The Pernicious Effect of Corned Beef Hash

This was originally posted in June of 2003.

The other night we were having dinner, and James, our going-on-four-year-old, had been given a corn muffin and a dollop of corned beef hash. A small dollop, as he was unlikely to be willing to eat much of it, and while we wanted him to taste it, we didn’t want to waste it either.

So James gobbled up the corn muffin, and asked for another. We told him he needed to have some hash first. We repeated this several times, as required, and went on with dinner, until a couple of minutes later when we realized that James was acting strangely. (He still hadn’t touched his hash.)

He had both arms raised with his hands in front of him at about shoulder level, and he was shaking his arms so that his hands flopped about. I looked at him, and he said, “I can’t control my hands, Daddy.”

“You can’t control your hands?”

“No. Hash make it I can’t control my hands.” And he kept shaking them.

“Hash makes it so you can’t control your hands.”

“Uh-huh. Hash make it I can’t control my hands.” Then he stopped shaking them, just held them still in the air. “But with corn muffin, I can control my hands. See?” And he smiled at us as broadly as he could. Then he stopped smiling and started shaking his hands again. “But hash make it I can’t control my hands.”

I had to agree that he couldn’t eat anything with his hands shaking like that, but in the end it availed him naught. Still, Jane and I had to agree that it was a valiant effort.

I still have no idea where these things come from.

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