Growing up as a twin turns everything into a competition. Whether that be who is first to the front seat or first to finish a meal, there is always a winner and a loser. Sporting events were no longer about which team won, it was about which one of us scored the most goals, saved the most shots, or ran the greatest length. Even if our team lost, one of us won and one of us lost. From early on, we realized that team sports were not our forte, rather individual sports and other competitions were our calling.
One competition in particular that my twin and I still often quarrel over was the “Smelly Bread Contest”. This contest was given to a group of feisty (and equally smelly) Fifth graders. Our objective: make some bread moldy, smelly, and gross. The prize: a certificate, a medal, and of course, lower school bragging rights. We were given two weeks to make our bread stink. I ran home after I was given my directions and I looked for everything in my mother’s cupboard to make mine rank. My sister, obviously under the same directions, reached and grabbed for similar items: milk, yogurt, sauce, and the bread.
I ran throughout the house in a frantic manner to locate the ideal spot to place my bread and forget. When the competition day came, I ran all over the house to try to find where I had placed my stinky bread and realized my sister had the same idea. They were essentially sharing smelly break bunkbeds in their tupperware containers. Great.
When midday came and my class rolled into the science lab for the smell test, I nervously eyed my bread. I anxiously awaited the unleashing of my tupperware and the sniff of my bread. When the time came, my older science teacher cracked open the lid and got a big whiff and instantly shouted. The class fell over each other racing for the door to escape the smell and ran to the adjoining classroom. My bread evacuated the science lab. Boys reaching for inhalers and girls running to the bathroom. It was safe to say, I had some outright stinky bread.
My sister likes to state that while my tupperware was being cracked open, hers too was getting the smell test. To this day, she thinks it was her bread that won the contest and nearly knocked out an entire Fifth grade class.
Grinning from ear to ear, I still fondly remember receiving my smelly bread award and still smile at my beating my sister. Who knows if it was truly her bread that had won, but I have the award to show. Another day, another challenge.