Thursday, January 12, 2006


There is a chance that at one time my mother was resident on Tralfamadore. In any case, she often comes unstuck in time. Though it seems that her time travel only occurs in respect of grocery purchases.

Pull any item out from the back of the cupboard. For example, the box of cheerios that has turned a weathered brownish colour and has pictures of a mother with a big perm on the front of the box.

Me: How old is this, mom?

Mom: Oh, [she now comes unstuck and travels back ten years….] I just bought that last week.

My mother is diligent in house upkeep in every other respect, but in the realm of groceries, the fridge door opens a fissure in time through which one can gain insight into the Loblaws of the 1990s.

This is what happens when one’s children move from the house and one adopts a salmon- and blueberry- only diet. I kid you not. Apparently they are good for the skin.

In any case, my lesson begins with a visit home to mom. To her credit, I find a fresh bagel and some cream cheese. I make a sandwich.

Then, I stick my head through the fridge portal and see a jar of pickles far in the back of the fridge.

Me: Mom, how old are those pickles?

Mom: Oh, […time travel…] I just bought those last week.

I gazed at the jar. The pickles seemed to have a hyper-green tinge. I was uncertain.

Me: Are you sure they are fresh? They look kind of old.

Mom: No, [still in the past] the oldest they could be is one month.

I opened the jar. There were three pickles left. Well, three and a half. One appeared to have had a bite taken from it and been placed back in the jar. A more pungent-than-usual vinegar smell assaulted my nose.

While cloudy brine may be one of the indicia of freshness, I wondered what positive opaqueness meant.

Mom: Go ahead, they’re fine.

I forked one of the pickles from the jar and took a hesitant bite.

It instantly disintegrated in my mouth and burnt my tongue.

MY TASK: Trust my gut instincts more. If it looks like a bad pickle, and smells like a bad pickle, in all likelihood, it is a bad pickle.


Blogger Lisa said...

...agreed. I learned that lesson very early on, though, since I was the poor recipient of the 'real fruit chunk' orange juice. Me: mom, how old is this? Mom: I just bought it. Me: its chunky. Mom: it has real fruit chunks in it. I proceeded to drink the fowl orange juice, until better judgement told me to spit out a 'real fruit chunk' and investigate. Indeed, this 'real fruit chunk' was a 'real old chunk of mold'. Lesson: never trust moms faulty grocery time estimation.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous a said...

nadine, you are good. really good. the chance to read a few other acquaintances' new blogs recently made me appreciate how good you are -- it's yours i keep coming back to.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Nadine said...

Dear a,
Thank you very much for your kind comment. I'm so glad that you are enjoying.

8:45 AM  

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