News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JULY 16, 2006


Another old wivesí tale proven false

Nothing like a sweet vanilla wafer breaks the ice with a 2-year-old. And nothing like a half box being eaten gets an old guy in trouble.

Ruby Gray and I became best buddies early in our annual family week at the beach.

In trouble for having conked her cousin Emma Grace in the head with a toy on our first day, Rubes and I retreated to the wide front porch of the 75-year-old beach house we'd rented.

I took along an unopened box of vanilla wafers because I was on vacation and the only time I get them is in banana pudding at Dot's Restaurant on Alabama 20 at Hillsboro.

"Have one," I said to Ruby Gray, as tears trickled down her chubby cheeks.

Her pale blue eyes opened wide when I allowed her to help herself. She came out with three wafers. She looked at them held tightly in her fist, then waited for me to tell her to put two back. I didn't.

Instead, I reached in and pulled out three for myself and popped them into my mouth.

I learned early in life that good things happened when I hung out with my Granddaddy Glenn.

Rubes learned, too.

So for the next half-hour or so, we shared many wafers, too many, according to her grandmother who came to investigate why we were getting along so famously.

"Why does she have both hands full of vanilla wafers?" Regina demanded. I pleaded innocent.

"Shame on you," she said. "You know better."

I didn't accept the shame, but I did know better.

I said that they wouldn't hurt her because they had zero trans fats, hoping to confuse the issue of healthy foods vs. too many sweets.

"She'll be sick," Regina said.

"Well, she's not yet," I replied.

"Just you wait until tonight," she retorted, and went off to tell Ruby's mother what I had done.

Rubes didn't let me down that night, however, I felt a little queasy.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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