The focus yesterday was on differences between how grownups and kids think.
Which may be why today I had a vivid flashback to my own childhood.
The flashback was prompted by hearing an explanation of the term “angel’s share”. It seems that when wine or liquor is aged in oaken barrels, some proportion of the alcohol seeps through the wood and evaporates into the air. The portion thus lost is known as the “angel’s share”, in hopes that it is being enjoyed by the guardian angels who, with any luck, are watching fondly over the product.
When I heard this I was immediately transported back to a time when I was about six years old, on a day I was taking a walk with my dad. At that age I was full of questions about anything and everything. Day after day, from morning till night, I would lob these wide ranging queries out to the world in a relentless and non-stop barrage. All these years later I still seem to be just as full of questions, but over time I’ve learned how to sometimes keep my mouth shut (alas, not always).
On this particular day I was asking my dad about donuts. When we eat a donut, I wanted to know, what happens to the hole?
My dad had a wonderful answer: “The ghosts eat them.”
I found this explanation to be deeply satisfying. For years afterward, I would feel virtuous every time I ate a donut. I was not merely consuming a delicious sugary fried snack food (or so I would tell myself as I proceeded to polish off an entire box of Entenmann’s chocolate covered donuts in one sitting). With every box, I was feeding an entire family of hungry ghosts.