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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Water Chestnuts Become Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Water Chestnuts

The pantry at my parents’ house has reached Fun House proportions.

Step inside, won’t you? Would you like a pickle? No? Are you sure? Because I can give you up to six quarts before anyone would notice.


I like to wander in, every now and then, just to see what we’re stocking up on these days. It’s not an especially large pantry, but it has its charms. Food, wooden matches, boxes of cassette tapes.

They stock up, my parents do, partially for winter, and partially for any unforeseen circumstances.

Should The End come, there will salsa and chips at my parents’, followed by a brief memorial and a dance.

Look over there. You see that? Appears a deal’s been made in the area of canned water chestnuts.

“Dad,” I say, barely able to keep the smile off my face, let alone out of my words. “You plan on doing a lot of stir-frying?”

My father is not dumb, but he does enjoy a good game of Let’s See How Far We Can Take This.

“You know what the currency will be, don’t you?”

“What, when The End comes?”

My dad nods.

“Water chestnuts?”

Dad smiles.

“Dad, have you been listening to the Mayans again?”

Dad taps the side of his nose and winks but remains silent.

“And you’re thinking that sliced water chestnuts are where the power will lie?”

“And the whole water chestnut!” he interjects. “Let’s not downplay the value of the whole and unsliced water chestnut!”

Water chestnuts aside, the pantry also seems to hold a lot of canned tomatoes, bar soap, marinated artichoke hearts (“oh, your mother loves those, you know”) and, inexplicably, wooden toothpicks.

“Wooden toothpicks,” I muse. I let the phrase hang for a bit, see if it will gain any momentum.

“What,” Dad says. “Because it’s the end of the world we’re not going to have cocktail parties? Build tiny rafts? Spear each other in mock duals?”

He has a point.

No use in letting the end of the world ruin a good time.


Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Haha-your dad cracks me up!
I would love to come over for salsa and chips when the end comes!

Simply Suthern said...

I love water chestnuts. I hope they don't become cash cause I would be swallowing coins again. Don't overlook the usefulness of the mighty wooden tooth pick. I use them all the time for for various projects and once in a blue moon actually as a toothpick.

savannah said...

*sigh* yet another reminder that it's time to really look in the pantry at expiration dates. i do like the way your dad thinks, sugar! xoxoxo

Big Fat Gini said...

Ha! Totally reminds me of my daddy! Even the circus pantry. I literally have sixteen bottles of Frank's Red Hot sauce. I'm hoping when The End comes, I'm not that desperate.

Irisheyes said...

I agree with Suthern. You can be the architect of a very cool trivet or make a variety of tiny little "god's eyes" if can find some yarn in that pantry. Ha! I challenge you to a spear fight!

vanilla said...

Nevah, ah say, nevah, let the end of the world interfere with a good time.

btw, your 'rents are very tolerant. allowing you to paw through their end of the world supplies.

Bossy Betty said...

In case of emergency I am going to your parents' house.

Cheeseboy said...

At least your parents have cassettes. My parents still have Neil Diamond 8 tracks in their pantry. No lie.

Lisa said...

How Far Can We Take This?

It's my favorite game to play with my son. He usually wins.

Christine said...

This is lovely. My grandparents (and so of course also, my mother) are just like this. My favourite image is of tiny rafts. And of post-apocalyptic cocktail parties. And of bandits trading in (whole) water chestnuts.

anna - lifeetc-blog said...

Thanks for the comment - yeah i wonder :P

this is a great blog :)


Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Water chestnuts make nice shields and chest armor during those toothpick battles. A discus to the toothpick's javelin during the post-apocalyptic mini-Olympics? They're truly the most useful of all the... wet... nuts?

Anonymous said...

The Mad Max Movie; You remember what they were all desperately chasing down don't you? Yup. Water Chestnuts. Your Dad is a visonary.

Yankee Gal

reasonably chubby said...

Haha! I love me some water chestnuts...so full of flavor. Loved this post Pearl! I think this is how my kids feel every time they come home for college and look in our pantry. The collective groan says it all.

Symdaddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Symdaddy said...

Don't think I wanna spent any time with your folks in a post-apocalyptic world Pearl.

You never mentioned crinkle-cut beetroot or pickled onions once!

How on earth can anyone survive without those two essential commodities?

a Broad said...

I love your Dad and now I see who you take after.
He is right about the wooden toothpicks though .. great kindling for tiny fires.

lisleman said...

So that's the other secret to the 2012 story.
I thought all the water chestnuts come from China and that was their secret plan for world domination. Thanks for the insight.

Sam Liu said...

Ha! I love this, Pearl. Your dad has the right idea - there's nothing wrong with being prepared. And you're right, why let Armageddon stop one's little frivolities? :D

Anonymous said...

Good news!

Zombies HATE water chestnuts...your parents are safe.

Gigi said...

I love your dad! Just let's keep him and my Hubby from ever meeting, okay? My hubby does enough stockpiling of his own in the area of canned tomatoes and pasta - he doesn't need to get any ideas about stockpiling other items.

Unfinished Rambler said...

I wanted to see where the marinated artichokes would take him in his musing. :)

Douglas said...

I'll take some of those pickles, Dill only please.

My lovely wife won't let me hoard. :(

Jeanie said...

You are a good daughter. My kids just point out the things with a 2006 expiration date.

Flea said...

I sure hope your dad's stocked up on sweet dill pickles. The end of the world just wouldn't be the same without them.

Cloudia said...

Ah, meeting your dad explains so much about YOU,
silly friend girl!

Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral


But when the end comes there'll be much looting,especially of old crumblie's pantries as the looters hunt for water chestnuts.

Tempo said...

Sounds like their pantry would be a good place for a holiday?... Why dont we all meet up there for a weekend get together?

Pat said...

I confess. I still have lots, and I do mean lots, of number 10 cans of staples from when we were stocking up for Y2K. I finally threw away cans and cans of "potato pearls," instant mashed potatoes that taste buttery. I finally used up the oatmeal. I still have a dozen or more number 10 cans of red wheat, but I'm digging into it by grinding it with my electric grain mill and making whole wheat bread and rolls occasionally. Good thing canned red wheat lasts 25 years.