The Danger of Literacy

As we were exploring Tarpon Springs in the rain this past Thursday, we discovered Hellas bakery.

Painted in red and white stripes, with ceiling fans, air conditioning, and a towering glass case of pastry shelves that ran the length of the shop, it was completely irresistible. Even before we opened the door, the boys were hopping with excitement. I was too.

“One thing each,” I said. The smell was amazing, sweet and chocolate and sugary. I felt a little high just inhaling.

The four of us split up and ran back and forth along the glass case, working our way around the other patrons so we could examine the entire line up of treats.

“Daddy, daddy,” my seven year old said, grabbing my hand. “What’s that?”

I’ll admit it: I didn’t look. I was staring at something labeled “chocolate lasagna” and trying to decide if it could possibly taste as good as it seemed. “You can read,” I said back. “Just sound it out.”

A few minutes later, his voice rang out through the store. “Chocolate kok,” he shouted. “I want chocolate kok!”

As people looked at him and chuckled, my wife glared at me, assuming (of course) that I was somehow behind the startling announcement. I ran over to see what he was pointing at. Sure enough, there was a round chocolate confection with shaved chocolate on top. The sign underneath read “chocolate kok.”

I glanced at my oldest, but he hadn’t heard a thing. He was staring round-eyed at a five layer slice of chocolate cake, covered with frosting and little candies.

“Can I have the chocolate kok?” my youngest asked.

“Yes,” I said, then turned to my wife. “Why don’t I take the boys and get the car while you order for us? I’ll have that one. The big guy really wants that one, and, well, you already know the third thing. I’m just not going to say it.”

“That would probably be best,” she said.

The boys and I ran through the rain to the minivan, then swung around to pick her up.

“It’s pronounced ‘Coke’,” she said as she climbed in. “It’s ‘chocolate coke’.”

Huh. Guess I should have thought of that.

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