January 14, 2022
Today I was reintroduced to Cheez-its. Granddaughter Kallie called and asked if I could ride herd on her 3 boys while she went to the DMV to find out which piece of information she forgot to bring along.
When she asked a terrible chill radiated up and down my spine, my face turned pale, pulse quickened and knees began to knock so hard I thought she would hear it over the phone. I craved for a paper bag to breathe in.
However my pride kicked in and I very nonchalantly replied “Sure”. Having spent many years in the radio business I had learned how to make your voice sound calm when your insides feel like a clothes dryer full of tennis shoes. I obtained that deceptive confidence when I was reading a newscast at WMBH in Joplin Missouri and one of my coworkers reached over the table with a cigarette lighter and set the thick brown paper I was reading the news from on fire.
I threw on some clothes I didn’t mind risking to debris and took the 200 yard walk to their house with Daisey and Dolly close at my heels. The boys are 4, 3 & 1 1/2 years old. A good sized herd of curtain climbers.
At my appearance the three immediately began to scale my 5’11” frame like Sherpas going up Everest. Kallie gives me the standard instructions for keeping kids alive and heads out the door. At this point my arms are moving like a juggler trying to prevent the boys from tumbling off Mount Grandpa. I waddle to the couch to sit down trying to shorten the fall should I miss one on the turn across my shoulders.
The 82 inch flat screen is tuned to the Disney Channel and I start pointing at the picture hoping to secure their attention span for long enough for the spasms to subside. It was something about robots. One thing I have learned about Disney movies, you don’t want to be the brother of the main character cause you are going to die. Carter asks “why did he die Grandpa?” My thought was because some sadistic moron in Hollywood likes to make kids cry. I didn’t say it, instead in a stroke of brilliance I asked “do you want a Cheez-it?”
Cheez-its are a small orangey colored cracker flavored like cheese and salt. I say “flavored like” because I am not sure the actual ingredients contain anything but chemicals, food coloring and salt. They were created to fit in diaper bags to be used in any emergency when attention must be deflected. They drew attention like pancakes at an obesity clinic.
Pretty soon my job became the Cheez-it distributor. All of the boys and even Daisey and Dolly got in line to receive the sodium hit with a touch of butter. I am thinking “this is a miracle food!” With a couple of case of these I could control a whole daycare!