It’s Saturday. Pancake day in the Clark home. Which reminds me of something I should get off my chest. I confess, with the help of a friend, I once force fed the most horrible pancakes to an unsuspecting peer.
I only claim partial culpability in this forced pancakeboarding. It was during the dark days of junior high, the very dark days in the bowels of the home ec room. It was breakfast day. Breakfast day consisted of a group of three students working together to create a breakfast buffet of their choice. There was only one rule on breakfast day: you had to eat everything you made, or no grade. How tough can that be for three prepubescent junior high males who would eat anything at a dare?
The class started well since we used our own ingredients to make what we pleased. Usually cooking in home ec consisted of going to the recipe table only once. If you forgot something, tough. After all, in your own kitchen you only get one chance to go to the cupboard. I digress. All was going well. My good friend Matt began to prepare the pancake batter. We soon discovered we had no griddle at our disposal. We had to improvise with a frying pan.
Matt was flipping the last of the pancakes as Mark and I arranged our table with all the accouterments a good breakfast buffet should have. As we sat down to our breakfast at 2:30 in the afternoon Matt brought over the blackest pancakes I had ever seen. It looked like he had cooked them on the surface of the sun. We all looked at each other and knew what we had to do. A pall swept over the table as we all knew Mark was a very picky eater. We had large glasses of orange juice. We could do this.
We dove in. Matt and I used a stick of butter each and drained half a bottle of syrup on our pancakes. As our forks split open the encrusted pancake exoskeleton the insides oozed as if we cut into a giant cockroach. Raw batter poured out of the burnt cakes. Matt and I knew what we had to do, eat them as fast as possible. We mopped up what we could with toast and washed it all down with a gallon of orange juice. We made it. We finished the pancakes.
The classroom rule stated each member of the group had to eat each menu item. The pancakes remained on Mark’s plate as our grade hung in the balance. The pleading started as the period wound down. It quickly turned to threats. As the period was about to expire torture on the scale of Jack Bauer was about to ensue. Then something must have clicked as Mark weighed his grade versus the pancake. The grade won out, and with stern encouragement and a half bottle of syrup Mark finished the pancakes. With some of the sounds we overheard it’s possible the pancakes were going down with some regurgitated scrambled eggs.
I confess, with the help of an accomplice, I forced a poor innocent soul to digest the most horrible pancakes I have ever seen or tasted. I am sure the grade I got greatly impressed the academic committee that accepted me into architecture school.