During these hot summer days when maiden aunts are subsisting mostly on smoothies and sandwiches, our thoughts naturally turn to food tales of yore.
The Scene: My mother's kitchen, circa 1983. Cereal is kept in a floor-level cabinet so children can serve themselves for breakfast and snacks.
The Players: Me. My sister Rachel, age 6. Our brother Aaron is 13 -- seven years older than Rachel and seven years younger than me.
Rachel: Maria, would you please get me some cereal?
Maria: You can get it yourself. I'll get the milk out of the fridge for you.
Rachel: Can you get me cereal too?
Maria: You can get your own cereal. Open the cabinet and pick the kind you want.
Rachel: I want Cheerios. Get them out for me, pleeeeeeeeease?
Maria: [opening cabinet and pulling out a cereal box] Okay, here you go.
Rachel: Open it.
Maria: Open it yourself.
Rachel: [never taking her eyes off the box] You open it.
Maria: Rachel, you're a big girl! Why won't you do this yourself?
Rachel: I'm scared.
Maria: What can you possibly be scared of?
Rachel: I'm afraid of monsters. In the cereal box.
Maria: What in the world? ... AARON!!!!