Dealing with today's kids can be tough

Published 3:24 am Monday, December 29, 2003

By Staff
Sometimes I really wonder about kids today. I was pulling some bread, mayo, and ham out of the refrigerator this evening in order to fix myself a ham sandwich.
I wasn't ravenously hungry or anything, but I wanted something just to tide me over. As I assembled the ingredients there on the kitchen table, my two tax write-offs suddenly walked in, eyeballed what I was doing, and promptly began laughing. Seeing as how there was no obvious reason for them to laugh, I simply asked them both what was so humorous?
Alison replied, "You are, Dad. What are you trying to make?"
I replied that bread, mayo, and ham was the time-honored formula for plain ham sandwiches, the only allowable deviation being that some people prefer mustard over mayo. I'd no soon gotten those words out of my mouth when they both started laughing again. After a few moments of that, they calmed down, but both had smirks going on their faces. Will got right down to brass tacks when he said:
Alison added, "Really dad, that's showing your age. No one I hang out with eats plain sandwiches. Look at all the food choices that are out there now."
It sort of teed me off, to be honest, this implicit feedback that I'm some sort of out-of-touch old man.
Thinking quickly, I responded, "Is that so? Well, how would ya'll like for me to whip up something for you here, something unique, something that you've never had before and that you'll want to eat over and over again once you've tasted it?
They both nodded their interest.
I smiled, picked up four slices of bread, and laid them across the table. Then, I took my knife and jar of mayo and ladled a thin covering of it across all four slices of bread.
Finally, I took the pieces, formed them into two sandwiches, and handed one apiece to Alison and Will.
They both stared at me like I'd just mooned the Pope or something. Will asked, "Dad, isn't something missing here?"
Both of them thought I was kidding. Alison informed me that she hadn't been born yesterday, and that I was trying to pull something over on her cause she'd laughed at me about my ham sandwich. I assured her I wasn't, telling her that mayonnaise sandwiches were pretty common fare when I was growing up. She still refused to believe me, so I tried to further build my case,
I could see this was getting me nowhere. Will then said, "Dad, if you prove to me that people really ate mayonnaise sandwiches back when you were coming along, I'll eat one. In fact, Alison and I both will eat one. But we need solid proof."
I told them both that was fair. Now, I need to ask a really big favor of ya'll. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only soul in these parts who's ever eaten a mayonnaise sandwich.
I've heard more than one of my Monroe County contemporaries tell me that they'd eaten them when they were growing up around here. Please, would anyone out there who's ever eaten one send me a quick e-mail (my e-mail is at the bottom of this column) about it? It doesn't have to say much, just a sentence telling me that you've eaten a mayonnaise sandwich before. When I get it, I'll print it out, and give it to my two cash-burners to read. You have my word on it. And, if I get enough emails, I'll even write a follow-up column just to let ya'll know how much they enjoyed their sandwiches. You have my word on that, too.
Strike a blow against all this pre-processed nutritional crap they sell these days, and help me teach two young'uns some respect for a venerated Southern tradition -- the mayonnaise sandwich!