When Thanksgiving hits, we often think about holidays past and the fond memories that go with them. One of my favorite memories of a holiday dinner ended in eruptions of orange soda from my brother’s nose during a fancy dinner my parents were hosting. Obviously, we were the best children ever.
My brother and I were at the cusp of the age when we were behaved enough to join our parents for dinner at their party—though in hindsight, that’s not true. My poor parents thought we were. But we had other plans. At dinner, we had special orange soda for us—a treat we didn’t get all the time—to pair with the adults’ alcoholic beverages. We had Tupperware cups growing up—the kind with the hard plastic sloping sides and lids that attached for easy storage. We were both sitting right in the middle of the extra leaf added to the table, seated on on opposite sides so we could look directly at each other.
Bad move, Mom. My brother and I, completely aware that we were supposed to be on our best behavior, were very furtively making silly faces at each other across the table and giggling. Or at least we thought we were bring pretty secret about it but I’m sure everyone at the table, our parents included, knew exactly what was going on.
One well-timed silly face caught my brother with a mouth full of orange soda from his green cup, which promptly came shooting out his nose at torpedo speed. Cathy, one of my mother’s best friends and the parent of a playmate, quickly rose to the occasion and moved the company’s-coming tablecloth out of the way as my brother continued to spew soda bubbles from his nose, laughing uncontrollably. I lost it and the two of us sat laughing away while, I’m sure, the adults sat aghast at such terrible behavior.
I’m smiling, even as I write this. My brother and I were generally well-behaved children but simply couldn’t help ourselves from having a good time and making each other laugh.
After that, we were banished to his room, where our parents would set up a small television and our Sega Genesis, rent us a couple movies, and get us take-out and our favorite orange soda. I think we were all much happier with that arrangement.
Woody Allen is certainly on to something. (Although for my mother who will be reading this, yes, I understand he’s just not funny.) Laughter is universal and can disarm any situation. And I’m happy to know that somewhere in Woody Allen’s past, he too shot some childhood drink out his nose. Eventually my brother gave me my comeuppance with chocolate milk.
Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Don’t forget to make each other laugh, even if it requires silly faces and orange soda.
photo by BMiz