The Stash

Just in case…

“Mrs. G., I saw what you did there,” Cyrus told his mother-in-law. “I could go talk to the manager and have you tossed out for taking those ketchups and extra sugar packets.”

Rose Grandy scowled at her son-in-law and said, “Why are you such a brat today?”

“Just today? You’re a blatant thief and you’re calling me a brat? That’s rich, Mrs. G. Surprised you haven’t blamed your thievery on me yet.”

“The night’s still young.”

The in-laws had friendly banter like that since they first met twenty some years ago, when Cyrus was dating Rose’s daughter, Susan. Rose knew it was all in fun.

Two weeks later when Cyrus and Susan were in a restaurant back home, Susan noticed Cyrus grabbing a small stack of the same sugar packets and jamming them into his front pocket.

“Did I just see you…”

“Shhh…” Cyrus said.

“But you scolded Mom when we were there last.”

“Scolded? Hardly. I was playing. Besides, I need them for my coffee.”

“And she didn’t?”

“Naaa, she doesn’t have an office. Her purse was full of them and a lot of other packets of stuff. And besides, this is a big chain restaurant. They can afford to miss a few sugar packets.”

“Hmm. Looks like I have some important news to tell Mom next time I see her.”

“She’ll never believe you. Wait, I’ll get her on the phone. You can tell her now. She’ll think you’re crazy.”

“You must be looking in a mirror, buddy,” Susan said. “Me, she believes implicitly.”

Cyrus phoned his mother-in-law.

“Mrs. G., Cy here, your kindest gentlest son-in-law.”

“What do you want, Cy?”

“Now, Mrs. G., that’s not nice. I called to give you some good juicy gossip about your daughter, and you ask, ‘What do you want?’”

“Did you have a point or should I go back to watching Price is Right reruns?”

“That’s cold, Mrs. G. I called you to let you know that you’ve raised a fibber and I’m ashamed to be out in public with her.”

“What’d YOU do now, Cyrus?”

“Susan threatened to tell you that I’m adding to my sugar packet stash.”

“You interrupt my flossing to tell me that?”

“Mrs. G., I thought you were watchi….”

“Put Susan on.”

Cyrus handed the phone to his wife. He folded his arms and watched her talk to her mother. She didn’t say much and then just hung up the phone and handed it back.

“Okay. Love you, Bye.”

“Yeah, so what’d she say?” Cy asked.

“Said you were a total nut job and can’t wait to see us again.”

“See, I told you she still loves me.”


“Right, us.”



  1. I used to do that very same thing when I was putting myself through medical school. I was so poor thank God for those packets I would make soup out of the Ketchup packages. And the cream and sugar I would mix with water and eat with stale bread. That was a rough time in my life.

  2. Ha ha, love it! I’ll admit I have several unused mild sauce packets from Taco Bell. But always ask for more when I stop in for a bean burrito or Mexican pizza. Weird habit.

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