HAHAHA!!! He's back again!! No, not me silly!! That crazy writer from the L.A.Times. This guy always kills me with his wit and wisdom....... OK, forget the wisdom part! But since I am not actually writing this, keep this in mind. I'm only 'borrowing'.... and I'm lazy today!!
Los Angeles Times
With Novemberfest now upon us, I'd like to remind you that you cannot bring food into our house without someone lunging for it: a sandwich, a blintz, a side of pork. What usually happens is you'll be sitting there reading the paper — contentedly mumbling to yourself the way semi-sane people do — and someone will stroll by and just take a huge bite of whatever you're eating.
Particularly vulnerable are the Bay Cities sandwiches (on Lincoln in Santa Monica). Los Angeles is not really a great sandwich town, so when the lovely and patient older daughter brings by a gloppy Bay Cities sub, it's like the first day of deer season in Duluth.
Seriously, I've seen fistfights.
With that warning in mind, we barrel head-on toward Thanksgiving, the gloppiest holiday of the year.
At our house, we celebrate the Armenian Thanksgiving, which comes a little later than the traditional Thanksgiving — 12 days or so — or maybe I'm thinking of Christmas. My wife dresses up as Cher for both occasions, which always throws people off. She also dresses like Cher for Mother's Day at church, which has doubled attendance among her fellow Presbyterians.
Cher and Cher alike, I always say.
In any case, it's a festive time, this Novemberfest. There are turkeys in the supermarket, and Armstrong Nursery already has trees strung with holiday lights. Thanks to all the rain, it's been a particularly lush fall — the hillsides poker-table green and the trees all ruddy in the cheeks.
Inspired by all of this, the little guy and I have been running through his lines for the Pilgrim pageant, which takes place soon. His teacher, Mrs. Norris, is considered sort of the Spielberg of second-grade plays. I wouldn't be surprised if she gets a deal with HBO soon, maybe to develop the next "Sopranos." The tag line: "The mob may be scary, but second grade is scarier."
So, anyway, everybody is expecting joy and insight from the second-grade Thanksgiving Pageant. It's our little suburb's version of a Lakers game.
This year's performance is titled "Popcorn! Popcorn! Popcorn!" You might guess that it involves popcorn, but there is so much more — allegory, deft characterization, subtext, surprise.
As I understand it, the play involves a bunch of Pilgrim kids going off to the multiplex, which gives them the opportunity to talk about popcorn.
"Mmmm! This popcorn is so tasty!" the little guy's character says. "It's crunchy and munchy too! And best of all, popcorn is good for you!"
You should hear the 7-year-old rehearsing the line. He's physical in that same way Brando was, tossing things and clenching his fists, and you're never quite sure what he's going to say next. Usually, it's "Um, Dad, I forgot the next line," at which point I remind him of his next line, and off he goes again.
At one point, the little guy has to say: "The Incas used popcorn for jewelry. Scientists found corn in a cave in New Mexico. The scientists think the corn is about 4,000 years old. Even the Indians who first saw Christopher Columbus ate popcorn."
I don't know how historically accurate this is, but I have often given popcorn as jewelry. My wife wears it with a little black dress on those nights when she really wants to feel good about herself and get people talking.
"Maybe you should try hanging a slice of salami from your ears," I've suggested in the past.
"That would be overkill," she sniffs.
What a prude.
Seriously, can you imagine going in for a little nuzzle and seeing a nice slice of Milanese salami dangling like an earring? Or maybe a nice Catalan fuet? I think I'm speaking for every husband when I say that women's fashion really should incorporate more junk food.
Ladies, dangle a nice cheese blintz around your neck, then see if your love life doesn't just take off.
After all, it's all about appearing good enough to eat, and who really has time for three meals a day anyway? At our house, we pretty much just chow down spontaneously on anything within range (see Bay Cities above).
In "Popcorn! Popcorn! Popcorn!" they don't really explore this food-as-fashion issue in as much depth as you'd like in a holiday classic. The play is more focused than that, which is why (I think) it might be up for a Pulitzer.
"Wow! Popcorn is so interesting," one of the kids says toward the end.
It really depends how you wear it.