Not long ago, Ro and I were talking about the amount people eat - being overweight, the effect on what you eat on your health - the sort of thing that young men are interested in nowadays. "You'll never be overweight," I said. "I've known that since you were a child." He wondered what I meant, so I explained.
For one thing, he never overate. When he was full, he stopped eating. He was not a fussy eater at all and ate most foods, but if he said he had had enough, even if it meant removing a half-chewed mouthful, that was it. I did, once or twice, encourage him to finish the plateful, or even the mouthful, but since it inevitably made him sick, I quickly learned it was best to accept the situation ... he very rarely couldn't finish a mouthful, mealtimes were not disgusting occasions in the Z household.
But the other reason, and this is the one that counts, is that he didn't eat crumbs. Tell me the truth - if you are eating something Totally Yummy and bits fall off it, do you not wet your finger and pick them up and eat them? If you are eating something with delicious nuts on, and one falls off, do you not pick it up?*
He didn't. Never mind how good it was.
I told him this and he was surprised. He didn't even know - well, I don't know if he hadn't realised he didn't do it, or if other people do (of course, this could just be me, I'm relying on you ... relying on you, you hear? ... to tell me it isn't) - but it was something he was unaware of.
Today, Al had in the shop bunches of red mooli. They were beautiful. Great red radishes, still with the leaves on. When he's had mooli (I don't know, ignorant woman, if the plural is moolies, moolis or mooli) before, they have been white ones.
He also had bunches of little radishes. I bought both, just so that I could show Ro a radish. "Call this a radish?" I brandished it. "This" - waving the mooli - "is a radish!"
I did him a nice little dish of mooli, radishes, little savoury biscuits and a tomato/chilli dip. He ate it and brought the dish to the kitchen. The bowl which had the biscuits in had a little pile of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Now, would you not have eaten them?**
He is 6 feet tall. He has a 30 inch waist. I expect he will retain it.
*Somehow, this reminds me of the Merchant of Venice..."If you prick us, do we not bleed?"
**You may be wondering if I did. No, I didn't. I put them in the hen-food pan.