My mom won't pay for a can of pumpkin because it costs more than the price of tea in China.
I know, I don't get it, either. The statement's kinda nonsensical, and I'm pretty sure racist because that's the way Mom rolls.
This doesn't matter.
What matters is I take my mom grocery shopping every week. God love her, Mom has macular degeneration, so she can't see and can't drive. Since it's Thanksgiving, we should all be thankful she's off the streets. Last time she drove, she nearly clipped a crossing guard.
"Well, he shouldn't have been standing in the streets," she said, applying a true Perry Mason defense.
So, the holiday season's upon us, and Mom and I go shopping. Fun!
Mom demands pumpkin. That's all she says.
"Mom, I don't even know what that means. You want a pumpkin?"
"Yes!" She vacantly stares at me like I'm the crazy one. "Pumpkin in a can!" Very irritable, she can't believe how pumpkin dumb ("dumbkin?") I am.
"Okay," I say. "Where do I find pumpkin in a can?" Between Mom's outrage at my pumpkin stupidity and my exasperation, people are drawn to the building dust-up in aisle three.
"In the pumpkin aisle," she answers, just short of adding a "duh."
I set off on the great pumpkin quest. I find a can of pumpkin pie filling, bring it back to her.
"No! I need pumpkin!"
Off I go again--too prideful and dumb male to ask for assistance--and finally stumble upon a can of pumpkin. (Until now, I never knew pumpkin came in a can. Some things just shouldn't. Besides you can't carve a can.)
"Here, Mom. Here's your blood pumpkin." I thrust the can toward her like a badge of honor.
"Huh," she says, her "tell" when things are about to get worse. "How much is it?"
"$2.55," I answer.
She sways her head, disgusted. "Forget it. I'm not gonna pay that for pumpkin. It's more than the price of tea in China."
We've been playing out the pumpkin game for three weeks now, leading up to the holidays.
"Mom! A can of pumpkin's not gonna get any cheaper," I rant.
"Huh. Well, maybe it's cheaper at Price Chopper."
I bite my tongue. Wonder how much gas I'm gonna burn driving twenty-three miles away to the Price Chopper to save Mom three cents on a can of pumpkin. But rest assured, it'll be cheaper than the price of tea in China.
But, lo, on Thanksgiving day, a miracle happened! (Actually, there were two Thanksgiving miracles; instead of pardoning two turkeys, I was absolutely certain President Trump was going to slaughter them on live TV.) Mom's pumpkin pie magically materialized and it was good.
This book's cheaper than the price of tea in China, for sure:
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