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Saturday, March 10, 2012

When Water Chestnuts are Outlawed, Only Outlaws will have Water Chestnuts

Sure it's a re-post, but do you know how many things are on my calendar this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday?  Lots!  Lots of things!

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 think 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 a 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.


The Accidental Somebody said...

The religion in which I grew up pushes people to have a good food storage. Ours was like a small grocery store, whenever we ran out of something we just headed downstairs and picked up more. We were a household of nine people back then. Now she is single and living alone - her food storage could feed a thousand people easily. It's her pride and joy. :/

Anonymous said...

It's always good to be prepared. You never know when there is going to be a world wide shortage of water chestnuts.

Belle said...

I must run out and buy water chestnuts and toothpicks! Whenever I watch the news and there is flooding somewhere I always say to my daughter, "We've GOT to buy a boat."

jabblog said...

Be Prepared! It's a good motto to live by as Baden Powell knew;-)

esbboston said...

Not just outlaws, water chestnut plants will also have water chestnuts, unless, of course this by default makes water chestnut plants outlaws too. "You can have my water chestnuts when you pick them off my cold dead branches!"

esbboston said...

I can't wait for the movie, "Water Chestnut World" starring Kevin Costner.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

We used to have a "Disaster Preparedness Stash" in our basement for about seven years. One day I discovered mould growing on the neatly piled wood, long-past expiry dates and a deep need to step into denial. I threw it all away. Now we have more room to collect books and old family photos. When THE END comes, we will open a library and craft centre. Do you know how many things one can do with old photos?????

Leenie said...

Bridges! The bridges will all be blown away. Water chestnuts and toothpicks will be useful to make bridges and rafts. I have a whole basement full of them.

jenny_o said...

Pearl, I do believe your father's manner of speaking rubbed off on you. Or else you are putting words in his mouth :)

Which one is it, do you think?

esbboston said...

The word chestnut just showed up on my Japanese quiz! It appears that this is the translation for water chestnut:


esbboston said...

I just had the word Pearl show up on my Japanese quiz, looks like it can be spelled a couple ways, the first one sounds like Pearl and the second one is pronounced shinju.



Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Wonderful story, Pearl! I especially love it when you write about your parents. It's so easy to see the origins of at least some of your great gift for humor in your father as well!

SparkleFarkle said...

When the end of the world comes, I am sure to have enough Twistie Bag Ties (some spent, some brand new) to knit a car. I think I'll make it a flying car (<--Mine will be green.), because we should have had them by now and don't.

The Elephant's Child said...

Are parents had the hoarding gene in common. When my mother died there were things in the pantry that were so old they preceded 'use by dates'. It was a family joke (with a big element of truth) that no matter what you asked my father for, it would be in his shed. 'A walrus?, Might take me an hour or so to find'.

Gigi said...

Should The End occur we, apparently, will be having an Italian feast. At least, I assume so by the amount of canned tomatoes Hubby is hoarding.

JohnD said...

Horse Chestnuts! lol!

pilgrimchick said...

My friend's parents are similar culprits. At one point, we counted 17 boxes and packages of dry pasta in the pantry. I will say, however, that this staple appeared at nearly every meal at their house, so they may actually have needed all of it.

Jo-Anne's Rambling said...

Wow your parents sound interesting and funny my parents would love to stock up on stuff but they have children who turn up wanting stuff all the time, to the point that they have to lock things away when they go away just to make sure stuff don't go missing......

River said...

Should the end arrive anytime soon, I've probably got enough toilet paper to see us all through. Cans of instant coffee too and jars of spaghetti sauce.

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Somebody already has the market cornered in water chestnuts, so we got apple leather and duct tape, you can make anything with it interchangeably and eat it too. Trade'ya ! ":)