When I was growing up, my parents had a number of remarkable strengths and talents. One was a seeming encyclopedic knowledge of card games, which they taught and played with us. Another was a love of unusual food preservation techniques, like drying food (either with the food dryer my father built himself or on the roof of the carport in midsummer, producing genuine sun-dried tomatoes, leftover Thanksgiving turkey jerky, and fruit leather), smoking fish (in the smoker my dad converted from an old refrigerator, in which we smoked fish we’d caught ourselves), and making apple cider in the fall with a cider press my dad built from a kit. And then there was the spring we went to Florida and discovered my father know how to sail, which meant hours of fun on the Gulf of Mexico in the sailboat we’d borrowed from friends. A fourth was telling us nonsensical stories. Here’s a sampling:
Ladies and Jellyspoons, I come before you to stand behind you to tell you of a subject I know nothing about. Next Thursday, which is Good Friday, there will be a ladies’ meeting for fathers only. Admission is free; pay at the door. Take a seat and sit on the floor.
One fine morning in the middle of the night, two dead boys got up to fight. Back to back , they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other. A deaf policeman heard the noise and came and shot the two dead boys.
If it takes a chicken and a half a day and a half to lay an egg and a half, how long does it take a monkey with a wooden leg to kick all the seeds out of a dill pickle?
Somehow, I merited to marry a man who is also a sailor, and rather than being a whiz with food drying (my friend Sigal does that), I am the cake decorating enthusiast. (I won’t go so far as to say maven; one of my efforts at a castle looked like Toad with two melting ice cream cones on his head, dubbed forever after as the Frog and Toad cake.) But I’m passing on the nonsense to the kids.
Anyone got any others for me to share?