One of the great parts of spending our summers in Maine was the church supper. The ladies of a congregation would each bring a dish to pass and people from the town would pay to come eat. It was a golden night – lots of good food and no dishes to wash – at least not for us.
One of our favorite church suppers was in Penobscot and one summer, when my brother was about seventeen, he decided to eat to confound the ladies; he ate everything, he ate in Olympic fashion: baked beans, heaps of casseroles, macaroni salad, potato salad…. his paper plate was limp from being piled with so much food. When the desserts came out, my brother made a show of measuring the height of the whipped cream on each slice of pie.
On the ride home, a whole box of animal crackers was found in the car by Hank, one of my sister’s boyfriend. Well, Hank bet my brother $50 that my brother couldn’t eat that box of cookies, with no liquids, in ten minutes.
I will quote my brother, “It was tough getting the last half of the box down; they sucked all the moisture from my mouth and there was not a drop of saliva left in me. By sheer force of will and my desire for the cool fifty bucks did I finish the box and win the bet. I hate animal crackers to this day.”