Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hard Boiled Digital

I am nervously waiting for an e-mail from my Dad with a photo attached. Any photo, taken on his new digital camera, downloaded into his computer, and then attached to an e-mail. Dad goes geek! Well, I hope. I have yet to see the evidence.

You see, digital photography is new to Dad. And Dad doesn’t pull off new as well as he does the-tried-and-true. Don’t misunderstand me, he is a very intelligent man, with a master’s degree in engineering. But ask him to do something he has never tried before, and, well….. his normally first-rate brain can all but shut down.

Let me illustrate. Before Dad retired, he made himself the same breakfast every day. A CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) egg and toast. To make a CPR egg (where he got this I have no idea), you boil an egg for 3 minutes so it is totally runny and the white is barely congealed. Dad had a timer for this. Then slice off the top and scoop the egg into a glass with a glop of butter, salt and pepper. It has to be a clear glass so you can really see how gross this concoction is. Mix the mess up in the glass with a fork, and serve with toast. This was the only kind of egg Dad knew how to cook.

One day, my mother was busy preparing a Christening luncheon. (For my son’s Christening actually, and I was useless to her, rendered frazzledly stupid with figuring out how a newborn baby works. It was new to me you understand.) She had to run an errand, and in desperation asked my dad to hard boil a dozen eggs for her.

“HARD boiled? I’ve never cooked a hard boiled egg. How do I do that?” asked the man with the post-graduate education.

“Don’t be dense dear, cook them for exactly 10 minutes.” Mom left.

So my dad got out a big pot, put 12 eggs in it, filled it to the top with cold water, put it on the stove, and set the timer to 10 minutes. Then turned on the burner. Uh huh. You can figure out the rest. Devilled eggs did not make it on the luncheon menu.

Now Dad, I can see your pained expression. You are thinking, “How long will I have to live with the damn hard boiled egg episode?” Forever, Dad. It’s a family legend. And, in case you are wondering, Mom gave me permission to write about you. “Sure you can write about your old parents” she assured me when I was visiting last week. You were at choir practice. Now Dad, don’t say “But I was not there, so it’s not like I actually decided…” Yeah Dad, it is. Making decisions for her husband is a wife's privilege after 50 years of marriage. Does it work in reverse? Hell no.

I’m waiting for that e-mail photo Dad. Forget the eggs. I have faith.

Today's dream travel destination: Kerala, India, where my parents will be travelling in a few weeks, and the reason for the new digital camera.

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