A Point Per Pea – Friday Fictioneers

dining-room
PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Jan Wayne Fields

Genre: Humor (101 words)

A Point Per Pea

Mama Harlow conducted the pea-eating contest. A point per pea. Her five children sat at the table, dipping their heads at their plates, delicately piercing each green ball with a tooth of a fork. The peas turned mushy and cold as they deliberated whether they could eat just one more.

The contest culminated in the Grand Pea Fest. Only the winner ate cake; everyone else ate more peas, equal to the number accrued by the top eater. It was a whole heap of peas, rolling around on mama’s finest china.

“Do we really have to eat all ninety-eight of them, mama?”

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Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the Fictioneers, and to Jan Wayne Fields for the photo. It’s such a great group of dedicated writers. All are welcome to participate. Click here for instructions. For more stories, click on the Frog below.

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64 thoughts on “A Point Per Pea – Friday Fictioneers

  1. That’s one way to get kids to eat their vegetables. I can actually picture the five kids sitting round the table forcing themselves to eat the peas with lots of moans and groans in between, always keeping their eye on the prize. Things like this happen in big families. It can be a lot of fun. Especially look back. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had something like this, Michelle, but no fine china or cake at the end. I believe it was a penny per pea, but I was too young to remember. I liked the image of the rolling peas on the fine china! Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My brother once put some of his peas down the register to the furnace after he and I had been at the table long after my parents were done eating and doing other things. It makes a great story today, a bit like this one.

    janet

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    1. The things you do at the table to get out of eating vegetables. As a kid I really didn’t like peas. I didn’t like the surprise mush inside. Now, I can eat them fine! We ate peas for pennies for kids, but I was too young to remember. I would have preferred cake!

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    1. Thanks! Actually, my parents had a contest when we were kids, for a penny a pea. I only hear stories, as I was too young to remember it. I knew there was a reason I never liked peas! 🙂 No, my kids would never go for this. Maybe they would play for a free video game or something… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great idea, though it does have a slightly cruel undertone. I could see a lot of upset stomachs incurred in the pursuit of the prized cake. It was bubble and squeak at our house, yesterday’s mashed potatoes mashed up with yesterday’s sprouts and fried. My stomach turns as I write… Nice one.

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    1. Oh, yuck. You can also mash up those peas and disguise them, can’t you? As I was telling others, I didn’t mean for this to be cruel exactly, but I see your point. I wonder if maybe mama will have some compassion at the end here. Maybe she’ll say they only have to eat half…still a lot of peas! Thanks, Sandra.

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    1. Ha, good one, Randy. Pea-soning…yes, it isn’t very thoughtful of mama, actually downright cruel, now that I think of it. Her little contest is going to fall apart. Thanks.

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    1. Well, what is…oh it was so hard to explain in this…I had many revisions…the kids eat the peas each day and whomever eats the most for the week (accrued), then this is the number that the rest of the kids eat, while the winner eats cake! And probably in front of them! I struggled trying to put this into 100 words. Anyway, that’s what it is. 98 peas is too many for me, too. Thanks, Ann.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You could be right, Sarah. The only who gets cake is the winner. The rest must eat peas, and only on the day of the Pea Fest! That would be a lot of peas! Yuck. It turns my stomach actually come to think of it. My parents had us eat peas for pennies, although I only know the stories, and have no memory of it. 🙂 Perhaps I put it out of my mind.

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    2. Ha! I agree. Mama Harlow needs to revise her strategy. The kids will soon learn the best approach and how to help each other. Maybe it could be a bonding thing for them in the long run. 🙂

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    1. I agree. I don’t know of any kids who really like peas that much. They’re okay, that’s just about it. I might eat them for a piece of chocolate cake, although I have my limits. Thanks!

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  4. Dear Amy,

    P rhymes with B which stands for Blecch. The only thing worse than peas when I was a kid was pairing them with carrots. No matter, I admire the mother’s strategy although I do think it borders on cruel and unusual punishment. All in all, it makes for a delightful story.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know what’s funny about this to me, Rochelle? I didn’t intend for it to be cruel, but now that I’ve released it, I do realize it is a bit cruel! What is this mother thinking? Perhaps she won’t make the kids eat all those peas. 🙂 I don’t like peas either. My parents had some kind of contest, but you got a penny for every pea! See how long ago it was? That would have to a dollar per pea now. 🙂 Thank you.

