A. R. M.
Wed Feb 27 04:22:56 EST 2002

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As ham sandwiches go, it was perfection. A thick slab of ham, a fresh
bun, crisp lettuce and plenty of expensive, light brown, gourmet mustard.
The corners of my jaw aching in anticipation, I carried it to the picnic
table in our backyard, picked it up with both hands, but was stopped by
my wife suddenly at my side. "Hold Johnny (our 6 week-old son) while I
get my sandwich," she said. I had him balanced between my left elbow and
shoulder and was reaching again for the ham sandwich when I noticed a
streak of mustard on my fingers.

I love mustard.  I had no napkin.  I licked it off.

It was not mustard.

No man ever put a baby down faster. It was the first and only time I have
sprinted with my tongue protruding. With a washcloth in each hand I did
the sort of routine shoeshine boys do, only I did it on my tongue. Later
(after she stopped crying from laughing so hard) my wife said, "Now you
know why they call that mustard 'Poupon'."


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