A Hair-owing Tale From Phoenix.

posted in: Day In The Life 7
I laughed yesterday at my gig in Phoenix; those guild quilters and I were having too much fun. Photo: Dona, from Palo Verde Patchers.
I laughed yesterday at my gig in Phoenix; those guild quilters and I were having too much fun. Photo: Dona, from Palo Verde Patchers. (Also: I was so horrified at my appearance — read below — that I didn’t get a picture this morning. I regret many things today.)

Gather ’round as I tell ye a legendarily funny tale. I am shaking with laughter as I write this from the airport. That’s some hype, but I think I can deliver.

I got here to the Phoenix airport at 5:15am for a 6:45am flight. In order to be able to roll out of bed this morning and just brush my teeth and go, I showered last night and went to bed. Ladies, you know that when you sleep on a damp head, you get some interesting hair in the morning because it gets all smooshed around through the night and dries like that.

This morning, I kind of liked my hair. I thought it looked kinda deshible. Sorta sexy, all mussed up like that. I rubbed a little pomade into the ends to combat frizz and I got into my airport shuttle. Got to the airport. Went through security. People were sort of looking at me and I thought, “Hm. I guess I look good this morning with my wool coat and deshible hair and patent leather pumps.” Gave me a little swagger. I get to my gate and plop down with my journal; this is de rigueur for me, as long as we’re dropping the only French words I know. I got out my ink pen and stuck it in my mouth so I could reach into my bag for my journal. I did not know that my pen was slowly exploding.

Then I realized I needed more coffee. So I get back up a few minutes later, walk ten gates to the coffee place. People are really looking at me and I think, “Geez, maybe they think I’m someone important!”

On the way back to my seat, I pop into the bathroom. And everything becomes clear.

My hair was not deshible. I looked absolutely insane. It was amazing, how insane I looked. It was tangled. It was sticking up almost sideways on the left side. A piece on the right was flipped to the left. I looked like a woman with no home.

In addition to this, half of my mouth was black and the blackness extended past the corner of my mouth about an inch. It appeared that I was suffering from a horrible, contagious lip disease; perhaps leprosy. I looked so scary that I startled myself. As I furiously scrubbed the side of my mouth with soap, I began to laugh so hard I tears were rolling down my face because I have never been such a hot, hot, steaming hot mess than I was just now. And because I was now laughing and crying into the mirror, people began to literally back away from me at the sink.

And as I write this now — the ink is gone and I pulled my hair back into a ponytail — I am laughing so hard (but trying not to because there are so many people around me) that I’m literally shaking with laughter silently in my seat and crying actual tears because this image of myself was so incredible. I have had to walk away a few feet from my computer to go behind a post and let the laughter out.

Phoenix? I love you, baby. See you around.

PAM’ing the Pan or “My Family Is Hilarious!”

posted in: Family, Food, Joke 12
PAM, ladies and gentlemen.
From the PAM can. (I love it when ingredients lists use 50-cent words like ‘trivial.”)

A few months ago, up at the lake house, an inside joke was born — and it’s one for the ages, too. I wasn’t there the moment “PAM the pan” came into existence, but by now the whole thing has a mind of its own and it doesn’t matter; family jokes are good like that.

Here’s what happened.

My sister’s fiancee, Jack, was making dinner. Jack is gifted in the kitchen and had made something delicious in a pan that unfortunately was giving him a little trouble. Stuff was sticking. My stepdad, Mark, not trying to be funny or ironic in any way, asked,

“Did you PAM the pan?”

PAM is a non-stick cooking spray, as most of us recognize. I am feeling very annoyed that I have to capitalize it like that, but it turns out “PAM” is an acronym: Product of Arthur Meyerhoff. Isn’t that something? Some dude figured out that you could spray canola oil on a pan and keep stuff from sticking to it and he actually named it after himself. Astonishing. Anyway, that’s what PAM stands for and none of that has to do with the story, though it is relevant that a) PAM is an inherently funny, plosive sound and b) non-stick cooking spray isn’t really Jack’s style in the first place.

So Mark’s question, “Did you PAM the pan?” was just too aurally/verbally fantastic to let go. Everyone in the room tried it out, and all were gleeful with the results — but they were not satisfied, no. I’m pretty sure my mom was responsible for the initial escalation because my mother is hilarious. Note: if you’re in a place where you can actually read these lines aloud, you should.

“Are you gonna make ham? Better PAM that pan.”

Then, my sister: “Damn! That ham pan need PAM!”

Then, Mark, chuckling: “Ask Sam. He’s got PAM. He’s got PAM for every pan.”

Mom again: “Look at that man, Sam. He can sure PAM a pan — why yes, he can!”

Then Jack: “Please stop.”

Jack is frequently the straight man to Fons women hijinks. He loves it, though — enough to marry my sister, which is solid evidence. All this PAM talk went on and on and finally made its way to me when Mom told me the story. My sister Nan in New York learned about it, too, and since then, we’ve had entire family email threads playing this game. Some of my favorites have included:

“Gram never PAM’ed the pan, no ma’am. Ham or lamb, she used a no-PAM pan.”


“Hotdamn, Stan, you better scram if you ain’t gon’ PAM that pan. Makin’ flan calls for a PAM’ed pan, man!”

The best things in life aren’t always free. I mean, I love a great handbag and those ain’t free, let me tell you. But there isn’t an admission charge to my family’s weird sense of humor and this stuff is priceless. You maybe had to be there, and that’s okay. But if you were there, you’d be laughing.