Worrying about parents and sandwiches

My parents recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas, and, of course, I was worried about them the entire time they were gone. Well, whenever I thought about them, anyway.

Whenever my parents fly, I worry. They can’t be offended — at least my mother can’t — because she lost her mind when I let the kids fly. At least I make sure they get on the right plane; I’m convinced some day my parents will get on the wrong plane, at least partially because their eyesight is getting bad and they consistently refuse to wear their glasses.

And since they were so busy gambling — Grampy Grumpy won a Texas Hold ’em tournament and Grandmama didn’t pour all his winning into the slot machines — they rarely called me, so it was hard to keep track of them. I think if you run away to the other side of the country, you could check in with your kids every once in a while. At least once a day; maybe twice. It’s not an unreasonable request.

“Why are are you so worried?” Copy Desk Fred asked.

That was a good question. I had a bad answer. “Because they are old.”

The newsroom didn’t care for that at all, since my parents aren’t all that much older than some of them. I had to backpeddle so fast that I almost ended up on the other side of the river.

••••••

Speaking of my “elderly” parents, Grandmama went trick-or-treating with us again this year. Sass was trick-or-treating for U.N.I.C.E.F., so Grandmama hobbled behind with a bag. Sass would ask for money to fund the eradication of maternal and neonatal tetanus in developing countries, and Grandmama would sidle up behind her, thrust out the bag and suggest that they drop a piece of candy in the bag — for Sass.

Sass hasn’t actually trick-or-treated for candy in several years, but Grandmama saw an opening, and, by God, she took it.

Later, I took the candy and added it to the Professor’s stash. Grandmama was foiled.

We misjudged how far we had to walk to catch the Bates Motel on the way back, so Grandmama missed getting her picture taken in their graveyard. Her disappointment didn’t last long, because one of the churches was giving out full-sized candy bars and let her have one for herself, and the kids shared their peanut butter cups with her.

Free candy always tastes best. That’s Grandmama’s philosophy.

•••••••

I promised Sass I would take her to a lecture on Alexander Hamilton’s political and economic philosophy, because I hate myself. It was an hour away and somewhere I’d never been — like I said, I hate myself.

Anyway, I needed a quick dinner, so I made a tray full of sandwiches that needed to be warmed up in the oven. When they needed to come out, I asked Sass to pull them out of the oven, then I started distributing them. I was coming up one short.

I knew I had made 10 sandwiches. I counted the sandwiches again: nine. I was puzzled. I’m bad at math, but not that bad. I started doubting my sanity.

“Where’s the other sandwich?” I asked.

She shrugged. “That’s what was on the tray.”

I looked at the tray again. It was bereft of sandwiches.

I opened the oven … and found the missing sandwich. It had slid off the tray when Sass took it out of the oven.

At least it was wrapped in foil. And I wasn’t insane — any more than usual, anyway.

(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at swallace@pafocus.com)

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