Monday, October 08, 2018

However (or, Sometimes We Are Slightly Irreverent)

Emily came down for her ten-year high school reunion, which doesn't seem remotely possible but is also an irrefutable fact. When Emily's here we play hand-and-foot in the evenings—she loves that game—and this trip was no different.

Last night while we were playing we all got a little loopy. Emily was talking about how she calls her mom for everything. When she's at the grocery store, for example, she'll call her mom to ask what cut of meat she needs for a certain recipe.

Andrew and I are less like that. We're more study-it-out-in-your-mind (or at least google it) before you ask about it people.

Neither way is right; they're simply two ways of being.

Talking about cuts of meat, however, reminded Andrew and me of the time Andrew agreed to make tamales for Uncle Trevor's family reunion. Aunt Linda found us at church the Sunday before she needed them, just to check in with Andrew about what groceries he needed.

"...and I thought I'd get a pork shoulder or two for the carnitas," she said.

"Okay," Andrew said. "I've only ever used pork butt for this recipe but I can try a shoulder."

"Really?" Aunt Linda said, giving us some serious side-eye.

Andrew and I looked at each other.

"What?" Andrew asked.


"It's the same thing, you goof!" she said, giving his shoulder a playful smack.

"Pork butt and pork shoulder are the same thing?!" Andrew asked.

Aunt Linda assured us that it was (but we still had to look it up as soon as she walked away and—whaddaya know?—she was right).

So we told this story over the card game and Reid goes, "Pork...shoulder..." and bursts out laughing at the mental imagery of an Animal-Farm-esque pig strutting around on two legs with big, burly shoulders.

The terms are used interchangeably so we figured that it was just the cut above the legs, at either the shoulder or the butt. But, no. It's just the shoulder of the pig, which is the widest part—or butt—of the animal and has nothing to do with the tail end. This checks out on Etymology Online; butte is a related word. But we didn't know this last night. Last night we thought butt and shoulder were interchangeable.

So I started singing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes and we joked about how much easier it was to go from one's rear to the floor than it was to go from one's shoulders to the floor.

And then Andrew started singing Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel and we all lost it.

We were laughing so hard we could hardly breathe. Tears were rolling down cheeks. The song will never be the same again, rather like Count Your Blessings.

Miriam and Grandpa rewrote that song to say, "Count your blessings. You have one, two three! Count your blessings. You have more than me!" 

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