Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Great Harvest

"Dude, do you want some saltines?" I asked. It was Sunday afternoon, and we were still coaxing Eli 7.3 to eat something. Anything.

"Are they fresh?" he asked.

"Right off the vine," I said.

"Right off the what?" he asked.

"The vine," I said. "Didn't you know that's how they're grown? It looks like a tomato plant, but saltine crackers grow on the vine instead. When they're ripe, they have that nice, light color and just the right amount of salt, but they have to be picked within a few days. They have thousands of people working the fields in the summer during the harvest."

"Okay, now I do NOT believe that," he said. "Do you PROMISE?"

"Promise what?" I asked. "That's just how saltine crackers are grown. I worked in a field one summer during high school--they still grow saltines in South Texas. You had to wear these heavy gloves because of the thorns on the plants, but the crackers are so brittle that it was really hard to pick them without breaking them. Man, that was hard work."

Gloria kept a straight face the whole time, but when Eli looked at her, she burst out laughing.

"I do NOT believe that, MISTER!" he said, laughing.

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