Buying Spoons

Haron writes:

I should know better by now. I should know that when Abel says, “I need to go into a kitchen shop to replace XYZ”, he actually means “I want to go into the wooden spoon section, to get something to beat you with.” (OK, he probably wants to buy stuff to cook with too, but that motivation is definitely secondary.)

I, myself, have gotten out of more than one weary trip to the mall this way. When Bethie says “Let’s go to the mall, bounce bounce squee” I’ve been known to say “Sure, I’ve been meaning to get into the fancy kitchen store and look through their latest silicone spatulas.” Doesn’t always work, but sometimes there’s no more talk of mall visiting. “I tell you what”, says Bethie, “I need to spend a lot of time in the fabric store, you’d be bored, how about you stay here and I’ll bring us home some dinner?” Yes, dear, sounds like a fine plan to me, perhaps I’ll take a small nap while you’re gone.

On the other hand, Abel’s methods have their merits:

But yesterday I naively followed him into the shop, and stood by as he sorted through measuring jugs and other gizmos, only to see him pick up the thickest, scariest wooden spoon in the world. (Maybe it only seemed that way at the point, of course. The spoon you’re about to get smacked with is always the worst ever.) Protestations were no use: it was clear that the thing was coming home with us.

I’d forgotten all about it by the time I ran my bath this morning, – only to get a nasty surprise when Abel walked into the bathroom, spoon in hand.

“Hands on the edge of the bath,” he said snappily. The bubbles in the tub winked at me as I complied, promising me comfort after it was all over.

Maybe the mall — despite being run down and emptying out, despite its filling with blank storefronts, darker areas, and semi-resident vagrants, despite having that special rank odor of under-mopped decay that has come to typify small-town malls in twenty-first-century America — has its virtues after all. The kitchen store there sells some fine spoons and spatulas.

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