce by the truckload. I assumed that this was what had happened
to the lettuce, since I knew it had been there the night before and I
was fairly certain no one had woke up with an intense craving for it.
Not so, as I discovered soon after this assumption was made. For
upon arriving home my mother did, indeed, mention the lettuce as she
stated, with a sulky air:
“I guess I’ll just have a salad for my dinner. That way the lettuce,
which none of you will eat, won’t entirely go to waste.”
Then she bent down, and went on to riffle about in the refrigerator.
“Where is the lettuce?”, she asked with a happy pitch to her voice.
“I don’t know.” I replied, in a forthright (though, as it turns out,
very stupid ) manner. “ I thought you did something with it.”
Glares of suspicion, like death rays, shot from her eyes and began
bombarding me, with obvious intent to destroy.
“Don’t be ridiculous!” she trumpeted her battle challenge. “What could I
have possibly done with that much lettuce?”
“I don’t know. You were the one who said you were going to take it
to work and pass it out there.”
“Don’t be an idiot. If you had used your feeble mind you would
have realized that I was not going to jeopardize my job by hauling a
truck load, or so, of lettuce in to work with me. No, you must have
done something with it!”
“I must have? Why is it I must have? There are six people in this
“Yes, I know that. But you were the only one home since last night
and the lettuce was still here last night. But it was not here this
“Well, I didn’t do anything with the lettuce. Besides, someone else
was home before me ‘cause the lawn has been mowed.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You mowed the lawn last night. I noticed it
this morning and I was going to thank you.”
“I did not mow the lawn last night. I didn’t mow it at all and it was
not mowed when I was outside last night.”
You get the general picture, I trust. There I stood, accused of a
crime I didn’t commit, being fired upon by the Death Rays of
Motherhood and my shields were buckling. At the last instance in
strode my brother to save my life.
Another long conversation about lettuce and lawn mowing ensued,
with new family members being added by the quarter hour, until finally
these few facts emerged.
1) None of us had mowed the lawn or eaten the lettuce.
2) The lawn had been mowed.
3) The lettuce had been taken, apparently in payment.
4) These things occurred sometime between 9:00 P.M. and 5:30 A.M.
To this day, who did this deed remains a mystery. Oh, there are
suspicions that Dad hired the son’s of his best friend to mow the lawn
and gave away or tossed out the lettuce, of course. Yet, no one in our
family knows, for a certainty, what happened.22
Next Up: Chapter 2: Mysterious Interlude