At last the sun had gone down, bringing an end to the day's long, torturous fast. My mother and I went to a local Italian restaurant to celebrate. We go there occasionally, in spite of the fact that the big sign outside misspells "pizzeria." Once inside, we took our seats by the window and ordered a large pizza and some soft drinks. When my drink arrived, I noticed something unusual poking above the rim of the glass. Something that did not belong. I carefully fished out this piece of plastic, about an inch across. It was half black, half dirty-transparent. Thus began an inner dialogue in my well-wrinkled head.
"It is probably just a piece from an ice bag," one voice said. "It touches the ice anyway."
"Silence, fool!" my other voice boomed. "Only the inside of the bag would normally touch the ice. The outside is rolling around in the back of filthy trucks, being crawled upon by ungodly vermin and cockroaches. It is handled by countless grubby human hands before the ice reaches its destination. And now, that disgusting piece of plastic has contaminated your drink. Typhoid is probably just around the corner."
My other voice did not have a rebuttal. Just then, the waiter brought a fresh drink for my mother, who unlike me had been sipping her soda. I glanced down to see that the piece of plastic was no longer where I had left it on the corner of the table.
"What happened to that plastic?" I barked to my mother.
"Oh, I moved it," she said.
"Where did you put it?"
"I ... I don't know," she said nervously.
I gave her a long look. "You ate it, didn't you?" I queried. This she denied. "All right," I barked. "Where did you put it?"
She made a show of briefly fumbling through her pockets. "Oh, I don't know what I did with it," she said dismissively.
"I was thinking of asking the waiter for another drink," I said. "But you have apparently eaten the evidence."
"I did not," she said, averting her eyes.
The moral of the story is this, my flock: If you ever dine with my mother, watch her like a hawk.