I bought one of those whole roasted chickens from Costco the other day. Mark is not a big fan of dealing with chicken bones, so I am cutting the meat from the chicken and bagging it for later use. Kallan watches as I cut.
“Can I have the wishbone? I want to make a wish.”
“Yeah, if I don’t break it. Chicken wishbones are pretty small.”
She rests her chin on the counter next to me and watches as I work, “Do I have a wishbone?”
“Sort of. It’s not exactly the same shape, and we don’t call it a wishbone, but it would be right there.” I point with gloved hand to the spot right below her throat where her bones meet beneath the skin.
She pokes about in her chest, “Here?”
“Hold on,” and I remove my grease-coated rubber gloves, “Right here . . .”
She giggles and pulls away as I touch her, “That tickles!”
I pull out another pair of latex gloves. Maj comes into the kitchen just as I am pulling them on.
She stares at me, “I’m not going to be able to eat that chicken after seeing this.”
I survey the chicken carcass, “Really? Well, maybe you are going to be a vegetarian when you grow up. Meat has bones, babe.”
“No, I don’t mean that. I mean I am not going to be able to eat the chicken because you are touching it with dog-poo gloves.”
We buy latex medical gloves in bulk from Costco, and I use them for all sorts of things. Dog poo clean-up is one of them. Messy food preparation is another.
Toilet cleaning is another, but I decide not to share that piece of information.
I wiggle my gloved hands in her direction, “It’s not like I used these very gloves to pick up dog poo.”
I turn my attention back to the chicken, “And even if I were to ever re-use the gloves I use for dog-poo duty, it’s not like I wouldn’t rinse them off first.”
I hold up a handful of chicken for her inspection, “See? I don’t see a speck of poo. You can’t prove these gloves ever touched poo.”
She rolls her eyes, “I know you are kidding, Mother. Whatever. I just know I am not eating poo-rubbed chicken meat.”
I clap my gloved hands, “How did you know what I was making for dinner? Poo-rubbed chicken meat! It’s going to be delicious!”
Kallan comes back into the kitchen and asks for chips. I agree. She pours two small piles into napkins and hands a share to her sister. Chomping her chips noisily, Kallan watches as I start cleaning up.
“Chomp chomp chomp . . . did you find the wishbone?”
I hand it to her.
“It’s tiny! Can I still make a wish on it?
“Sure, I guess . . . maybe a smaller wish.”
“Chomp chomp chomp . . . when you die?”
I sweep the last bits of trash into the garbage, “Mmmm hmmmm?”
“Chomp chomp chomp . . . can I have your wishbone?”
Ummmm . . .what the fuck?
And so I say, “What?”
“Chomp chomp chomp . . . When you die, can I have your wishbone?”
“Why? You won’t need it anymore.”
“Wherever I am, and whatever happens to me next? I am taking my wishbone with me.”
“Chomp chomp chomp . . . that seems kind of selfish.”
“Really? Not wanting you to snap my dead bones so that you can wish for a candy bar seems selfish to you?”
“You don’t know I was going to wish for a candy bar.”
“So what was your wish going to be?”
She ignores me and turns instead to Maj, who is licking the salt off of her chips before eating them. I HATE when she does that.
“Hey, Maj! Can I have your wishbone if you die?”
Maj considers as she licks salt, “Depends. Would you use it to wish me back to life?”
“What? Don’t be silly. No.”
“Then you can’t have it.”
Kallan sneaks up behind her sister and reaches around her neck, pretending to cut her sister’s wishbone out with the sharp edge of a chip, “Pleeeeeeeeaaaase??? It’s just a little bone.”
Maj screams as though she is actually being attacked and cut open, “MOTHER!!! THE MANIAC IS TRYING TO KILL ME!!! SHE’S TRYING TO CUT ME OPEN AND STEAL MY BONES!!!”
I am giggling, Kallan is giggling, and Maj is pissed.
“YOU DON’T CARE THAT SHE IS TRYING TO KILL ME? ARE YOU INSANE??”
Kallan quickly shoves the chip weapon in her mouth.
“Chomp chomp chomp . . . All I did was touch her with my finger. I did not chip-threaten her!”
She swallows and then picks up another chip, “And even if I did, it’s not like I was going to really hurt her.”
She runs the edge of a chip across her forehead and then across her own neck, “Look at me! I am killing myself! Aiiaiiaiaiaiiieeeeeee! I am stabbing myself to death with a chip!”
Maj storms off as I laugh hysterically.
Kallan throws herself to the ground at my feet and dies a dramatic death. In the midst of her death throes, she crumbles the chip onto the front of her shirt, and both dogs hurry over to pay their respects to the dead.
She reaches up and feels the Labrador’s chest as the smaller dog licks salt from her face, “Do dogs have wishbones?”