Maddie was about 5 years old (& Rachel 8 yrs old) which would mean that the funniest family dinner ever occurred in 2002. This involves two separate stories that became intertwined in the brain of our Miss Maddie over one family dinner. Story #1 involves Mike, a shoe and a toothpick and Story #2 involves Mike, Rachel and a toothpick. These stories were conveyed immediately one after the other – this is an important fact to keep in mind. Story #2 was prompted by Story #1 due to the common theme of toothpicks.
Story #1 – Mike, the shoe and the missing toothpicks. We are sitting at the table and the dialogue begins –
Mike: “By the way, where do we keep our toothpicks?”
Me: “They are usually with the spices in the cabinet near the oven. Why?”
Mike: “Well, I stepped in dog poop outside in the front yard this morning and needed some toothpicks to get it out of my shoe. And, I couldn’t find the toothpicks so I had to use paper towels. It was a mess.”
Story #2 – Mike, Rachel and the toothpick. Our oldest, Rachel, has always had a uniquely wonderful and quirky sense of humor – she can find humor in just about anything even when it really isn’t funny. Mike mentioning the elusive toothpicks reminded Rachel (age 8 yrs) of a story that she wanted to tell about her day:
Rachel was with Mike for most of the afternoon running errands and while they were out, they grabbed some sustenance at the Steak ‘n Shake. The one thing that you need to know about my husband is that if the restaurant has toothpicks, he must grab one! Okay, so he grabs a toothpick as they were leaving the Steak ‘n Shake , and when he gets into the car, promptly drops it – he drops it between the seat and the console. Due to Mike’s massive forearms (according to you-know-who), he could not retrieve the wayward toothpick. Rachel, with her tiny forearm and fingers, was able to carefully extract the item from the abyss into which it had fallen. Next, according to Rachel (and this is where she starts the giggling), she handed it back to daddy and he dropped it again into the same black hole! I think this is when Mike decided that he was meant to have food stuck in his teeth and gave up. This was funny stuff to an 8 yr old! Apparently, she cracked up then and was laughing silly at the dinner table during the re-telling. I have to admit the rest of us sat there kind of stoned-faced waiting for the story to get funny. (I did laugh a little at how much she was getting a kick out of it.)
At some point during the b-o-r-i-n-g toothpick/Steak ‘n Shake story, Maddie gets up from the table, goes to the spice cabinet and finds the toothpicks for her daddy. She brings them to the table, gives them to Mike and sits down.
There was a pause in the action/discussion at the table and then Maddie, with a very confused look on her face, sweetly asks (wait for it. . . .wait for it),
Then, there was a …….H U S H……… Mike and I stared at each other, and then the light bulbs when on for both of us. The poor thing had thought the two stories were related somehow and she had become confused as both stories were being told at the dinner table.
Maddie’s Brain trying to digest the story she just heard:
“Did Daddy eat poo by mistake??”
“Did poo accidentally fall into his open mouth while he was talking to someone??”
“Was he sleeping outside with his mouth wide open and some poo fell in??”
“Did someone disguise some poo as a snack as a joke and he didn’t know??”
For Maddie, toothpicks were things that one uses to pick things out of one’s teeth. PERIOD. She thought her daddy needed some assistance in getting something unsavory out from between his teeth.
Well, you can imagine what happened next – we burst into uncontrollable laughter for what seemed like 5 minutes – Mike and I couldn’t speak we were laughing so hard (again with the tears!). Rachel started laughing just because it was a funny question to ask your father and Jack, being only 2, was laughing because everyone else was laughing. The only one not laughing was Maddie because she didn’t understand what just happened, she really just wanted an answer.
Once Mike was able to get a hold of himself, he tried to reassure our confused 5 yr old that he had not, at any time, noshed on dog poo and that the two stories were completely unrelated. It took her a while to be convinced of that.
We will never really know what images were floating through that girl’s head that night at the dinner table – we will have to leave that up to, well, . . . . . the imagination!