Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Gold Medal Stacking

A good start.
Seventeen.
The magic number.
And she was so close!
Gather around. I have a story to tell . . .
Our family loves to eat out.
Someone else cooks.
And cleans.
What’s not to love?!
Our budget doesn’t allow for great frequency.
But we manage it about once a month.
We do have our favourite places, but we like to branch out and explore new locations as well.
On this particular day, we were trying one of the new places.
Famous for their Eggs Benedict and other breakfast foods.
Mmmm. Breakfast . . .
Where was I?
Oh. Right. Barb and Ernies.
Our order had been placed.
We were gnawing on our napkins with hunger pulling children down off the table waiting patiently for our food.
Now, I should mention here that, some years before, in desperation, Husby had created a kid-diverting activity. Creamer-stacking.
You heard me right.
Creamer stacking.
Wherein one stacked creamers. The goal being to see just how high one could stack said creamers.
Okay, so, rocket science, it wasn’t.
But it was diverting.
Husby’s record was sixteen.
Back to my story . . .
There was a bowl of creamers on the table.
Our youngest daughter decided her day had come.
The day when she beat her father’s record.
Carefully, she smoothed out the edges of the paper seals on the little plastic containers.
Carefully matched them. Top-to-top. Bottom to bottom.
One. Then another. Then another.
Other bowls of creamers were secured from other, unoccupied tables.
Her stack grew.
Finally, she placed the sixteenth. The stack shook. Just a bit.
We held our breath.
It steadied.
She reached for the seventeenth creamer.
Set it gently on top and made the microscopic adjustments.
Then, just as she was about to release it and, incidentally, proclaim her new status as World Creamer Stacker Supreme, Ernie, he of the name, Barb and Ernie . . .
Shook. The. Table.
Her carefully arranged stack collapsed.
Along with her world title hopes.
And her euphoric bubble.
It was then we realized that everyone had been watching us, because the rest of the restaurant burst into laughter and clapping.
And totally missed the heated, narrow-eyed glare our daughter turned on the restaurant owner.
Husby’s creamer-stacking record remains unbroken to this day.
Oh, there have been some feeble, half-hearted attempts.
But they're usually abandoned after about seven.
If you’re ever in Edmonton, try Barb and Ernie’s.
The food is fantastic.
But forget the extra activities and stick to eating.
It’s better for Ernie’s health.

18 comments:

  1. Hmm ... suspicious intervention ... are you sure your husby didn't pay Ernie to do that?!

    And I'd say if she got sixteen, then she and her dad are in a TIE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm...never though of that! It could be...
      Ha! You're totally right! I'm telling her!

      Delete
  2. I'm completely convinced that the trouble with today's world is that no one has fun like this any more. Everyone's staring at devices, including kids. I think it sounds like a blast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It WAS a blast. And you can bet everyone was watching...

      Delete
  3. Where were you when I spent all those years dragging diaper bags full of heavy diversions to restaurants? Creamers? Right on the table? Genius!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Husby. The father of intervention...

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Heehee! So can I! If looks could kill... :)

      Delete
  5. I think it is sad that he ruined her chance to win. I did enjoy the story and could relate to it. My parents ran a cafe for a while and children do like to play with the jelly and creamers.
    Blessings for the smile~

    ReplyDelete
  6. Poor girl! She should keep trying to reach for the 17 and take a video of the event as proof.

    When our kids were little, there were usually six Hot Wheels cars in my purse. We used the table utensils to create ramps and obstacle courses.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've always said that real creativity happens in a dining room at a table with small children. Necessity is the mother of invention!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That interminable wait for the food! Something has to be done!

      Delete
  8. Ernie! How could you?
    It was an accidental bumping wasn't it?
    Of course now I have to try creamer stacking...as soon as I find a restaurant that has them.
    Loved the story of Barb and Ernie's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let us know how it goes. Remember. The record is sixteen!

      Delete
  9. Unfortunately here the most creamers you can get at once is 2 per person. My kids used to play with the peg game even before they understood the game. Kept them occupied. Great post and thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kathy! Wow! You'd have to raid a lot of tables to enter! But it would be so worth it! :)

      Delete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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