It’s better not to know. Right?

Mistake number one: I don’t look for the tongs until after I heat up the oil past the point of no return and toss the battered fish in. The timer is ticking and I can’t find the tongs. Not anything that would do the job in their stead. Tic-toc-tic-toc. Panic! Yell:

Jane: Has anybody seen the tongs?

Cinder: The kitchen tongs?

Jane: Yes!

Cinder: The ones you use for cooking?

Jane: Yes! For godssake-where-the-hell-are-they?

Cinder: I think I’ve seen them the bathroom.

The timer is ticking, the oil is boiling, the fish is frying—I race. Up the stairs. Bathroom. Yes! There they are, on the floor beside the bathtub. Grab ‘em. Race them the stairs. Stand at the stove. Pause for a minute. Because, after all, this is my house. The house of Ender and his penchant for grossness.

Jane: Does anyone know why the tongs were in the bathroom?

Flora: What?

Jane: Why were the tongs in the bathroom? Did one of you take them up for take bath toys out of the bathtub or…

I pause. I don’t want to say it. Thinking it.

But  the clock is still ticking… and I say…

Jane: … or were they used to fish something out of the toilet?

A horrible silence answers me. A silence that, in not denying, affirms. A silence that pounds in my ears like a drum—the timer on the stove is now counting down seconds—until Cinder says:

Cinder: Does it matter? I mean, you’re going to wash them really well anyway, right?

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is proof, by the way, that while they possess 50 per cent of their father’s genetic material, 90 per cent of their behaviours and habits around food and cleanliness, anyway, come from my modelling and not his genes. Were Sean, the man who will not eat floor peas, in the kitchen right now, the conversation would go like this:

Sean: Jesus, give me those—no, I don’t want to touch them—just put them in the garbage, I’m going to run to Safeway and get a new pair—I’ll be back in 20 minutes—just turn the oil off—we can eat supper 20 minutes later—I can’t fucking believe you were going to use those to flip our food!


Cinder: Delicious fish.

Flora: Mmm, really good.

Cinder: Do you like the fish, Daddy?

Sean: So good.

Jane: I’m so glad.

And it’s all fine. Until:

Ender: There are my pinchers! I’ve been looking for those everywhere!

…and he stomps off. Upstairs. Where the bathroom is.

Cinder: We could follow him. Then we’d know.

Jane: But do we want to know?

Sean: What are you guys talking about?

Flora: Wasn’t the fish delicious, Daddy?

Sometimes, it’s better not to know. Don’t you think?

However, because I really, really love him, I am buying a new set of tongs. Which I will hide in the same place I keep the meat mallet.

Pair of food tongs.

24 thoughts on “It’s better not to know. Right?

  1. I am so with you and they would have gotten a good washing. My husband is just like yours and probably would have died a thousand deaths if he found out that I used those things!!! But you are right sometimes it is just better not to know, lol!!

  2. First of all, this would never have happened in my house, because I hate fish, and I never deep fry anything — it scares the bejeezus out of me. Aside from that, I was thinking, rinse the suckers off first, and then that boiling hot oil will kill any germs still lurking on the surface. Problem solved.

    Ignorance is indeed bliss, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    Flora is a jewel, isn’t she? — “Wasn’t the fish delicious, Daddy?” Priceless. 🙂

  3. My husband and I are on the same playing field as far as dirt goes. We’re good with eating things off the floor (things that have been in the toilet would be off limits I’m guessing but we haven’t crossed that road yet). An older lady once started shrieking when one of my kids picked up a piece of popcorn they dropped on a concrete floor and was about to put it in their mouth. She said, “Stop, Don’t eat that.” I stopped her and explained that she would ruin everything I had already instilled in my children.

  4. Hmmm. My comment didn’t show up the first time, so forgive me if this is a duplicate…

    Yup. Sometimes it’s better not to know.

    P.S. If I ever work up the courage to get pregnant again, please remind me to have another girl. 😉

  5. Oh Jane, my husband would do the same thing. He’d rush to the store to purchase a new pair of tongs. If no one has vomited in the last twenty four hours, then the coast is clear.

    And, to answer your question, “Yes. Sometimes it’s best not to know.” Especially when it involves the toilet.

    • Hey you! We’ve both been in the same boat lately re: visiting cyberfriends–I still pop in read you religiously, friend, but time to comment is rather at a premium these days. xoxo

      • Tell me about it! Leaving a comment is such a luxury. I wish there was more time in a day. I’m just glad you know that I didn’t forget about you!

  6. Pingback: I’m not gonna tell you | Nothing By The Book

  7. Pingback: I’m not gonna tell you | Nothing By The Book

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