April 22, 2012

Special Sauce

Today we went to our sweet Auntie's memorial service.

It's not often that you get to go to a service where the officiant, a minister, also calls the person you're mourning "Auntie", but so was the case today. We'd never met him. He is a cousin on Auntie's husband's side.

He said the sweetest thing about her -- that she brought the special sauce. He said it apropos of a microscope that had been given to him as a present. Auntie brought him cool slides to go with it. But she brought the special sauce on so many levels. She was quiet and low-key, but by speaking low and softly she knew she had your attention. She was quick-witted til the end, and her family lived for her stories.

When we were together I asked her for confirmation on the Shypoo story. As readers of mrsguy may recall, mrguy's grandparents owned a pharmacy. When they made a little too much of an ointment it went into this crock that they called the Shypoo pot. When someone's treatment for whatever it was wasn't working, they'd mix up a little Shypoo and a bit of yellow tint and send them off with it. Completely and utterly illegal in our day and time, but in the 1940s and 50s they could get away with it.

This completely rocked our cousin's world. In their nuclear family the term "Shypoo pot" has come to mean the bowl you put out at a family dinner if you're eating artichokes or ribs or something that has parts that need to be discarded. Cousin (and her brother, and his ex-wife, it turns out) had never known the origin of the Shypoo pot.

For two generations of that side of the family the name has taken on this other meaning. As a tribute to mrguy's gene pool, I will now pass this term on in our extended Guy Family.

I can't wait until artichoke season to put out a Shypoo pot, which will serve as a *somewhat* unusual memorial to Auntie and her brother, The Big Guy.

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