Well, my family does, anyway. And, no, this is not a post about sex. Get your minds out of the gutter.
It started on Thanksgiving … and it ended on Thanksgiving, several years and a new house later. The cast of characters was mostly the same, with a few additions to Act II. I’ll break it down for you:
Act I: The Whipped Cream War
Scene: A dining room in Uncle Ron and Aunt Anita’s Catonsville, Maryland, townhouse. On the walls hangs brand-new wallpaper.
Cast: Me, cousin Gillian (Jill at the time, Liane now), my mother, my father, Uncle Ron and Aunt Anita, Aunt Roslyn
Date: Thanksgiving sometime in the mid-1980s
My father’s younger brother has always been somewhat of a prankster. Nothing over-the-top. Not practical jokes. Just general tom-foolery. So it surprised no one when he decided to commandeer the aerosol whipped cream can at the family’s holiday dinner table one year and, when anyone asked for whipped cream for his or her pumpkin pie, hold up said can and squirt a small amount in that person’s direction.
I, a child at the time (though I don’t remember the year and therefore my age), thought it would be fun to pay back the favor. This somehow resulted in more whipped cream than intended flying across the table. My memories are fuzzy, so forgive me if this story lacks in detail. I just know that I ended up at some pont standing in front of Uncle Ron with a spoonful of whipped cream poised like a catapult ready to splat all over his face.
The problem is, he moved at the last minute. The whipped cream flew across the room, landing on the brand-new wallpaper and my mother.
Aunt Roslyn hid under the table. Everyone blamed my mother. You know, because it’s usually her fault when things like that happen.
And the family had a story to tell for the next … well, however many more years it will be before we’re all dead. This could last forever.
Which leads me to our next act …
Act II: The Whipped Cream Conspiracy
Scene: Begins and ends at the home of Uncle Ron and Aunt Anita, also in Catonsville, with an interlude at a convenience store
Cast: Me, cousin Liane, my mother, Aunt Patty, Aunt Anita, several others who were partially involved
Date: Thanksgiving sometime in the early 1990s
(Incidentally, I believe this was the same year the turkey took ten hours to cook because Aunt Anita kept opening the oven and my mother had to stand in front of it so we could eventually eat. That’s another story, though. There are pictures of said turkey. Somewhere.)
Aunt Anita told us she had Cool Whip for the pumpkin pie. We weren’t allowed to have real whipped cream. It wasn’t healthy. (Aunt Anita recently received her degree in nutrition.) You know, because yucky-tasting trans fats are better for you than naturally-occuring cream whipped into a sweet dessert topping. Naturally.
Poor Aunt Anita. Her well-intentioned insistence on choosing “healthy” for a holiday dinner didn’t quite work out. Her family foiled her.
The conspirators were me (of course), my mother, my Aunt Patty and, of course, Cousin Liane — Anita’s own daughter! “How?” you ask.
Here’s how it went down: Aunt Patty drove, my mother bought, I went along for the ride (I think it was my idea, at least in part) and Liane came along for directions to a store that was open on Thanksgiving and carried whipped cream.
I don’t think we’ve had whipped cream at a family event since …