Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Happy Birthday, Aunt Laura!

What is it with everybody? They're having birthdays practically every year these days!

So here's a happy birthday greeting for my aunt down in Key West.

She's very cool, because:
1. She laughs like a pirate
2. She can sail around the world
3. She lets me play with her chihuahua
4. She is a lot of fun at Fantasy Fest and doesn't mind too much when I get feathers everywhere
5. She is kind to animals and small children

Many people don't know this, but she also used to have a rather adventurous taste in food...

Back when I was in middle school she would frequently visit the house, bringing us little gifts like pet turtles and things. I was washing dishes in the kitchen one day, and she started rummaging around in the refrigerator. She poked around a bit, tasting a few things, and generally asking me how the day had gone. As I rinsed a few odds and ends, she said "*L, I don't mean to insult your mother's cooking, but this is terrible!"

I had an awful sinking feeling in my stomach, because I realized immediately what had happened. However, I can generally remain quite calm in a crisis. "You might want to rinse your mouth out", I told her.

"Why...?", she asked, with a horrified look slowly covering her face. The container and wrapper dangled loosely from her fingertips.

"You just ate gourmet turtle food", I told her, as hordes of short people danced around the kitchen screaming "Aunt Laura's eating turtle food! Aunt Laura's eating turtle food! Ha ha ha ha!"

As she ran over to the sink and frantically chugged gallons of water, I read the label out loud to her: "Puréed mealworms, crickets, earthworms, cockroaches, grubs and beetles fortified with calcium, vitamins, fiber and essential nutrients" (or something ilke that)

Years later, she would still poke gingerly at anything even remotely resembling food in our kitchen, asking in a timid voice "Is this all right? I think it's all right, but I just wanted to make sure.... Are you sure it's okay to eat?"

"Yes, it's an apple" we'd say.

*Not really my name


Anonymous jamie dawn said...

I can't get over how cool it is that she laughs like a pirate.
Happy day to her!

7:44 PM  
Blogger L said...

She really does. I wish I could laugh like that

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Mariana said...

My favorite aunt looked like a witch with dark circles under her eyes and long, frizzled hair. She was the best story teller ever and all the children loved her. Happy birthday to your aunt!

7:45 PM  
Anonymous chickie said...

I fed someone cat food once. Turtle food is probably better for you.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

What was it the diamond nazi used to keep asking Dustin Hoffman in the movie: "Is it safe? Is it safe?" I'd wonder what was safe to eat at your house, too!

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Anigans said...

what? that's not your name?!?

7:50 PM  
Anonymous glomgold said...

What's Fantasy Fest?

7:50 PM  
Blogger L said...

Mariana: I think being a good storyteller is part of the job description for being an aunt

chickie: I bet cat food tastes much better :p

Ron: yeah, sometimes we still do

Mr. Anigans: not at this moment

glomgold: It's a crazy festival down in Key West-- tons of nude body painting, drag queens, etc. You can see a few photos from last year in my November archives (and see if you can guess which one is me)

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Brenda Love said...

Hey, at least it was GOURMET turtle food!!!!

7:51 PM  
Anonymous comfort addict said...

I can laugh like Popeye the Sailor Man but not naturally. A pirate-laughing aunt would be cool. The closest I have to that is an aunt who is funny in a Groucho Marx sort of way (even her delivery is similar).

7:51 PM  
Blogger L said...

Brenda: with vitamins and nutrients added!

Comfort Addict: a Groucho Marx aunt sounds pretty cool to me

7:51 PM  
Blogger L said...

She really does. I wish I could laugh like that

7:51 PM  

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