I was going out for a walk tonight down to the Esplanade in Greenock - partly to blow away the cobwebs and partly to burn off some of the many calories I consumed in Brussels last week. Anyway my 11 year old nephew Daniel intimated that he'd like to accompany me and when I pointed out that he didn't like walking and asked why he wanted to come, he said simply: "because you're you"! His sister rolled her eyes because a pre-requisite of being a 16 year old is that you become deeply cynical but I thought it was lovely. The thing about children is that they just accept you for being you and that is something to be treasured.
We took his bike and he cycled while I marched but he blotted his copybook when he persuaded me to go to the local cafe and buy ice cream. TABLET flavoured ice cream - for any non Scots, tablet is a sweet Scottish delicacy that most of us LOVE but try to AVOID. Tablet flavoured ice cream is lethal and not to be touched by anyone with any sense. I'd just had a conversation with Daniel about how crack cocaine is highly addictive and many people become addicted after trying it once - the irony! It's also very very fattening (thus rendering the walk pointless) but I think I found a way of overcoming that ...
Daniel also wanted a drink and searched at length for the right one. "Why is this such a difficult task?" I enquired in my usual patient manner. "Because most of them have sodium benzoate in the ingredients" he replied. "Benzo what?" I stuttered, suddenly feeling slightly inadequate. "Sodium benzoate" he carried on "if I ate a banana and then drank something with SB in it, the SB would stop me absorbing the goodness of the banana"! Smart kid is Daniel.
Anyway, as I was jokingly saying that it didn't matter because there was no goodness to be absorbed whatsoever in the tablet ice cream ( I am SUCH a good influence on these children), it suddenly occurred to me that it may well work in reverse. The SB prevents absorption of the good bits of good food so maybe it does the same with the bad bits, ie the fat, the sugar and the calories. Tablet ice cream is basically just fat, sugar and calories by the bucketload! I got quite excited, almost like I'd had my very own "eureka" moment.
Daniel gave me one of those looks he often gives me that says: "is she serious / sane / really my aunt?". I soon answered the first one for him when I sent him back in the shop to find a big bottle of anything with a high sodium benzoate content! I guess it's really just as well that he's still of an age where, as I said, they accept you for who you are!