August 8, 2017

Tools for the Next Generation

“We brought you some KCF,” my 7-year-old granddaughter proudly announced as she entered my bedroom.

I had used the time she had been away shopping with my daughter to catch up on a couple of my DVR-ed soaps.*

Half listening, I replied, “What’s KCF?”

Demanding my full attention, as always, she placed her hands on my cheeks and turned my face towards hers and said slowly and somewhat loudly, as though my gray hair was synonomous with hearing loss, “K – C – F.”

She had my full attention so I said, “Do you mean KFC?”

“K – F – C?” she seemed confused.

“Yes. Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

“KFC,” she reluctantly acquiesced.

“Kentucky Fried Chicken,” I repeated.

“No. K – F - C. What’s Kentucky Fried Chicken?”

I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. Reminded of the time when my daughter was about my grandaughter’s age. We had engaged in similar banter that ended in my complete frustration. At that time, about 25 years ago, I tried, unsuccessfully, to convince my daughter that french fries were actually potatoes. She didn’t believe me. And after 15 minutes or so of trying to convince her, I peeled some potatoes, cut them up, and actually fried them so she could see for herself. To this day, I’m not sure she is totally convinced because I’ve never heard her refer to french fries as potatoes. (Who does that anyway?)

Having learned from past mistakes, I simply said to my granddaughter, the K-F-C stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken.” I thought about using Chipotle as a contemporary example. But I realized when she says, “I want some Chipotle,” she probably does not think of the food she receives as a burrito. Or, when she says, “I want Chick-fil-a,” that doesn’t translate in her mind to a chicken sandwich.

So, in the stuff that legends and fairy tales are made of I began, “Once upon a time, K-F-C meant Kentucky Fried Chicken. K for Kentucky. F for Fried. And C for Chicken,” grateful that my gray hair is not yet synonomous with memory loss (at least not acute memory loss).

“For real, grandma?” she asked incredulously.

“Yes.” I replied. “Can you believe that?”I asked raising my eyebrows and feigning amazement.

She never answered. Instead, she left my room returning shortly with a little red and white box for me and one for herself. “Kentucky Fried Chicken,” she announced with a question mark in her voice. I couldn’t tell if she actually believed me or if she was simply placating an old woman.

The next day I received confirmation of the adage, “What goes around comes around.” I heard on CNN that Dunkin’ Donuts would be changing its name to “Dunkin” One day my granddaughter will have to tell her granddaughter that “Dunkin” is actually a donut.  I hope I have provided her with the necessary tools to successfully explain that and other mysteries such as Uber is a cab, Google is a search engine, and Xerox is a photocopy.

 *DVR – Digital Video Recorder. Electronic device connected to a television that allows an individual to record various programs. 

   Soaps -- Television drama series dealing typically with daily events in the lives of the same group of characters.