Monthly Archives: November 2020

2.21.a Bedhead and Baking

Do you suppose it’s possible for a person to absorb enough Aqua Net they no longer suffer from bedhead? 

It’s my pet theory concerning Aunt Pearl. I shared it once with Wood, but he just spouted some Latin at me, cum hoc ergo propter hoc, then changed the subject to Man City’s defensive shape in their last match against United.

I believe, her heyday habit of exhausting three cans a week, securing her beehive, elegantly explains her historic lack of bedhead. (She’s down to a can a month now, just keep the tank topped off.) All she has to do is run a brush thru her hair once, and it stays fixed in that fashion until she decides to restyle. 

Case in point, its six-thirty in the morning, and her hair’s perfectly coifed… 

Me (winding the kitchen timer to seventeen minutes): “Coffee?”

Aunt Pearl: “Please.”

Grabbing a new cup from the cupboard, I filled it, topped off my own, then carried both to the kitchen table where I paused for the first time in nearly three hours and settled into a chair across from my Aunt.

Me: “Did I make too much noise?”

Aunt Pearl: “Quiet as a church mouse. The aroma of your lingonberry and lemon muffins woke me.”

Me (smiling into my cup): “Really?”

Aunt Pearl: “No, I smelled the orange blossom honey cake. I’m surprised Robbie’s not down here trying to help himself to the frosting.”

Me: “He was, but I haven’t made it yet, the cakes are still too hot to frost. I sent him off with some decoy chocolate crinkle cookies.”

Aunt Pearl (visibly impressed): “Smart.”

Me (pointing to the cooling racks between us on the table): “It’s the same reason behind shortbread for Uncle and krumkake for you. The muffins happened because I got bored.”

Aunt Pearl’s Orange Blossom Honey Cake is a fan favorite in our house, the Lu’s next door, pot lucks, company picnics, staff rooms, and carnival cakewalks. If I hadn’t headed them off at the pass with their favorite treats, my cakes, even in their current frostingless state, would never make it to their destination.

Aunt Pearl (sampling the krumkake): “Anything on your mind, dear?”

Me: “Nope, just couldn’t sleep.”

Aunt Pearl (clearly skeptical): “Really? You’ve stocked your own bake sale table before the birds start chirping because you couldn’t sleep?”

Me: “I also drank an entire pot of coffee by myself?”

This defense cut no ice with my Aunt.

Placing me on the end of her patented, ‘Spill the beans kid I’ve got all day’ stares, she slowly and very deliberately dunked a piece of krumkake in her coffee. Cracking easily under the weight of her unwavering eye contact, I slowly outlined the barest of basics of the problems currently plaguing me. 

(I blame the Aqua Net, the nimbus of fumes surrounding her must-have befuddled me – it’s the only explanation why I started spelling out my troubles to the one person who never fancied my job at Nevermore.) 

Me (ending my tale with a bit of grousing): “Why didn’t I call Big Ben when Little Ben first handed me my pink slip? He might have mentioned where he was staying in New Mexico or his buddy’s name…”

Aunt Pearl (smiling the infuriating smile of a guardian who knows an answer you don’t): “I know why you didn’t call Big Ben.”

Me (her words cut thru my mental fog like a knife): “You do?”

Aunt Pearl: “So do you. Remember, Josie Reville?”