A Sticky Situation

August 23, 2009

My brother Rankin, our designated babysitter, knew he could depend on his sister Kay to cook up a delectable treat after everyone left for the evening. Occasionally Kay felt adventurous and tried something new like Baked Alaska. However Rankin and I much preferred tapioca pudding.
We stood one on either side of her with spoon in hand and watched as Kay swirled the rich bubbling dessert, steam rising, tantalizing aroma engulfing us as she poured its flavour into bowls.
Although it was hot from the stove we insisted that was how we liked it best. Kay maintained it was better cooled but eventually swayed by our unrelenting pleas she gave in. Holding in our hands, bowls filled to overflowing with creamy delicious pudding, we thanked her profusely.
Feeling adventurous one night, Kay decided to make taffy. After a reasonable amount of time the syrupy mixture cooled and was deemed ready to pull. With our hands shrouded in butter we began the task. It was exciting watching the dark caramel turn into a light creamy appetizing golden hue. And even more fun to eat a little of the sticky goo after each handful we pulled.
Being the youngest in the family I had no thought of the result of holding sticky candy in my hands and then spreading it everywhere I touched. Apparently neither did my older siblings until much too late.
Our fun was brought to an abrupt halt when we were surprised by the sound of the key in the front lock. Grabbing the pot of taffy in sticky hands we ran for the back yard. Standing in the stillness of the dark night our hearts were filled with fear.
Everything from the kitchen doorknob to the walls mom touched as she proceeded through the apartment to the kitchen was sticky with candy. Each step she took found her foot not wanting to leave the previously waxed floor.
“Jesus, Mary, & Joseph!!!! Where are you christers?” We heard her say.
Silently we crept in. Standing quietly, heads bowed, we barely took a breath.
“Jesus, Mary & Joseph!!!” she uttered over and over again as she walked around touching cupboards, walls, and chairs, a look of disbelief on her startled face.
The following morning everything appeared spick and span. The matter was never mentioned again. Nonetheless a valuable lesson was learned that night. I have now reached the age of sixty and I have never since nor have I ever allowed any of my five children the experience the joy of pulling taffy.

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