Let Them Eat Paste

This week I finished my delivery of school supplies to elementaries with high-need populations. My friends and family joined in amassing over $1,000 worth of crayons, markers, rulers, pencils, paper, and composition books. Further, some of my friends across the country also started supply drives in their hometowns. Everyone reported the same response: The school was so grateful for my donation.

My next-door neighbor, who was born in England, and her family moved to South Africa, where she predominately attended private girls’ schools. For the last three years, she has graciously undertaken the back-to school supply drive with me. “Why do we have over 100 glue sticks, Sue?”

“Because kids glue a lot of things. Did you cut and glue in elementary school?”

“No. Seems dumb to me.”

“Perhaps I used the wrong term. When we were in school it was called pasting. You know you cut out Christmas trees and pasted decorations on them. We made Valentines for our parents covered with a plethora of pasted hearts. I can’t believe you never used a jar of paste that spread like margarine with a stiff brush or tongue depressor. Didn’t you ever build boxes out of popsicle sticks?”

“No. Sounds like rubbish to me. Our schools were not designed for arts and crafts.”

“Sass, I’m sorry, but it was great fun, even though my popsicle box was destined for the rubbish. But, you missed the very best part! You never ate paste!”

“That’s really bloody stupid.”

“You’re so wrong; it was delicious. It had a rather minty flavor. Usually, I just licked the small bit that was on my finger, but one of the boys in my class ate a big glob one day. From then on, Ernie became Pasty. I saw him several years ago at our high school reunion, where everyone still addressed him as Pasty.”

Of course, I couldn’t let this drop, and while at trivia last week I asked all of our similar aged friends, “Did you eat paste?” Sass was appalled because all of them did! Next week, we’ve plotted a paste testing contest for Sass. No person 50 and above should go to his/her grave without the joy of eating paste.

And so my friends, how many of you ate paste?

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