Now that I’m on vacation at my Aunt Sissy and Uncle Bob’s house, I’m finding out that sometimes people have different names for the same thing and it’s a little confusing for me. Yesterday, my aunt and uncle and all my cousins and me, we went out to a Chinese restaurant where they have a humongous Chinese food buffet.
Everybody who knows me knows that I really like Chinese food. Sometimes I think that maybe when I grow up, I should move to China so I could eat Chinese food every single day and no one would tell me that’s a crazy thing to do. It’s not crazy to eat Chinese food every day if you live in China! That’s what I think anyway (even though I know they’ve got McDonald’s restaurants over there, too).
Anyway, when we were at the restaurant, I asked one of my cousins why they didn’t have plum sauce at this Chinese restaurant, and you know what he said to me? He said, “There’s no such thing as plum sauce.”
He said it just like that. Like I was making it all up just because I wanted to be a smart alec, except that I wasn’t making it up at all. When my mom takes me and my brothers out to eat at a Chinese restaurant back home in Illinois, there’s always plum sauce and we use it on our spring rolls and sometimes on our chicken fingers.
I was mad at my cousin for trying to make me think I was wrong about plum sauce being real, and I told him that. I said, “You make me so mad! There is too such a thing as plum sauce, and I’ve had it lots of times!”
Then he made a stupid face at me, and said there was not. Except that there is, too.
My Uncle Bob didn’t hear the whole conversation so he didn’t know that my cousin started the fight, and not me. He told us both to knock it off, but I couldn’t just knock it off because my cousin was calling me a liar and I’m not a liar. I didn’t want my Uncle Bob to keep being mad at me but I didn’t want my cousin to think he was right, so I whispered back at him that he didn’t know what he was talking about and that when I got back home, I was going to send him a whole jar of plum sauce from the grocery store just to prove him wrong.
I guess I was a little bit too loud with whispering because my Uncle Bob gave me the evil eye my mom gives Aaron and Josh sometimes, and that meant that I had to explain myself so he didn’t think I was a troublemaker.
“Cole said there’s no such thing as plum sauce,” I explained, “and he called me a liar. I’m not a liar.”
“Well, Missy,” my uncle said, “I don’t believe I’ve ever heard of plum sauce myself either. What’s it look like?”
“It’s not a main food,” I said. “You use it like ketchup and you dip things in it. Things like spring rolls and chicken fingers. And it’s not red, it’s kind of orangey-yellow and it tastes a little sweet and a little sour except it’s not sweet and sour sauce. It’s plum sauce.”
“You mean duck sauce?” my uncle asked.
“I don’t know. What’s duck sauce?”
“You use it like ketchup and you dip things in it. Things like spring rolls and chicken fingers. It hasn’t got any duck feathers in it and it’s kind of orangey-yellow. It tastes a little sweet and a little sour except it’s not sweet and sour sauce. It’s duck sauce.”
“Duck sauce!” I laughed out loud. “That’s not duck sauce. That’s plum sauce.”
“Don’t know why they’d call it plum sauce. There’s no plums in it, far as I know.”
“Well, I don’t know why they’d call it duck sauce when I know for sure there’s no ducks in it!”
Then we all laughed. Even my cousin who called me a liar for saying there was such a thing as plum sauce was laughing.
Now I know that sometimes some people call one thing by one name and other people call it by another name, I’m going to be on the look out for those kinds of things. Maybe I can make my very own Missy Barrett Dictionary of Things With Different Names, and my mom could sell it for me so other kids wouldn’t get picked on the way my cousin Cole picked on me.