art by Cheryl L Owen-Wilson
Needs More Salt
by Liz Schriftsteller
Today I learned that anything is edible with enough salt. It started this morning when my little brother Todd bit through the cardboard packaging to get at the sugarcoated marshmallow cereal bits inside.
"Spit that out," I told him. "You can't eat cardboard."
"Can too," he said, and swallowed.
"Well maybe you can," I conceded, as he took another bite of the box. "But you shouldn't. And anyway, you can't eat everything."
"Bet you I can," he said, and that's where the trouble started.
I decided to start small.
"Here, try this," I said as I handed him a bottle of hot sauce.
"Really?" he asked, taking it from me.
"Really," I said with a smile. "The whole thing."
He opened the bottle and knocked it back, drinking the whole thing in a few short gulps. He looked triumphant for a moment and then the smile curdled on his lips. I laughed as he ran to the sink and turned on the water full force, drinking from the spigot rather than bothering with a glass.
He wiped his mouth off on his arm when he was finished. "That was nothing," he said, gathering what dignity he had left. "What's next?"
"You're not done," I said, smiling. "I said the whole thing."
He looked puzzled. "But I drank it all."
"And the bottle."