So I trundled the trolley away to make unnecessary judgments on other customers in another part of the shop when I said to the wife, “We should use up that can of peas and carrots in the pantry.”
“What can of peas and carrots?”
“You know, that can we’ve had for years, probably part of our hopelessly inadequate cyclone preparedness stock.”
Blank look. Never mind. We get home and forget all about it. Later that week I was rooting around in the pantry for something and remembered the fabled can. It was pushed right to the back under a can of coconut milk and a tin of apricots almost as though we were ashamed of it and had hidden it away. Like you would do to an ugly child. (Well I would anyway). I pulled it out and noticed the rust covering the joins and the ominous way the top and bottom bulged. It was sort of like holding an old hand grenade. I turned the tin over, (and shook it a bit, thinking how cool it would be if it did explode), and deciphered the date on the bottom. 12/03/98. Man, that’s an old tin of veggies.
I kept it to show the wife. She didn’t see its historical value. We must have moved that tin to six different houses in three states in the last 10 years starting in Kalgoorlie. It was almost a family heirloom. I threatened to put it in the stew and insisted she’d never notice but the look I got probably made this course of action unwise.