Comes With Chips
The World Turned

Patrick Eating Marbled Rye While Watching TV Last Night

A still life.


PS I'm fine. Things are fine. We're all fine. Well, Edward has pneumonia but thanks to the discovery of antibiotics he, too, is mostly fine. We went to Canada. We went to Canada and stayed for quite a long time; long enough for the Canadians to get sick of us and for me to decide whether I want to go with a southern Ontario accent this winter or something more Island ('See yehz' is my new goodbye.) The entire family says washroom and we immediately apologize when someone bumps into us.

Here's a story for you:

About a week or two into our stay on Prince Edward Island we stopped for gas and I went inside to pay. While I waited I eyed the bags of Anne of Green Gables lobster-flavored potato chips (true. I swear that is true) and suddenly my attention was caught by a bottle of amber colored fluid. I was intrigued. 'Pepsi Gingembre' read the label and I said it aloud, all quebecois, Peepsee Gingembrrrrrrrrrre.

"Gas and this, please," I said thumping down the bottle.

The nice young man looked at the gingerpepsi. He cleared his throat. 

"Have you, uh, had that before?" he asked.

"No," I said, "but I must. Why, is it totally disgusting?"

He cleared his throat again, "Let's just say I've never had a repeat customer."

"Ha!" I said, "You've just had the wrong customers. Ginger! Cola! Together! It's so obvious I'm surprised no one has thought of it before."

"I really don't think you should buy it."

"Nonsense! I'm sure it's delicious." 

"Well, OK," he said, "Good luck. See yehz later."

"See yehz later," I replied. "When I come back to buy more Ginger Pepsi."

The next day I was somewhere trying to buy something when I discovered that I had misplaced my credit card. Hell, I thought, what an incredible nuisance and proceeded to mentally backtrack until I realized that I must have left my card with the gas station cashier when I walked off with the Pepsi.

How. Embarrassing.

I called them and said, I think you might have my credit card? And the person who answered said, blue card, your name is Julia, silver car, came in yesterday? yes, yes we do.

So I drove back to the station and when I walked in I was relieved to see a completely different person behind the counter. There is something shameful about being a doofus and doubly shameful about then having to face a witness to your doofusdom.

When I got up to the front of the line I leaned forward and rather furtively said, you, ah, have a credit card of mine?

The guy grinned.

"Yep! We do." he said. "And how was the Ginger Pepsi?"

I gaped.

"How?" I asked. "What?" I said.

"He's my brother. He told me he tried to talk you out of it and he wasn't surprised you go around leaving your credit card all over the place. You know, because, Ginger Pepsi."


There you go.

I hung my head and for a moment I thought about lying, but one can't really lie in Canada; not with the beneficent presence of Justin Trudeau hovering everywhere like a gentle golden glow.

So I confessed: "The Ginger Pepsi was quite literally the most revolting thing I've ever drunk in my life and I once made myself sick on Southern Comfort. Absolutely foul. The worst thing ever. I was wrong. Utterly wrong. Please tell your brother I should have listened to him and if he ever gives me soft drink advice in the future I promise I will listen to it."

He handed me back my card, "So you're not going to want the cases we set aside for you? Pretty good deal."

"Guk," I said firmly. "See yeh."

"Yeah see yeh," and I could hear him laughing at me and with me all the way back to my car.