This morning as I clipped some lettuce for a salad I was reminded of an old childhood riddle. "What's worse than biting into an apple and finding a worm?" (Biting into an apple and finding half a worm... ha, ha, ha.)
Displaying my Sunday clever as i snipped, I turned slyly to Mary, who was sitting at the lakeside bar innocently reading a book, and chuckled (snip, snip), "Hey, Mary. What's worse than clipping some lettuce and finding a tent caterpillar in one of the leaves?"
She, of course, guessed the right answer almost immediately and chortled and laughed in what I recognized as her attempt to humor me, by faking hysterical delight. She knew the old man didn't fly past the threshhold of mediocrity with that one.
Continuing the showdown of wits, she waited til I was halfway through eating my salad before inquiring quietly, "Did you wash that lettuce before you started eating?"
She knew the answer to that, as she had watched me clip it straight into the bowl.
"There's caterpillar poop all over everything, you know," she gently chided.
Not to be outdone I assured her I had drenched everything with blue cheese dressing and wouldn't know the difference.
And to stay ahead of the game, I marched into the kitchen, clutched a handful of raisins, came back and threw them into my remaining salad and mixed them all around, coating with the blue cheese and hiding like Easter eggs among the lettuce leaves.
It was plain to see she had a question, but I took the lead without her even asking. "In case the rabbits have been in the garden, too."
Mary went back to her book.
I finished my salad.
I think that being an organic vegetarian must be harder than being a Lutheran in a Catholic village.