“But I don’t want to go to Google!” says Zoya, Alla’s adorable 4 year old daughter.
What could be so bad about going to Google, you ask? Well, it’s not Google she’s afraid of. No — what she’s actually afraid of is “oogle” (the corner) – the place you’re forced to go when you misbehave … or if you were me and had my parents, the place you were sent to finish your food.
Food these days is delightful. It’s warm, crunchy, chewy, and full of goodness. When I was 7, however, it was a whole different story. You see, me and food didn’t get along back then… unless it was sweet and un-nutritious. Which it rarely was. Instead, it was typically borcht. Or grechnivaya kasha. Yuck.
And what this meant was that I was going on hunger strikes nightly, refusing to eat my food. I was at war! With my dinner! It was out to get me and I was out to get it back. This, of course, was not met with enthusiasm and I would immediately face resistance from the authorities, aka my parents, and would be sent to the oogle, plate in hand, to finish my food.
If other dissidents joined in (aka my sister), shit would get real: one of us would be sent to the bathroom to serve our sentence (due to lack of space). Now, you might be thinking to yourself, what? The BATHROOM? To eat? That’s real torture! But what you’re not taking into consideration here is all the opportunities the bathroom provided for crafty kids. For example: a toilet for food getting-rid-of and a seat to sit on while killing time in between flushes. It was the punishment cell you wanted to be in.
In either case, the food in my plate would eventually be gone. Whether it ended up in my stomach or somewhere in the garbage beneath other previously thrown out items I cannot tell you — but you should be able to guess. I was happy it was done with and my parents relieved the bathroom was finally free.
Nowadays, most of my food ends up in my stomach, willingly. But, when little Zoya comes to eat dinner at my house, she may very well find herself in the oogle just like I did as a child if she refuses my food. My house, my rules ;)