Looking for Sharks in all the Wrong Places


rr3I saw the tiniest little baby at the food co-op the other day and it brought back so many memories of when Heather was pregnant with Willow. Here’s my favorite:

Strange things happen to women when they’re pregnant, and Heather was no exception during her own pregnancy. When she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, my wife scrubbed every floor in the house, including the basement. I was somewhat puzzled by this because the small farmhouse we were living in dates back to the late 1700’s and the basement has a dirt floor. I found myself really wanting to ask, “So the dirt floor in the basement is now…a cleaner dirt floor?” But I knew better. Instead, I just smiled and nodded my head and said, “Great!”

Heather also developed a rather disturbing addiction to Grape Nuts cereal, sometimes eating as many as three or four bowls each day. Grape Nuts is a cereal I simply do not understand. Why in the world are they called Grape Nuts to begin with? It’s a very healthy cereal made from some whole grain or other, but each little piece is as hard as a rock! I won’t touch the stuff for fear of breaking a tooth on it. I suppose it must be like eating a bowl full of grape seeds, but if that’s where the name comes from, it doesn’t seem like a very effective marketing strategy. You might as well call it Gravel Grain or something like that. And the stuff is expensive! At nearly four bucks a box, I was beginning to get nervous about the potential drain on our household finances. So we did the smart thing and switched to the more generic store brand of the same cereal: Nutty Nuggets.


In addition to her insatiable need for rock-hard cereals, Heather also developed an addiction to those chewy little fruit snacks, typically known as Swedish Fish. Once again I had trouble relating to her need for these things. When I eat them, they just turn into sticky globs that get stuck in every crevice of every single tooth. And once again this second addiction threatened to sink our already leaky financial boat. So we switched to the less expensive store brand – Shark!


Take this advice from a guy who knows what he’s talking about: When a pregnant woman is deeply addicted to a particular food product, it doesn’t matter how much of it is stockpiled in your pantry, you will inevitably run out of it, probably late at night. I found Heather in the kitchen one night just staring at an empty box of Sharks. I don’t think she even knew I was there. She reached toward the empty box, her hand trembling as she mumbled, “I…need…these…” So at 9:47 pm I jumped in the car and raced to the grocery store, not even knowing if it would still be open.

It takes approximately seven minutes to make it from the house to the store, so I arrived at 9:54 pm, and quickly realized the store would be closing at 10:00. It was now 9:55. I rushed to the candy aisle, scanning the shelves nervously – no Sharks! Where could they be? Were they out of them? What would happen if my wife didn’t get her fix of chewy little fruit snacks? I did not want to find out. At 9:57 I practically tackled an unsuspecting stock boy. “Sharks! Sharks! Where can I find Sharks?” His reply, not surprisingly, was a bit tenuous. “Uh…the ocean?” It was 9:58 and I had reached the end of my proverbial rope. I screamed, “Fruit snacks! I NEED CHEWY FRUIT SNACKS!” And then I saw them out of the corner of my eye. With a shriek I pounced upon them. They were on a bottom shelf, underneath the granola bars. Clutching my treasure, I raced to the checkout counter, only to realize I had forgotten my wallet.

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