Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Adventures with Corn on the Cob

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It was a great 4tha July weekend here in Pancake Flats. I got in a lot of exercise and a lot of writing. (My latest book is coming along slowly but steadily.) My First Wife and I cooked dinner together before waddling out to watch fireworks.

During prep time, while I was shucking our store-bought corn cobs, I was suddenly reminded of my Dad. Why I never remembered this story when I wrote My Other Blog, I’ll never know. But I’m going to tell it over there pretty soon.

How old was I that night? Ten? Eight? Twelve? That evening, we had corn on the cob with our meal and all of us were chomping away like squirrels at an acorn festival. Suddenly Dad said to whoever was listening, “I’ll give you ten dollars if you can show me an ear of corn with an odd number of rows.” He started gnawing again.

My sister and I gawked at each other—Ten dollars!—and started counting our rows. Who would be the first to get the money?

Even numbered. Even numbered. Even numbered. We grew corn in Our Back Yard so in the summer there was plenty of it. We had corn on the cob three and four nights a week. Even numbered, every one. Even numbered, every one.

Eventually, a handful of years passed—I could have been in high school—and I was busy counting the corn rows one evening when Dad asked me what I was doing.

“Well, counting the rows.”

“What for?”

What for? Had he forgotten?

“Cuz you said you’d give me ten dollars if I found one with odd rows.”

“You’re not going to find one, Son. There aren’t any. There’s never been any. There’s never going to be any. That’s the way the Lord fixed it up. Just forget it.” He started gnawing again.

I sat there dumb-eyed. Had he been pulling my leg all these years?

On this 4tha July, I shucked our store-bought corn cobs and thought about Dad. He was a piece of work. For the first time in a ka-jillion years I counted the corn rows. Even numbered. Even numbered every one.

Dad passed away 25 years ago—and one of my legs is still longer than the other!

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