‘Where do you keep your cake?’


‘Questions for my Oldest Younger Brother on his Day’

Those of you who are my Devoted Readers (bless your hearts) know by now that I like to speak softly and poke fun at my Family with a big stick. Today, because it’s your birthday, it’s your turn, King Tut (er, Scott).

It’s been a long time since you and I fought over who got the top bunk. (Yes, Scott was my first Roommate of the Opposite Sex.) And a long time, even, since you and I smuggled a motorcycle into a motel room. (I see a pattern of co-habitation here. If you readers are curious and/or titillated, you can check out that story here.)

But, back to you and your birthday. And those questions.

1. Did you recover fully from having watermelon ‘jammed down your throat’? See, when Scott was just a tyke, he, like many small children, was not into trying new, unfamiliar, or weird-looking foods. He thought that red food — tomatoes, watermelon — looked particularly unappetizing. Our less-than-patient father got particularly exasperated one hot suppertime, and told Scott to ‘try that delicious watermelon right now, or I’ll jam it down your throat’. Not sure I’d recommend this technique to some of you New Parents, but hey, it worked.

Scott looks on as our Dad jams something-or-other down somebody's throat. Roger's, this time.

Scott looks on warily as our Dad jams something-or-other down somebody else’s throat.

2. Speaking of food, does anyone still call you “Scott ‘Sweet-Corn’ Henry”? Our Swedish Grampa Peterson used to marvel at Scott’s corn capacity. See, Scott, even at four or five years old, could polish off six ears while everyone else was still working on their first. This would tickle our Grampa so much I swear I could actually hear him laughing.

3. How many times a week do you get mistaken for Patrick Stewart? Actually, I’d prefer putting it this way: How many times a week does Patrick Stewart get mistaken for you?

4. Got any more hot market tips? Scott knows more stuff about more things than practically anyone I know: photography, baseball, Bob Dylan, the Beat Poets. And he’s truly uncanny in his predictions. He once sidled up to me at a family gathering in, like, the early 70’s and whispered, ‘Graduate’-style, into my ear: ‘Starbucks’.

Of course, Scott would never settle for mere Starbucks. This is Italian coffee. In Italy.

Of course, Scott would never settle for mere Starbucks. This is Italian coffee. In Italy.

5. And, finally, that cake question. One afternoon, Scott discovered his father-in-law frantically rummaging around in his kitchen cabinets, asking ‘Where do you keep your cake?’ So, um, where do you keep it? (For another hilarious in-law-in-the-kitchen tale involving yet another of my brothers, see ‘The Incest Mug’.) And, Scott, do you still prefer ‘black cake with blue icing’, which Mom famously produced for you. Not sure if that’s the flavor of the cake(s) in this picture, a shot that sort of sums up our early relationship:

Scott's first birthday cake. Need I mention that I demanded a cake too? That's Theresa From Next Door deciding which cake to try.

Scott sings ‘happy birthday to my cake’. Need I mention that I demanded a cake too? That’s Theresa From Next Door deciding which cake to go for first.

In closing, I would just like to wish you a most marvelous birthday. I actually love that it’s your birthday, because it means that today you’re only one year younger than me, instead of two. (Does this mean that eventually you’ll catch up?) Oh, and I would like to ask you one more question: Do you still get handmade birthday cards?

Scott displays cards made a few birthdays ago by his sons Aaron and Joe.

Scott displays cards made a few birthdays ago by his sons Aaron and Joe.

Well yes, I suppose you do. That is, if you count this post as a ‘birthday card’. At any rate, consider it compensation for that first-birthday photo-bomb.

Amagansett, New York. August 2015

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14 thoughts on “‘Where do you keep your cake?’

    • I will do so, dear Judy. He is a treasure indeed. I got to see him about three weeks ago at a big ole Henry HooHah out on the Oregon Coast. But already it feels WAY too long ago. Sigh.

    • Suffice it to say that if I had been within striking distance of that creme brûlée there might have been, at the very least, another photobombing incident — if not outright dessert theft.

  1. Nancy Vines

    Another great story, Alice. And Happy Birthday, Scott! I think I could
    seriously challenge Scott to a corn eating contest. Just ask Faith!

        • Scott Henry


          I no longer compete for quantity and have switched to speed. Last attempt was August 2014 at a barbecue when I polished an ear in seven seconds. That’s timed with a stopwatch, from a sitting start (hands at my sides) to the “drop” of the cleaned cob onto the same plate.

          Of course, you or any challenger may inspect cob afterwards for residual kernals. You will see that there are few or none, although some are mashed and not fully extracted by the speeding machinery of my teeth.

          A few tips for the novice. No butter – the lubricating effect is vastly overstated. Similar for salt – lip burn the issue here. Most important, avoid the “typewriter” method. Reviews of slow motion video reveal minimal consumption during the “returns”.

          Bring it on.


  2. Ruth Meisenheimer

    Alice … You know I always enjoy your family stories with pictures! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SCOTT! I knew you sounded like your Dad but didn’t know you looked so much like him too.

    • So glad you enjoyed my tribute, Ruth! Yes, it’s Baby Scott’s birthday. And it’s actually this very day. Speaking of pictures, that one at the end of Scott holding his handmade birthday cards was taken at our Amagansett house about three birthdays ago. (Notice, however, that I did not insist on having my own cake. Or hogging the photo, either!) xoxo

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