MY MOTHER THE MURDERER
By Gerald Kasten
When I was growing up my parents owned a very lethal estab-
lishment whose shelves were filled with all sorts of slow acting
poisons. They called it a grocery store.
Even today, when the wind is fluttering just right, and the
right fragrances are airborne, I shut my eyes and I hear the
heart-felt moaning of my murderess mother pleading with me.
“Jerry, eat all your eggs and the bread also, or no dessert!”
“Mommaaaa! I hate eggs. And you spread the butter on the
pumpernickel too thick.”
“What’s the matter with you? Don’t you know that the
children in Europe are starving? They would love to have a meal
like this.” There was another poignant inducement.
“If you don’t eat well you’ll get rickets.”
Now, that really scared me. “Crickets? What’s crickets?”
“Don’t ask,” was her dire reply.
Her most important goal in life was to make her skinny kids
big and strong. And incidentally, being chubby was an added plus.
After all, if you looked well fed, you were healthy. Thus: milk,
butter and eggs, were the most important body-building foods on
earth, and they were served daily. She had a very devious way of
doing this, my scheming mother. She would try to convince us that
what came from those grocery shelves was good, wholesome,
nourishing … and free for us to snack on.
But the essential ingredients for all her schemes were what
was in those boxes beyond the glass doors of the showcases.
Now, that was a collection of compelling poisons. Eskimo Pie
ice cream bars with their bright silvery wrapper; Mellow bars;
Charlotte Rousses (sponge cake with whipped cream swirl, and a
bright cherry on top.) Bottled milk with the long topping of sweet
cream; cream pies, cheeses of all varieties and flavors. To this
day I’m still addicted to the narcotics of the showcase.
Then after years of this torture, I met Lucretia Borgia. She
operated under the alias of MOTHER-IN LAW. Now she was a real
killer. Under the guise of being a loving mother-in-law, she
conspired with her equally devious daughter to dish out their own
brand of poison that made my mother look like an angel.
They transformed the most delightful ingredients into deadly,
exotic Hungarian concoctions. Then they placed them before me for
my approval. Ah, I lived like a potentate!
The juicy fried chicken; the thick spicy steaks, the hardy
soups loaded with meat, herbs and spices. Then, as if that wasn’t
enough, there were the fine delicate pastries that only an expert
with loving hands could prepare. Oh! The aroma! Oh! The beauty of
those creamy, sugary delights! Mother-in-law dear, you made my
life a living hell trying to decide which poisonous culinary
blessings I should devour. You set my poor head reeling.
Suddenly, sorrowfully, the whirligig came to an abrupt end.
Some cruel demon in his laboratory, decided that this decadent
practice of producing gastronomical wonders must cease!
IMMEDIATELY! So, he devised the ominous word CHOLESTEROL! With
all the evils that it implies.
He changed my life forever. Now everyone made an about face.
We are now reduced to reading labels on everything. So far the only
food that has zero sodium, zero fat, zero cholesterol, is straw … and water.
OH CRUEL, COLOSSAL DEPRIVATION OF IT ALL!
Now in our old age while strolling on the clean sandy beach, and bath ing in the sky blue sun dappled water our beach in Hampton Bays,we often discuss the deprivation of the taste of;
A juicy steak the ice cream, our mothers pastry, and all the other forbidden foods,
BUT THANK GOODNESS WE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO ENJOY OUR