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Residential Visits 2 Wind-ups 1

By litherlandb, Oct 24 2015 04:31PM

We had a large, catering size, tin of beans. Unfortunately the paper label had disappeared so we had no idea which way up the can was. I paced up and down, looking worried.

‘If we open the wrong end,’ I told the small group in the kitchen, ‘all the beans will be upside down.’

One or two of the more knowing children smiled. Simon looked serious. He nodded.

‘You’ll never see your mums and dads open beans from the wrong end,’ I said. ‘They know what happens.’

Simon agreed. She was no fool, his mum.

‘Well, there’s nothing we can do. We’ll have to open the tin and hope for the best. Does everyone agree?’

There was a combination of knowing nods and several anxious ones.

‘What happens if you get it wrong?’ The words came from a worried nine year old.

‘All the beans will have their bottom at the top,’ I explained. ‘When you heat up beans you have to warm them from the bottom to the top. Otherwise they taste awful.’

I opened the tin. The children peered as the lid gradually bent back.

‘Oh no.’ I held my head.

There was a sharp in-drawing of breath. Simon looked shocked.

Someone laughed. It was probably Vicky.

‘It’s not funny,’ I said. ‘We’re going to have to turn them all the right way round as we put them in the pan.’

‘How do you know which end is the top?’ Simon asked.

‘It’s obvious,’ I said. ‘Look!’

I removed a bean on a spoon and held it out for his close inspection.

‘See what I mean?’

He nodded.

‘We’ll take it in turns,’ I suggested. ‘Do you want to go first, Simon? One at a time, remember. Just turn each one over as you put it in the pan.’

By now, it has to be said, the majority had realised the absurdity of the premise - but not Simon. He took the spoon and started his important duty. I stood back and admired my handiwork. Yes, it was cruel – but it was funny. To be fair, no-one laughed louder than Simon when the joke was explained about ten minutes later.

Ah, the naivety of the young.

I wonder if he remembers?

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