The Great Baked Potato Incident of Nineteen Fifty-Five. 

images-1My mother, like most mothers, had rules, expressions, little day to day sayings that we as children were to follow.  One of the rules of the home (as she called them) was to “eat everything on your plate.  If you do not, you go to bed.

My father would occasionally back her up with “Eat all of them beans, there are kids in China that do not have any rice.  And I would think to myself “What the hell does he know about China?  He is from Watonga (Wuh-tong-guh) Oklahoma.

My basic problem was I did not like baked potato’s, nor was I a big fan of liver and onions for sure.

This past weekend I read an interesting article on childhood memories and how kids can only remember certain memories of when they were young.  So I sat down, got comfortable, shut down all the distractions in the house and took a deep breath.

I was determined to conjure up at least one good childhood memory, which is a stretch for me, because this was well over half-a-century ago.  Never the less, I was going to do this thing and I sat here and thought really hard.And it came to me.  The Great Baked Potato Incident of Nineteen Fifty-Five.   Suddenly there it was!  I remembered it as if it were yesterday by golly.

The “eat your vegetables rule was in effect” and we had to scarf everything down, or it was off to bed (around 6:00 PM) which was clearly too early for a precocious youngster like myself.

images-1 At some point, I excused myself from the table, boot-legged this baked potato much like an experienced NFL quarterback and went to the bathroom.  There I proceeded to deep six this brown beauty from the alluvial soil of Idaho into the commode.  Flushed it and went back to the kitchen to face the other things I did not like.

Didn’t eat the green beans, so I was quickly dispatched to my bed.  There in the shank of the late evening I laid, wide awake, listening to the sounds in our home.

Shortly, my Dad went into the bathroom to use the toilet.  Yup, you guessed it, the potato had stopped up the process.  So he went and got the plunger out of the hall closet …

Whomp, Whomp, Whomp… Flush.
Oh no!  Water and then some cussing.
Again, Whomp, Whomp, Whomp… Flush.
Again, more water.

Mom came in and said, “What is all the ruckus?” he said, “I dunno, the kid has stopped up the toilet, get me a clothes hanger.  I am now sort of wiggling in my bed and starting to sweat profusely.

He digs around, wiggles it, again Whomp, Whomp, Whomp… Flush.
A little chunk comes floating out, then I hear it.
Hell Marian, it is a piece of potato for cryin’ out loud.
A what?” and he says, “A @!!#@#@#!!# potato!

Then both of them just roared with unabated hysterical laughter for about five minutes.


More Whomp, Whomp, Whomp… Flush.
“Damn kid”
Whomp, Whomp, Whomp… Flush.
“He gets it from you Marian!”
Whomp, Whomp, Whomp… Flush.
“He’s YOUR Kid Loren … Don’t you EVEN try to lay this off on me mister.”

Finally the toilet gives up its treasure and the family crisis abates.  I just knew at this time that I was going to either get beaten half too death or grounded till I was forty … but strangely, it did not happen.

You know, there is an old expression that goes something like this:
“People who do not learn from their mistakes are prone to repeat them.”
Which in a lot of cases, is true.

From that day on, in our family, the “eat everything on your plate rule” was sort of retired and never heard from again.  Also something totally unexpected happened.  From that point on, my baked potato’s were cut up, smeared with butter and neatly sliced on my plate.  Gosh, I sure love those memories of my childhood.

If that doesn’t bring a tear to your tired old eyes, well, nothing will.


4 thoughts on “The Great Baked Potato Incident of Nineteen Fifty-Five. 

  1. Ha ha ha!! You got off easy on that shenanigan! It would have been much more brutal at our house… like a killin or something. We had that same stupid rule – only for us it was the starving kids in Vietnam!


    • This post is proving to be rather popular and seems to hit a resonant chord with others. There were times that I was no so fortunate and paid the price for my sins. It was like the writer said: “It was the best of times and the worst of times.” No social barometer or conscious in those days, tantamount to child abuse in this current era.

      I still do not like Liver and Onions by the way.



  2. That second paragraph? Reminds me of the time (s) my step-father used to say that to me ‘n my brother in the ’50’s. Then one time I made the mistake of throwing a question back at him that was: what happens to those Chinese if I eat this? (whatever it was at the time) It was only the speed of my sainted mother that prevented me from being slapped into the nearest wall !!! Come to think of it now, another time involved those dreaded Brussels sprouts !!!


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