When I was a boy my brother and I were at a restaurant with our parents. Nothing odd there you might think, and you’d be right. The End.

Oh no, that’s not right. There was something a tad unusual about the end of the meal. With the bill had come five mints not four. And what were we going to do about the extra one? Neither of my parents fancied it but to my brother and I it was the Lost Treasure of the Sierra Madre. My mother instead of deciding to simply pop it into her mouth and be done with it told us to leave the single mint. That, being a law abiding youth, was, as far as I was concerned, that.

On the way to the car park my brother announced to us all that he had in fact swiped the extra mint. And before anyone could ever do anything about it he slapped it straight into his gob. Confusion reigned in my mind. My soul had been torn asunder. He now had two mints in his mouth and I had a measly old one. I replayed the moment in my mind in slow motion. I could see that mad glint in his eye. That cheeky grin that would mean he’d get away with it. And most of all I could see the outline of those two little balls of minty goodness pushed up against his cheeks.

I’m afraid to say I did the only thing I knew how to do – I cried. I cried my little eyes out. And I was asked what had happened, what was wrong, why was I so sad? I opened my mouth to explain the injustice of the situation and the mint I was sucking fell straight out, onto the road and rolled away. This, as you might imagine, made matters even worse.

When I hear people talking about the amount of pee and other unpleasantness that are found on restaurant mints I can’t help but remember this mint that I coveted so much that I was willing to risk all to get.

Moral: A mint in the gob, is worth two in your brother.

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