Thursday, July 25, 2013

Green beans and Ice Cream

Green Beans & Ice Cream
by Bill Sims Jr.
It was suppertime, and there they were again: Green. Slimy. Stringy.

My worst nightmare—yeah, it was green beans all right again.

By the time I was a four-year-old kid, I had already sampled green beans and concluded they weren't for me. The strings might as well have been wood chips, the way they caught in my throat as I tried to get them down.

Mom was my boss, and I was her newest employee. We had a real labor/management crisis going on. She begged, cajoled and pleaded. But I was determined not to eat those green beans.

So I crossed my arms, frowned, and pouted, figuring she'd give up and forget about green beans, as she always had in the past.

But this time, Mom had a secret weapon. Now, there was something else on the table besides that dreaded green scourge. "Billy Joe, if you eat your green beans you can have some..."

You guessed it. "Ice cream!"

This sheer stroke of maternal genius changed my behavior forever. In a flash, I saw those green beans, not as an oppressive burden, but as a first-class ticket to that lovely ice cream.

Sure, Mom got what she wanted—a balanced diet for her four-year-old.

And I got ice cream. Pretty cool.

(Thanks, Mom. You are the best!)

I'm not sure exactly when or how Mom pared back the ice cream, but somehow I came to terms with green beans and accepted them for what they are—pretty healthy and tasty by themselves (oh, Mom learned to buy stringless beans, and that didn't hurt either).

Mom had learned how to change my behavior!

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