the sandwich

As ham sandwiches go, it was perfection: a thick slab of ham on a fresh bun with crisp lettuce and plenty of expensive, light brown, gourmet mustard.
The corners of my jaw aching in anticipation, I carried it to the table in our backyard, picked it up with both hands, but was stopped by my wife suddenly at my side.
Here, hold Johnny (our six-week-old son) while I get my sandwich, she said.
I had him balanced between my left elbow and shoulder and was reaching again for the ham sandwich when I noticed a streak of mustard on my fingers…
I love mustard.
I had no napkin.
I licked it off.
It was not mustard.
No man ever put a baby down faster.
It was the first and only time I have sprinted with my tongue protruding out.
With a washcloth in each hand, I did the sort of routine shoeshine boys do, only I did it on my tongue.
Later, after she stopped crying from laughing so hard, my wife said, ‘Now you know why they call that fancy mustard Poupon.’