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Letter From America: As The Woman Said..

Trust Ronnie Bray to blend tapioca, Snow Birds, the Amish and a silent husband into a delicious reading dessert.

I was picking up a few things in Wal-Mart near the marked down bread and confectionery rack. There was nothing exotic on the rack and so I gave it a pass.

A woman nearby was looking in the pudding and jelly section of the cooler shelving. To her disinterested husband she said, "I canít see any of that chocolate pudding." I could see some chocolate puddings, but they were obviously not what she was after, and so she gave them a pass.

I found it surprising that she couldnít find any pudding that she either liked or was willing to risk, but I appreciate that some things are matters of taste and she also must have been familiar with that doctrine.

I donít know whether her husband had an accent because he didnít speak. He could have spoken, I am sure, because when she spoke to him she had her back to him and if he had been hard of hearing she would have faced him, but she didnít so he couldnít have been, therefore I couldnít tell one way or the other.

She had an accent and it sounded German, but it was only a faint echo of one, and her American was almost perfect. I toyed with the idea that they could be Canadians because the weather is set to turn wonderfully cool after being abnormally high for this time of year and taking all the lawns by surprise, and the Snow Birds are already heading down from the coming ice and snow in the higher latitudes.

Puddings and desserts are matters of taste. I remember when I had childhood mumps being given a big bowl of delicious sago pudding. It looked like milky frogspawn but it tasted like ambrosia.

Her slight German accent made me think that if they werenít Canadians they must be Pennsylvania Dutch, as the descendants of old German farmers are known to this day by instaters. The Amish are from that and nearby states and all Americans to the Amish, and the Pennsylvanian Dutch, are known as Ďthe English.í

I try to be helpful and when she bemoaned the lack of her favourite Chocolate Pudding I helpfully pointed out a nice big tub of tapioca pudding. "Who wants rotten old tapioca pudding!" she said in a voice thoroughly suited to issuing imperious diktats before turning away to flounce down the drinks aisle with her foreign looking husband loitering a respectful five paces behind.

It was hard to guess what the husband might have been because he didnít speak, although he did look foreign, if you know what I mean. I could have followed them out to their car to see if they had Prussian Imperial Eagles plastered all over it, like I have the Union Flag and a sign identifying me as a British Army Veteran of Foreign wars on mine. Nevertheless, I didnít go and see. I was shopping for my Gay who is currently a mostly bed-bound invalid. I took a risk on the tapioca because, who knows, it might tempt her to eat a little more.

"Who indeed wants rotten old Tapioca Pudding?" I echoed as I reached for the last one and ceremoniously placed it in my shopping trolley. "Who indeed!"

As the woman said who kissed the cow, "Itís all a matter of taste!"

Yes, it is a matter of taste, I have it, and when weíre talking Tapioca I have it!

Copyright © 2010 Ė Ronnie Bray






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