By CHRISTOPHER SOUTH
“Okay, you’ve just made Dad’s column.”
I’m not sure if my oldest son was telling his sister that as an expression of consequences because this comes from a guy who said he really only reads my column to see if he is mentioned in it.
Note to son: You are mentioned in this one.
My kids decided to treat me to lunch on Easter Sunday. It was a surprise. The younger son suggested we go to Cabanas in Cape May, so we went there only to find they were not open. Good for you, Cabanas, not making your people work on Easter Day.
I recommended we go down Beach Avenue to Hemingway’s. My older son replied, “I knew he would say that.”
Okay, so the dad likes Hemingway’s.
We went there but found out they were no longer serving lunch because it was already 3 p.m. We apologized to the waitress, who was bringing us water, and she was very gracious, wishing us a “Happy Easter.”
I then suggested we see if Big Wave Burrito was open. It wasn’t. The staff members there were probably enjoying their Easter with their family, too.
“That’s two strikes for you, dad. You don’t get to suggest any more places,” my son said.
We went across the street to the C-View, which was not a bad choice.
I ordered a buffalo chicken cheese steak and my younger son got a mushroom cheese steak. My daughter got fish tacos and the oldest went for the thing C-View is most noted for – buffalo chicken wings.
It was the wings that prompted the remark, “You’ve just made Dad’s column.”
My daughter had gotten a chicken wing from her brother and, holding it with two fingers of one hand, was using the other hand to peel the meat off with a fork.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone eat a chicken wing like that,” I told her.
My daughter explained that you only get sauce on two fingers the way she was doing it. She said if you pick up the wing with both hands you get sauce on four fingers. Apparently she has never eaten chicken wings with me. Maybe she has wiped it from her memory.
When I eat chicken wings I get sauce on all my fingers, my palms, the back of my hands, most of my forearms, and all of my face.
Once while eating wings a friend came in and said, “Looks like you had a little too much sun on your face today.”
“Nah, that’s just the suicide hot sauce,” I said.
Some places that know me deliver a case of napkins with the wings. Once place has offered to take me outside and hose me down after eating. Some people find this funny ... just not the people sitting nearby who are prone to getting splattered. When I eat it’s like being at a Gallagher show.
Daughter being a little like father, she commented on how I was eating my fries.
“People (meaning me) shouldn’t put ketchup on their fries,” she said, “because some of them get too much and others hardly have any at all.”
Once you coat the fries with ketchup you can’t pick them up without getting it on your fingers, she reasoned. My younger son agreed, saying you are supposed to dip your fries.
“Okay, you’ve all just made the column,” I said.
The trifecta – all three kids in one column. This is almost like leap year, or the Olympics, or me picking up a check.
I never heard there were rules associated with eating French fries. I thought fries were invented so people would have a way of eating ketchup, or catsup, if you prefer. I thought fries were just an edible type of utensil.
I’m not sure there is a right way or a wrong way to eat fries.
Some people like them with ketchup, others with mayonnaise. If you consider mayonnaise really wrong, ask yourself this: if you boil the potatoes, cut them up with onion and celery and add mayonnaise you have potato salad.
Mayonnaise is only wrong because ketchup is so right.
I heard there are places where you can buy fry sauce, which is one part ketchup and two parts mayonnaise. Sometimes other spices are added. It is apparently popular in Utah and Idaho.
Got that? Idaho ... where the potato was invented. They should know what to put on French fries, which are mostly made of potatoes. (I know nothing is 100 percent of anything. It’s science. Figure a few percent for oil.)
However, if I had the occasion to use fry sauce, I don’t think I would pour it on like I do ketchup. I would dip my fries, as my children recommend. However, I should probably forego the fries and stick to things like fresh green beans or asparagus.
All I need are instructions from my kids on how to eat them.
Heaven forbid I do it wrong.
Christopher South is managing editor of the Cape May Star and Wave and a contributing columnist and reporter for the Ocean City Sentinel, Upper Township Sentinel and The Sentinel of Somers Point, Linwood and Northfield. His publisher has been known to catalog the ketchup and hot sauce stains on Mr. South’s shirt.