Does glue taste like chicken?

September 28, 2012

One day when I got home from work I found my niece sitting on the floor in the living room buried in books. And not her usual Cat in the Hat books, but college text books, encyclopedias, and dictionaries. Was this a cheap alternative to building a security fence to keep her in?

“Where’s your grandma,” I asked as I tip toed around Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.

“Sleeping. She hit her wall after one hundred eighty-five games of patty cake.”

“Oh. Where’s your mom?”

“Grocery shopping,” she said as she flipped a page in The Farmers Almanac. “She didn’t take me because last time I built a castle out of soup cans.”

“That doesn’t sound too bad.”

“I dumped out the soup first to make a moat.”

“Oh,” I say grimacing. I pick up Black’s Law Dictionary off a stack. “So are you building a castle now?”

“Does it look like I’m building a castle,” she asks as she waves her hand over the nearest stack. “This configuration would be impossible to defend.”

I blink.

“No I’m trying to do research, but —,” she tosses Gray’s Anatomy aside in disgust. Scoops up her laptop and punches at the keys. “There’s too much information from too many sources.”

“Whatcha researching,” I ask straightening a stack.


I stick out my tongue in disgust. “Did you eat some?”

“Not important,” she says with a quick glance up at me and then back down to the computer. “Rudy says —”

“Rudy eat some?”

“No. Rudy turned eighteen last week and he thinks he knows everything now.”

“Eighteen? Years?”

“Months Sherlock. I’m in daycare not high school.”

I nod like I totally understand what this conversation is about.

“Rudy says glue is sticky because of covalent bonds between water molecules make the glue vacuoles pucker up thus causing the flux capacitor capillaries to make a cohesion bond.”

“And you believe him?”

“No,” she scoffs. “But, the other kids do. And they think he’s some sort of prodigy. I’m trying to find proof he’s just a babbling baby, but there is just way too much junk information.” She pats the ground. “Come here.”

I hurdle over the Chilton’s Auto Repair Manual and plop down next to her.

She slides the computer on my lap. “I punched in glue and 1,002,863,431 sites came up. How am I suppose to find out what’s true in that mess?”

I stare in disbelief at the list of sites. “How can there be that many sites on glue?” I read the first link, “Gertrude’s emporium on the wonderful world of glue and cats.” I pat her head. “There, there,” I say.

She glares.

“I have an idea.” I type quickly. I pull up the library website, I click on the World Book Online link. “This site is just what you and any child needs when they want to know something and want to find the answer quickly. It’s reliable and you can find almost anything about anything. There’s maps, diagrams, video, audio, pictures, and graphs. It’s a shopping mall of useful facts and figures about almost everything.” I type in glue and wallah, her eyes light up. “Everything you could ever want to know about glue. And then some,” I say, as I scroll past the link about the relationship between horses and glue.

She yanks the laptop off my lap. Peers at it. Her lips curl into a grin and her fists clench. “I got him.”

“Now you don’t have to rely on Gertrude and her cats to find out about glue.”

“Thanks Uncle Chris.” She hugs my neck. I try to breathe. She quickly pulls back. I suck in oxygen. Her face frowns.

“What is it,” I ask.

“Some of the younger kids, like the fourteen month olds, can’t read so well. What are they going to do if I’m not there one day to set Rudy straight? Rudy will be free to spread his lies once more!”

“It’s all right.” I pat her leg and I click back to the library page and click on the TumbleBooks link. “This will teach them to read with interactive stories and games. They’ll be ready to thwart Rudy in no time.”

She pumps her fist. “Victory will be mine. And the innocent will be protected.”

I put my arm around her shoulder. She smiles up at me. We high five.

She taps the keys. Brings up the glue page again. Smiles. Stops. Bites her lip. Looks up at me. “Do you think I’ll be able to find out why it tastes like chicken?”

“Maybe,” I say as I click on the horse/glue link.


Chris Bacon works at the Scottville branch of the Mason County District Library.

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