It’s not nice to laugh at other people, I tell the boys. And I believe it. Mostly.

But our dear Rosí, the foreign exchange student who’s here this summer, just told me a story about what happened while we were camping last weekend.

She thought she found chocolate. She was so excited. Very little of our food appeals to her and she was thrilled to find something she recognized.

She tried the plump bean of chocolate. That was actually licorice.

And she now thinks that maybe she won’t eat ever again.

I tried not to laugh, but couldn’t help it. I think mistaking black licorice for chocolate might have been the cruelest thing that happened to her the whole trip.

And potentially the most hilarious.

She got me back, though.

By 6:00 a.m., my children are shrieking with laughter. Every day. There is no morning too early for poop jokes, namecalling, and silliness.

And by 6:07 they’re shrieking in murderous rages at each other. What begins in joy ends in tears. At warp speed and quite loudly.

So Rosí has nicknamed my youngest El Gallo.

The rooster.

Because he crows loudly. Early. And often.

Guess the joke’s on me.

Just in case, though, I’m putting licorice in every cupboard of the kitchen.

Because I’m mean. And running on a constant adrenaline-plus-lack-of-sleep high.

And mean.

12 thoughts on “Schadenfreude

  1. I will start calling my son El Gallo. Your house sounds like my house, only we don’t have a Rosi to laugh at. I usually laugh at myself. I need a Rosi.

  2. If I thought I was getting chocolate but got licorice instead, I might stop eating altogether. Or at least until someone got me some chocolate.

    • Fair enough. I did actually (promise not to tell and ruin my reputation) show her all the chocolate stashes in the house, in case she ever again needs some.

      Ahem. I mean…she can find her own chocolate, damnit.

  3. You crack me up, Naptime! (And make me recall the last-minute-Latvian-giant who lived in our closet (yes, closet) for several weeks a few years back.

    It was nuts… And yes, there was plenty of laughter.

    Hadn’t thought to plant licorice around the place. He had a strange enough time with our Nothing-Like-Americans-on-TV type household.

  4. Of course, you, with the black jelly bean obsession, would have licorice in every crevice, cupboard, and couch cushion. YOU ARE A LICORICE ADDICT! Buy the girl some chocolate, please! I can’t live without chocolate, I know her pain.

    A British friend had no idea what to do with pretzels. It was hilarious watching her sniff and try her first “twig thing”.

    • Teehee! Pretzels aren’t universal? But I thought Bavaria had…well…I don’t know what I thought Bavaria had done. Pretzeled the world?

      Oh, there’s chocolate. Tons of chocolate. And she knows where it is. But it’s not sweet enough for her. Fair trade, organic, dark chocolate.

  5. Poor girl! I feel her pain, and I even love black licorice. But I am more familiar with craving chocolate and food you recognize while abroad.

    • Oh, believe me, Jane, I would not have enjoyed the substitution if I’d expected chocolate. But it was hilarious to watch her explain how she took the black jelly bean and lavished all her hope and expectation on it, only to bite in and says, in her words, “Oh, no. That’s not right.”

      I’m a bad person, but I get quite a bit of joy from that image. Passive aggressive, I think? Or licorice aggressive? Passive licoricive?

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