The actual event probably took a whole five seconds to occur. The server who brought my corn dog to the table that evening did not have a two-year-old son. My mother, however, did, so she saw it coming the second that plastic tray hit the table. Her only problem was that she couldn’t move fast enough.
I remember her saying “No, don’t…” but that’s all she could utter before my brother lunged for it and with his grubby little hands grasped the wooden stem of the corn dog and swung it around and around his head like a lasso. After the third revolution, he released my dinner from his grasp, upon which it went sailing through the air of the fine dining establishment that is Red Robin and landed at the foot of some woman’s chair. At the age of six, I could comprehend that this was a very good thing. My mother was embarrassed, but not as much as she would have been had that corn dog nailed someone in the head or landed in their plate of chili cheese fries.
Once I took all that into account, a single startling fact remained: I had no dinner. It was my special birthday dinner and I picked out my absolute favorite food and my brother, however innocent his motivations (and to this day we aren’t exactly sure what they were at the time) robbed me of my food.
I was inconsolable. Immediately, I burst into tears. “He took my corn dog!” I cried, hoping my family and the server would appreciate this for the tragedy it was. The server tried as sweetly as she could to tell me that she would bring me another one, but I didn’t understand or didn’t care about what she was saying. My only thoughts were with that corn dog I should have been enjoying but was instead lying, uneaten, on the floor.