The Gum Bottle
- Some people have slipped vision. Dad was one of them...though not by much.
- Some people have chronic backaches. Dad was one of them.
- Some people have sloppy memory. Dad was one of them.
- I have slipped vision, though very marginal.
- I don't have backaches yet. However, I'm in a profession that demands long hours of sitting continually, a condition that often leads to chronic backache.
- I've inherited bad memory from Dad.
We had accepted Dad's unreliable memory as part of what one has to live with. However, it wasn't always easy. One particular incident was excruciatingly hilarious.
As school going students, Didi and I often had to use the humble gum bottle, the kind that has long been replaced by slicker types. One particular gum bottle remained with us for a very long time. Strangely enough, even after months of use, we found the volume of gum in the bottle never decreasing. Not surprisingly, though, the gum gradually got thinner and less stickier! The mystery was solved when we discovered Dad diluting the gum with tap water!
Dad was aware he couldn't possibly remember getting a new gum bottle from the market when the old one was exhausted. He also knew that prevention was better than cure - an adage he put to brilliant use. Each time he used the gum, he silently slipped into the kitchen to do his little trick! The enigma of our unending supply of gum was solved when suspicion fell on him for obvious reasons.
Didi elicited great pleasure in reciting this incident to all the guests who would care to listen while Dad could only afford a sheepish grin! But he was embarrassed enough never again to try his trick on us.