I was thinking as I quickly scanned (well actually not too quickly) through one of those crazy catalogues the other day that makes you ask yourself when you get one. “Why am I on the mailing list for this?” My eyes unaccountably widened at the paper version of the TV infomercial for waist-band wideners for too tight pants, plastic frogs that croak every time the door near them opens, and toilet paper storage, camouflaged as Bo Peep. I thought to myself — “Little Bo Peep, you’ve lost your mind. Covering paper for my behind.” Sorry, I apologize to you all for even typing that, but the creative muse moves at any inspirational trigger, no matter how mundane! It just can’t be helped! Actually it was the promise of being able to grow a zuchinni, in the shape of a face of a really happy looking garden gnome that got my creative juices really flowing. If I bought enough of those little plastic clamp-together molds to fit over all the budding zucchinis in my garden I could make a whole family of them for our next big family BBQ! Of course I would have to go take out a loan to afford it, because even though the raw material is here (the alarmingly prolific zucchini plants), and the competent work force is here (that would be me), the acquisition of the manufacturing equipment is financially unattainable. I’d be better off getting them premade? preformed? pregrown in China. Who says they water their zucchinis with melamine? That’s just a rumor! And who would want to eat them anyway? With each of our names magic markered on to the back of their little gnome heads, that would almost be like ritualistic cannibalism. Yuck!
What the little zucchini head molds made me think about was how much people grow to be shaped by the way they fit into the container they are put into—in other words, their families. I have three brothers and four sisters and we all grew up with the same parents. How much are we alike? A lot, and not at all. I’m not talking about physical shape here, although its true that in that we do share a lot and vary a lot that way as well. What I was wondering was, “How similar do the circumstances have to be to get similar siblings?” The picture I have posted with this is a good illustration. They are my two youngest brothers Donny and Jimmy. Marsha, our family photographer, who records all of our triumphant and not so triumphant moments for us, took the picture. Obviously, from Donny’s reaction it was not a voluntary thing to place a pineapple on his head and hold it there for the picture. He couldn’t have managed a smile for the life of him, under the circumstances.
“Here! I’ve cleared off the breakfast table. Sit on it boys and I’ll take your picture”
“Slide over close together so that I can get a good one.”
“Now, hold these pineapples on your head.”
“Here, hold this pineapple on your head.”
Both boys had the same home. Both boys had the same mother and father. Both boys had all the same family members, except for one variation. Each had a different brother—each other. And if they were zuchinnis,then Jimmy would be the one who was on the vine longer. Nobody ever squashed their enthusiasm to grow into the individuals that they are today. They are both very happy, loving and giving men, but as far as being anything like the bookends that my sister Marsha attempted to pose them as in her photo? Lets just say that they are each too valuable as the treasures that they are to be book ends. They each have a special place of their own from where they can be admired for their own uniqueness by those of us who love them.
Now, about those waste band wideners… I’ll be going on holidays soon to a cottage located conveniently close to a famous Ontario dairy noted for its incredible ice cream. I could visit it three times a day for every day I’m there and still have flavours left over. Mmmm! Black Raspberry Thunder, Bordeaux Cherry, and Death By Chocolate….Should I order the holiday saving/hari cari by icecream-enabling waste band expander gizmo or not? A great battle is going on between two little cartoon characters, one on my right shoulder, one on my left, as I consider the possible outcome. Hmmm…. When am I due for that next physical? When do I have to meet with my doctor/confessor over the scales of “Just us”? I’ll have to think about it.