Hash-brown hoodwink


Sometimes the stage is set and you don’t even know it.

Sunday morning and there are no eggs in the fridge. There’s a plastic wrapper with one stringy strip of bacon that looks as if the pig it came from must have been one of the two that managed to make into Noah’s Ark.

You open the bag of brown bread and there is only one of those tiny oval end slices. If you placed it on your head and wailed in front of a wall, you could be mistaken for an orthodox Jew.

The kid who lives in your house is ravenous and so are you. “Are you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?” he says, his eyes twinkling.

You don’t need any persuashun. You’re famished too. You just got to go out to breakfast. The Persian woman who also lives in the house is still in bed, so you and the kid pile into your car and zip over to Eggski, a breakfast joint where any time before 9am, you get a free pancake with your regular breakfast.

You know what to order. You go with eggs, sunny side up, sausages, four buttered toasts, fresh orange marmalade on the side and coffee.

By the by, did you hear the marmalade joke?

Knock, knock

Who’s there?

Yo marmalade.

Yo marmalade who?

Yo marmalade me.

(You didn’t get that? Sigh)

Anyways, here you are, you’ve just finished ordering. The kid orders everything you ordered except bacon which he wants instead of sausages and hash-browns on the side. Hash browns are crisp-fried potatoes made by dicing, chopping or mashing boiled potatoes, shaping them into little cakes (like in the pic above) and frying them deep brown.

The hash browns at this joint are exactly like the ones in the picture. Thick delicious patties..mmmm. You love hash browns. But the waitress has already bustled away and its busy today. If you try catching her eye to order hash browns for yourself now, it’ll take a bit of time.

After a while, the waitress appears and plonks two heaped plates in fronta you. You love it when waitresses lean over. The kid who lives in your house is fourteen and he has just begun appreciating it too. You’re glad he’s growin’ the way you want him ta.


Sunny side up?

Today, you’re too hungry to appreciate baobabs. You dig in. First you lather a toast with butter and fresh marmalade and leave it on the side plate to have later with your coffee. Then you begin ta eat. From time to time, your eyes fall on the kid’s hash browns and you ache with yearning.

That is when you plan your little hoodwink. After the kid get’s busy digging in, you suddenly look up at a point directly behind him and exclaim,” Hey, isn’t that Alex from fourth grade? Who’s that girl with him?”

The kid immediately spins around to look. You are ready with your fork. You plunge it into the fattest hash-brown on his plate and then into another and slip your hand below the table.

“Where? I don’t see nobody,” says the kid.

“Musta gone behind that signboard over there. I’ll tell you if I spot him again.” He doesn’t notice the two hash browns on your plate, he’s too busy chompin’.

After a while, you go,” Hey there he is again.” The kid spins around once more. Obviously there’s nobody there. And besides by then, he has seen the hash browns stuck to your fork and also noted his fast-depleting stockpile of hash browns and caught on.

The kid is pissed fit to bust. You’re laughin’. And then you get up to go get some napkins and when you come back to the table, the toast you had generously buttered and marmaladed, has disappeared. And the kid’s cheeks are bulging.

This time its the kid’s turn ta laf. Purple with indignation, you grab your fork and swoop down on his hash browns but they aren’t there no more. They’re all in his mouth, with the toast. Have you seen a kid with cheeks stuffed with hash browns and toast, his mouth so full he can barely masticate?

You grab him by his neck and take your thumb and middle finger and press down playfully on his cheeks. Ker-Swoosh! You have half-chewed hash-browns all over your T-shirt and some all over the table. There’s a kid at the next table who finds all this funny but the waitress doesn’t.

But heck, every cloud has a silver linin’. She has to lean over to pick up the hash-browns, doesn’t she?


3 thoughts on “Hash-brown hoodwink”

  1. Gary Robinson said:

    Baobabs!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂


  2. Gary Robinson said:

    You know I was in India recently, Achyut. I saw a woman with a pair of baobabs that should be in the Baobab Hall of Fame. 🙂


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