My little fella was hanging over my shoulder as I was doing the online shop. On this unusual occasion, I was ordering kitchenware as well as the usual fridge, freezer, stock-cupboard shop. I was actually after a 2lb loaf pan, but a zillion irrelevant results popped up on my screen, including an exclusive offer for the 10-inch non-stick Pan of the Year.
“How do they know it’s the pan of the year?” my son demanded.
“It’s only January! They can’t possibly know what trouble this pan could cause!”
I couldn’t answer for a moment because I was smothering giggles at the thought of said pan hiding future criminal tendencies from the general public. “Um, darling, some years don’t run from January to December. Some award years—”
“My pan’s great. It’s only small but it does a great poffetje* and a perfect egg. Why isn’t that the pan of the year?”
“It might be a runner-up. It might even be a front-runner in the one-egg/stewed Pippin apple category. Let’s have a loo—”
“And they haven’t thought about other pans, have they? What if there’s a way better pan in September?”
Realising my son was getting emotionally involved, I softened my tone. “Better than your pan?”
“Better than any pan!” Bas leapt to his feet. “What if there’s a pan where six sausages don’t stick, but they don’t bring it in until November? Is that fair? It’s still 2016 in November but that doesn’t matter because it’s only January and THEY’VE ALREADY DECIDED ON THE PAN OF THE YEAR!”
I brought him down to earth by explaining the birth of appreciation societies at various times of the year, and their insistence on rewarding achievements in their particular areas at those times of the years, even if those bore no obvious relationship to the Gregorian calendar with which he’d been raised. It took a while, but once I’d reminded him about Chinese New Year, and explained that some every items were more important to some people than others, he’d rid himself of the filthy notion that he was surrounded by product-nomination corruption.
His peaceful innocence has been lovely, these last few days. Remind me to keep the TV off when Oscar season comes round…
* poffetje = dutch pancake slightly fatter than a blini, and appx 2 inches in width. On a wide day.