Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Did you hear the Grey Poupon tale?

I was punked Monday.

"So, Andy do you know a G. Poupo in Northfield, Illinois?" I called him from the post office parking lot. No.

So I opened the mysterious package and it contained a jar of Grey Poupon mustard and a small blue Christmas tree with a gold star on top. A strand of blue chord adorned with individual packets of Grey Poupon wrapped itself around the tree. Part of a comics page wrapped a jar of mustard. All identifying newspaper date lines were removed.

"OK. We've been punked by the Jensens." I told Andy after discovering the Grey Poupon. I'm mumbling about the G. Poupo, "How did I miss that!"

"Where was it mailed from?" Andy stayed focused. While the return address of Northfield, Illinois means nothing more than the company's address, the USPS label says Appleton, Wisconsin.

"Do you have relatives there?"

"No," he said, but he suspects his parents did it.

Barb and Howard (Andy's parents) disavow any responsibility. Whether we believe them or not is another story. After all, Barb tells us the tree is likely one they received years ago, but who knows. "We sent that to Gary and Joyce."

It all makes perfect sense when you think about it. Cousin Carrie created the trees (yes, there are multiple Grey Poupon jewels floating about) and sent them to relatives. The recipients then sent them to other Jensens.

It's all very simple really. In the early 1990s, Andy's Uncle George and Aunt Mae with grand kids and Uncle Carl and Aunt Lois with Andy's parents were driving along. They became lost. Carl pulled up alongside George's car and one of the grand kid's said, "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?"

I heard the laughter and the long tale about the Grey Poupon the day before Andy and I married. They kept that family secret until the last possible minute. The story involved lots of Grey Poupon jars mysteriously shipped around the country to aunts, uncles, cousins and grandchildren.

One of the better stories revolved around a fast note, which mistakenly addressed Aunt Carl and Uncle Lois. So, what do Carl and Lois do? They corrected the mistake by cross dressing. Carl became an Aunt and Lois became an Uncle.

I have pictures to prove all this, because the Jensen clan, which included eight siblings, created us a wonderful scrapbook for our wedding. Each sibling created a page of pictures and information about his or her family. As one of the newbies in the family, I can now put a face with a name.

Before we left family after our wedding, we received a jar of Grey Poupon. Andy's parents gave it to us. I warned them, "I loved mustard so much in the second grade I wanted to change my name to mustard." I feared my addition to the family could single-handedly extinguish the Grey Poupon legend. We ate part of the jar on the honeymoon and I used the rest of it in a recipe from that Grey Poupon booklet Lois gave us. Yummy. Delicious.

I fell victim to temptation to get into the Grey Poupon capers during a Thanksgiving trip to spend with the Jensen clan. We bought Grey Poupon in Oklahoma and quietly slipped it in bags of Texas treats.

Now, the Jensens have struck again. The conspiracy theories are floating.

Plan A is always to eat it, but this jar is out of date. That's one of the warnings I received after the wedding. "Some jars have been floating around for years and years."

Off to Plan B. What is Plan B? I can't tell you that. Let's just say a Jensen relative will be getting a blue and yellow, delicious treat.

1 comment:

  1. What a great family tradition! And I love that the family created a scrapbook for you with each family doing a page.

    Straight From Hel


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