My mother cuts a slice of French toast into little pieces and places them on a plate and puts the plate in front of me where I sit at the small red formica table in the middle of the kitchen.
To the left of the plate is a glass of orange juice, made from a can, you just add water and stir or shake. My mother likes to shake.
To the right of the plate is a glass of white milk. My mother knows I hate white milk. I only like chocolate milk made with Bosco. My mother doesn't care what I like.
So I spill the glass of milk on the floor and while she mops up the mess I wrap each piece of French toast in a napkin, which I know is an excellent disguise.
Then I drink the orange juice. It makes me feel like summer inside.
I get up from my chair but my mother says SIT DOWN. She says I have to unwrap the French toast and eat it. I wonder how she could possibly know what I've done. Is it true that she has eyes in the back of her head, like she says?
Maaaa, I wail, it's time for Shari Lewis.
Shari Lewis. The beautiful red-haired woman on the TV. With her friends Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy. I don't want to miss a minute of the show. Who asked for French toast anyway?
I say it again, with more feeling, in what my mother calls my Sarah Heartburn voice. What is she talking about?
Maaaaaa, please, Shari Lewis is on.
The hell with Shari Lewis. That's what she says. Can you believe it? Me either. I cannot believe it. I just cannot believe it.