Sep 08 2008
I bought some delicious seedless red grapes and was feasting on some in the kitchen yesterday while watching football, and my son, 14, came into the kitchen. I said, “Have you ever seen the grape trick?”
He said, “What’s the grape trick?”
I said, “Watch!” and smugly took a juicy, ripe grape, set myself, cocked my head back, and tossed the grape up into the air. It rose until it stopped in mid-air, and then fell in a perfect arc right toward my open mouth.
It bounced off my lower lip and fell to the floor. It bounced twice and rolled off to the side. One of my mini-dachshunds, McKenzie, trotted into the kitchen, wandered over to the grape, sniffed it, gingerly picked it up in her front teeth, strolled over to the rug until the kitchen window, and dropped it on the carpet. She applied pressure until she punctured the grape with her teeth, decided she liked the flavor, and knocked it back. She licked her doggie lips, sat her rump on the floor, and looked up at me.
“Are you done,” I said. She wagged her tail. “Don’t get used to it,” I said. “This will be the one.” She wagged her tail again.
Some people just have no faith.
I plucked another grape, got into my stance — one left forward, knees bent, head back — and gently tossed the grape into the air. Bounced off my mustache and hit the floor.
Kenzie hit that grape like a bass hitting a deerfly.
I tried again. The grape bounced off my teeth and flew into the sink. The next one rocketed toward the ceiling, rebounded hard, and hit me in the nose.
By now, Kenzie’s brother wandered in to join the manna from heaven, and started fielding grapes. I lost them off my cheek, my jaw, my elbow. Finally, I tossed a grape in a perfect arc, popped my head back even further, and the grape plopped neatly into my mouth. “See?” I said. “Nothing to it!”
My son was leaning against the counter with his arms crossed. “I see what you mean,” he said. “Doesn’t look so hard.” He went to the sink and plucked two grapes. “I think I see how this trick works,” he said. He held one grape in each hand. “Puppies, are you watching?”
They sat in unison — they were ready.
Ean juggled the grapes and then dropped both the grapes straight to the floor. The dogs darted forward and each grabbed one and trotted back to the rug.
I looked at Ean. He smiled at me. “Ta-daa!”