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  5. At least with a pie eating contest you’re eating something tasty. I actually feel sorry for Mama, having to sit there and keep count of all the peas, I bet she dreams about giant mutant peas coming to eat her up 🙂

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    1. Ha! Now that would be a great sci-fi twist on this tale! That’s funny because as I wrote pea eating, I thought of pie eating, too. Something just seemed wrong about pea eating. Thanks, Ali.

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  6. I hope it was chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate filling! Otherwise, no peas for me…

    “It was a whole heap of peas, rolling around on mama’s finest china….” now that is a great image!
    Ellespeth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely! That’s what I was thinking, too. Chocolate and double-layered…and icing and filling!

      Thanks so much. This image is the main reason why I wanted to write this story. I just thought it was so silly. 🙂

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  7. Our daughter crammed a bunch of peas up her nose when she was a toddler. As I recall, she almost got an infection. Cute story, Amy. Good thing Mama Harlow didn’t make them eat peas with a butter knife. That can be real challenging.

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    1. Oh, sorry about your daughter cramming peas up her nose. Ouch! I guess there could be worse things. Thank you. I just knew you’d come up with a funny idea here. That would be a really long meal! And frustrating.

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      1. Amy, I’m butting in here – my son Steven stuck Flinstone chewable vitamins up his nose when he was a toddler and we had to take him to the hospital. They strapped him to a board and pressed one of his nostrils shut and blew real hard in his mouth and out popped 3 vitamins. Kids! Sorry to interrupt – Please continue. Nan

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds perfectly awful, Nan. But thanks for the share. My only horror story is when my son bit a hole in his tongue, completely, all the way through! He had to get stitches in his tongue. But this had nothing to do with food or objects going in. It’s a miracle kids make it past childhood. Kids!

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  8. We had a contest with my cousins once, but that was with meat-balls.. If I remember correctly my cousin won with 52 meat-balls.. but 98 peas might be harder..

    If you fail on the 98 peas you will have to eat the reminder of peas the next day in Brusselsprouts 🙂

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    1. Meatballs! Wow, 52 of them! I hope they were the cocktail kind…I think peas but be harder, especially toward the end…

      Oh yucky! That would have to be a consequence, right? There’s always the old put in the napkin trick. 🙂

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  9. I like this. Great story! Reminds me of when me and my younger brother were kids and used to throw peas at each other across the kitchen table with points for hitting each other. Much to my mother’s dismay. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, J.D.! Thanks for stopping by my blog. It means a lot to me. 🙂 Peas are just meant to be thrown. I used to hide my peas in a napkin, although I do recall we had an olive fight once and threw those across the table!

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  10. Loved the story. I think the mother was ingenious. It reminds me of the time my little brother got his daughter to eat a spoonful of salmon eggs for $100. She did it! I know, he is such a brat. Yuck!

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  11. That’s a very cute and entertaining story. I don’t think Mama’s cruel – she just wants healthy kids. And what’s cruel about cake for a prize? Anyway, peas are delicious.

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  12. Dear Amy, I LOVE YOUR STORY! I think the mother is brilliant – and peas aren’t the worst vegetable to eat – eggplant is. I stuffed it in a napkin and placed it under the table on the ledge and retrieved it later. What’s more, my mother told us that Uncle Jack (youngest brother) used to do that so it was her fault for giving me the idea, at least I always thought. I had to hand wash the napkin because the butter had stained the napkin – but it was worth it. My 2nd son spent his entire youth at the table – he wouldn’t eat anything green – but now he does. He reached puberty and his taste buds changed. GREAT STORY – very enjoyable and I think your Mom’s idea for pennies for peas is very clever too! Well done! Nan 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eggplant! Ugh. I’ve never liked eggplant. It just doesn’t look like food to me, so I understand that you might want to be putting that one away in a napkin, Nan! My kids don’t do too bad with veggies. I think someday they’ll eat them, now it’s mostly the tame ones. I don’t remember the pennies for peas, but I’m told someone ate a number in the 70s or 80s maybe. A lot! Thanks so much. 🙂

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  13. I didn’t have much trouble with my kids when it came to small vegebables. I could never get them to eat the pepper part of the stuffed peppers though. I always thought it was such a waste. I didn’t say anything as there was no problem with most vegetables, but it always bothered me somehow. Humorous and well done story, Amy. 🙂 — Suzanne

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