is what greeted my eyes when I opened the pantry late this afternoon. An extra-large, jumbo pack of Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Goldfish, freshly ripped open, enjoyed, and left . . . hanging . . . absorbing the moisture of the air and dangling precariously on the edge of the wire pantry shelf, ready to fall either onto the questionably clean floor or into the unquestionably dirty trashcan. Someone was being lazy, irresponsible, and selfish with their snacking habits. Someone was going to be found and directed back to said pantry, clip closed this bag of snacks, and forevermore remember that food costs money, gets stale, and needs to be appreciated. The lecture was already gaining momentum in my mind, and it was a good one!
First to question the suspects.
Oldest Daughter (The Logical One): "Mom, you know I can't eat dairy or wheat. Of course I didn't open the bag of Goldfish." (slight toss of head)
Oldest Son (The Strong-Willed One - therefore, the one who always gets blamed for everything!): "I just ate breakfast at noon and I'm full and I've been studying in my room all afternoon. I promise you, this time it wasn't me!" (warm sideways hug for extra emotional appeal)
Middle Son (The Social One): "No, not me. I was at Ricardo's house and then we stopped by to get Mike and the three of us went to Ahnkit's and Michael was there and we called Chase and he came over and then all of us went to Sean's garage to play ping-pong and I suggested we have a humongous scooter race so that---what are we talking about? Oh, Goldfish? No, I haven't been here all day." (giant freckled smile)
Youngest Son (The Dreamer): "Goldfish?!!!!! We have Goldfish??!! I didn't know we had Goldfish! Can I please have some Goldfish, Mom? There are still 22 minutes until dinner!!" (wide open, expectant eyes)
Youngest Daughter (The Baby - therefore, the one who doesn't get blamed for anything!): "Mommy, I can't even REACH the Goldfish!" (slightly pouty lower lip)
So, there you have it. No one opened the Goldfish that are now slowly softening in the Southern atmosphere. Any other suspects? Man of the House at work, The Dogs have not successfully developed their manual dexterity to the point where they can open the crimped top of a chip bag, The Cat passed away 6 months ago, and even I (in my various states of inattention and distraction) would probably remember eating a handful of dry cheddar Goldfish.
Yes, we have on our hands a Very Great Mystery. And I can bet these mysteries don't just happen at MY house!