Elder offspring: [Dr. Free-Ride’s better half] said we’re going to do some experiments this weekend.
Dr. Free-Ride: Oh really? Do you know what the experiments will be, or are you going to make them up as you go?
Younger offspring: One of them will be making milk curdle.
Elder offspring: With vinegar or lemon juice, I think.
Dr. Free-Ride: Ah, that’s a classic.
Younger offspring: We’re going to curdle the milk before lunch. That will make cottage cheese, which we can eat for lunch.
Dr. Free-Ride: Clever! What else will you be doing?
Younger offspring: I can’t remember.
Elder offspring: Maybe we’ll make [younger offspring] a zombie.
Dr. Free-Ride: You know my rule: No zombies in the house!
Younger offspring: Awww …
* * * * *
Dr. Free-Ride: So what’s all this I hear about weekend experiments?
Dr. Free-Ride’s better half: Yeah, they were pestering me to do some experiments so I told them we would.
Dr. Free-Ride: Don’t these children know enough already?
Dr. Free-Ride’s better half: Ha!
Dr. Free-Ride: So they told me milk-curdling is on the agenda, but they couldn’t remember what else was.
Dr. Free-Ride’s better half: We’re going to see if we can dissolve an avocado.
Dr. Free-Ride: Really? In a nice salsa?
Dr. Free-Ride’s better half: No, I figured we’d try water, vegetable oil, and vodka.
Dr. Free-Ride: Wow. And who’s going to consume the avocado once you’ve gotten it into solution?
Dr. Free-Ride’s better half: No one. You don’t eat in the lab!
Dr. Free-Ride: Oh right. Except you’re totally using the kitchen as your lab — and we eat there!
Dr. Free-Ride’s better half: Ummm.
* * * * *
Younger offspring’s predictions about the avocado solubility experiment:
I think the avocado will dissolve in water because I heard [Dr. Free-Ride’s better half] say, “Maybe water.” I don’t know if it will dissolve in oil or vodka either. I guess we could also try to dissolve it in apple juice to see what happens.
Elder offspring’s predictions about the avocado solubility experiment:
I think it will dissolve in vodka. I think maybe vinegar could do it, too. Sugar and salt dissolve in water, but fat will maybe (I think) dissolve in oil. I think cooking oil might dissolve the fat from bacon. I guess it depends on what an avocado is more like. An avocado is squishy … gelatin is squishy, too, and it dissolves in water, but I don’t think avocado will. It has too much fat to dissolve in water.