Prev << Main >> Next
Thursday, September 09, 2004

Today is my father’s birthday.  Happy birthday, Dad.

My dad and I both share a certain sense of whimsy and a willingness to go a long way to both make a joke and prove a point, although, unlike Dad, I never made a spectacular exit from a bad meeting by quoting the final verse of Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland.” I had thought that the dedication to silliness was pretty much confined in the gene pool to just him and me.  Then I heard what my grandmom and aunt, his mom and sister, gave him for his birthday.

They gave him a gift basket full of Heinz products.  Ketchup, 57 sauce, pickle relish, you name it.  They planned it for months and kept adding more to the basket until it was huge.  To anyone else, it would have been an oddball gift, but one that made sense:  my dad is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, and one who has done plenty of time working for various state- and federally-funded juvenile justice and conservation corps agencies before leaving the madness of Washington behind for the bucolic charms and simpler pleasures of running a Boys and Girls Club in rural Maryland.  Anyone who knew my dad would think, “A-ha, it’s a reference to Teresa Heinz Kerry.” Or “It’s a gag on those new Republican ketchups.” (I don’t have the heart to link to either of them, but trust me, there is such a thing as Republican ketchup.  I would think that Heinz ketchup would be Republican enough, considering that the late Sen. John Heinz was a Republican, but there you are.) Good guesses, but wrong ones.

Nope, my grandmom and aunt gave my dad a basketful of Heinz goodies because today is Dad’s 57th birthday.

When Dad told me this, I was silent for a moment.  I contemplated just what a bundle of eccentricity I had been born into, this gene pool on a collision course to wackiness.

“Did they give you any of the British Heinz ketchup?” I asked.

“No, they did not,” said Dad.

“Perfect!”, I practically sang down the phone.  “I can get you British Heinz ketchup from the English grocery in the West Village!  I can get you some salad cream!  And baked beans!  How can we forget baked beans?  Beanz Meanz Heinz!”

I never thought I would see the day when I would outcrazy my own family.  But I have seen that day, and it is now.  Lock me up, throw away the key.

Posted by Bakerina at 12:03 AM in • (2) Comments • (0) Trackbacks

Mr D!  So nice to see you ‘round here.  Don’t worry, m’love, I thought the no-present present was a hoot, even funnier than the year my college roommate’s little brother gave her a giant wrapped present for Christmas, just a mammoth huge package.  Inside was a smaller one, then a smaller one, then a series of about 20 smaller boxes.  The last box was very tiny indeed, and contained a single Starburst fruit chew.  I’m still wondering how long it took him to wrap it all.

Tvindy, you are such the scholar.  I’m glad you’re watching my back when I’m too lazy to provide the links.  Incidentally, my dad included the verse before the one at which you started…

Beneath the city two hearts beat
Soul engines running through a night so tender in a bedroom locked
In whispers of soft refusal and then surrender in the tunnels uptown
The Rat’s own dream guns him down as shots echo down them hallways in the night
No one watches when the ambulance pulls away
Or as the girl shuts out the bedroom light
Outside the street’s on fire in a real death waltz...

(you know how it goes from here)

Consider yourself adopted, Mir.  Since we have a lot of lost time to catch up on, I suggest we repair to the nearest television set and watch six hours of cartoons and get increasingly hyper on sugar.  C’mon, honey, you know you want to!

Ah, well, A.K., every family has its quirks.  I do, too.  wink

Bakerina on 09/09/04 at 11:25 PM  

Oh, indubitably.  (And let’s not get all silly about adopting me without my consent.  You pretty much had my consent from the moment you found me at DIA.) We are all one big happy family.  Looks like we’ll need a bigger box of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.

Bakerina on 09/10/04 at 01:00 PM  
Page 1 of 1 pages
Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.
Prev << Main >> Next