I carelessly knocked over the line of Cobra toys. Once again, G.I. Joe triumphed over the forces of evil and protected my toy box from tyrannical rule. I looked around the room to decide what to do next. He-man? Maybe later.
Then I heard it. That sound of thin metal being ripped from it’s base. I ran as fast as I could down the short hallway, bouncing off the adjoining wall as I took the corner hard. Entering the long kitchen I combined the power of my eight-year-old legs, socks and cheap linoleum to slide me to the counter.
I came to a stop neatly beside my mother who was fixing lunch. And there it was. The can of Frito Lay bean dip. Freshly opened, the metal inner-lid rested beside the can. Small clumps of bean dip clung to the surface of the metal, staring up at the ceiling.
I stealthily stretched my hand out toward the lid. I froze as my mom stared at me out of the corner of her eye. We locked eyes, an invisible battle of wills taking place. Like a snake striking, my hand grabbed the lid and disappeared into my sleeve.
“You’re going to cut your tongue on that,” mom said.
“No I’m not.” I answered in a matter-of-fact tone. This struck me as being too similar to the “you’ll shoot your eye out with a bb gun” argument I’d heard all too often. Surely it couldn’t be true too.
I sat down on the cold floor and leaned my back against the refrigerator. I happily began to lick the remaining bean dip off the inside of the metal. “You’d have to be an idiot to cut your tongue on this,” I thought, “Just don’t lick the edges.”
Fast forward 20 years to today
The glow of the refrigerator lights up my face as I open it. “Hey, bean dip,” I exclaim. I quickly pull off the plastic lid and cast it aside. I work my finger under the pull of the metal lid and tug. The metal around the edges gives way with a satisfying rip.
Thinking of all the things I have left to do in the day I begin to lick the bean dip off the inside of the lid. My mom’s voice comes back to my head. “You’ll cut your tongue on that,” she intones.
I smile. “Yeah right, I’m not tha……..OWWWW!”
The sharpened edge of the metal neatly slices through the soft flesh of my tongue.
“Crap! I cut myself on that. What an idiot!” I say to myself.
As my tongue begins to burn from the slice I scribble a quick note.
Note to self: call Mom.
Also, don’t shoot a bb gun today. Just to be on the safe side.