There is a legend in my family referred to only as “The Grape Nuts Incident.” I was sitting out on the couch one day, when I heard a sound rather like a parakeet being hit with a tennis racquet. I found my mother, standing in the tub, hysterical, clutching a bowl of Grape Nuts upside-down against her chest. The contents of the bowl had emptied themselves onto her shirt and pants, into her shoes, and – yes – into her hair. She stood there, laughing, partly crying, and mostly screaming, “Don’t just stand there! Do something!” I couldn’t really think of what to do. More importantly, I was laughing too hard to move. The only explanation I could find was that she had been practicing her juggling with a full bowl of cereal.
One week later, the tell-tale squawk returned, and I went running to the rescue (or to the ridicule, quite possibly). And I swear to you, it was exactly the same situation – except she hadn’t made it to the tub, so the milk was dripping onto the floor. Shirt, pants, shoes, hair – all covered in Grape Nuts. We mocked her for years.
And then, this morning, I was lying on the couch eating Cocoa Puffs (Cocoa Mo’s, actually – same stuff, but cheaper in a bag!) when suddenly the bowl skipped in my hand. I caught it at the last second, sighed with relief, and shifted my weight a bit to make my cereal-eating a little safer, congratulating myself on a crisis averted.
And then the cereal jumped me! The bowl flipped of its own accord, and Cocoa Puffs went everywhere! Shrieking filled the air, milk covered my clothing, and cocoa carnage flew! Ethan was laughing, Darbie was laughing, I was screaming, and the Cocoa Mo’s were silently, soggily mocking me. I had to change my shirt, my pants, my undershirt, wash my hands and arms… It was everywhere. And now I’m wearing a different set of clothes, and a little humbled. But at least I didn’t have to run to the bathtub for cover. ♦