It's true. Farmer H has transgressed yet again. I know you are thinking, "Oh, my. How very uncharacteristic of Farmer H." Give it a rest already. That leopard cannot change his spots.
Sunday evenings are a free-for-all in the dining department of the Hillbilly Mansion. I whip up a sumptuous repast, but all inhabitants are free to move about the Mansion. Farmer H eats in his La-Z-Boy, the #1 son squats on a stool at the cutting block if the food is messy, or takes it to the desk in his room if not, and The Pony and I, who are mainly concerned with feeding our Amazing Race addiction, retire to the basement to stuff our gaping maws.
Yesterday, I whipped up a pot of smoked sausage, cabbage, and potatoes, with sides of cooked apples and corn muffins. The Pony, with his limited palate, chose to consume only corn muffins, butter, apple slices, and peanut butter.
As a courtesy, I dished up the vittles from the overflowing pot. Genius likes juice in his cabbage-y bowl of goodness. And lots of potatoes. Farmer H, he of the towering bowl of soup, prefers no juice, lots of sausage, and equal parts potato and cabbage. They both wanted some cooked apples. I called to them to come and get it, being bereft of a triangle to beat as a feeding signal. Genius appeared forthwith. Farmer H likes to try and out-passive-aggressive me.
"You go ahead. I'll be in there in a minute."
"No, yours is ready. Come and get it."
"That's okay. You go first."
"I'd really rather you get it over with, before it gets cold."
So I went about making my bowl. It was piled a bit higher than Farmer H's bowl, because he always goes back for seconds when I can't see him picking out only meat. And mine had juice in it. Then I added some sea salt and ground black pepper from the grindy gadgets that my teaching buddy, Mabel, gave me for Christmas. I set it over to the side, by the sink, all by its lonesome, nary a cooked apple in sight, while I dashed in to move laundry from the washer to the dryer. Over my shoulder, I heard Farmer H.
"So I take it this one is mine?" He was standing at the sink. He had completely bypassed the section of the counter where I place his food. Where his dry bowl of cabbage surprise sat next to his bowl of cooked apples with cinnamon. His bowl, unadorned, waiting for him to add his own ground pepper, no salt.
"NO! That one is mine! Can't you see that I've already put pepper on it? And it's full of juice?"
"Fine. You always do this! I don't care if I ever eat!" Farmer H threw up his arms. He always flails like that in his hissy-fits. He stormed back to his La-Z-Boy. One of these days, I'm going to call his bluff, and toss his food to the dogs. We'll see if he doesn't care if he ever eats.
I swear, I could have had a corn muffin sliced open, buttered, with a bite taken out, and he STILL would have made a beeline for my meal. He goes out of his way to be dense, I fear. It's like when he digs through the dish drainer for a fork, yet won't put away the utensils he pulls out that are not forks. "Well, I don't know where you keep anything!" But he sure knows where to look for forks and spoons and knives. Just not where to put them. In that plastic utensil holder with the sections shaped like forks and spoons and knives.
The minute my head bobbed out of sight down those basement stairs, Farmer H was sprinting for the kitchen. I can only imagine the bellow that he would emit if the food he didn't care if he ever ate was gone.