a story passed along to me
I Love Mustard
(This is a true story.)
If you have children you will probably relate to this
As ham sandwiches go, it was perfection. A thick slab
of ham, a fresh bun, crisp lettuce and plenty of
expensive, light brown, gourmet mustard.
The corners of my jaw aching in anticipation, I
carried it to the picnic table in our backyard, picked
it up with both hands but was stopped by my wife
suddenly at my side. "Hold Johnny (our six-week-old
son) while I get my sandwich," she said.
I had him balanced between my left elbow and shoulder
and was reaching again for the ham sandwich when I
noticed a streak of mustard on my fingers.
I love mustard.
I had no napkin.
I licked it off.
It was not mustard.
No man ever put a baby down faster. It was the first
and only time I have sprinted with my tongue
protruding. With a washcloth in each hand I did the
sort of routine shoeshine boys do, only I did it on my
Later (after she stopped crying from laughing so hard)
my wife said, "Now you know why they call that
Tenure is no substitute for ability.
Seek understanding rather than knowledge.
--Shibumi by Trevanian