The Painful Legacy of Carmen Miranda

My aunt called, a bit depressed. She’s planning Miss Sasha’s bridal shower. Neither of us has ever planned a bridal shower but we’ve planned parties. Who can’t plan a party, right? You pick a place, provide stuff and stuff to do. Still, we never miss a reason to feel insecure, or lament a missing something we packed away in a cleaning frenzy.

Aunt: – And I was looking for my plastic grapes when –
Tata: You were? I’ve been whining about MY plastic fruit!
Aunt: I think I put mine into storage a few years ago when – you WHAT?
Tata: When I had long hair I used to pin the grapes around my ponytail to amuse myself so my friend borrowed the whole basket for a gigantic up-do. For the past few weeks I’ve been asking for it back. It’s been almost ten years.
Aunt: Where did you get it?
Tata: It was Grandma’s, remember? When she died, I got some ancestral plastic fruit. And a popcorn maker. I can’t explain that.
Aunt: I got some grapes, too! And now I can’t find them!
Tata: You’ll find them! So about my whining: I asked for my fruit back and yesterday, I went over her house to feed her pets. She said my plastic fruit would be next to the guinea pigs. I fed the guinea pigs and then I heard myself say some really interesting words I had never heard before.
Aunt: What’d you say?
Tata: I said [change to Inspector Clousseau accent], ‘That is not MY plastic fruit!’
Aunt: Of course you did! We know our plastic fruit!
Tata: Yeah, yeah. And I KNOW this because she tried to buy me off with low-quality plastic fruit. I can’t wear that!
Aunt: So what are you gonna do?
Tata: Do? What do you think I’m gonna do? I’m gonna toss her house for my plastic fruit!

This exclamation had the intended effect on my aunt: she stopped being depressed and spent the rest of the day bursting into apparently inappropriate laughter and muttering, “Plastic fruit!” wherever she went. My work here is done!

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