When I was in Mexico recently, I bought a few small souvenirs to bring home. You can imagine my chagrin when I learned recently, via television news, that I had missed the best souvenir ever: a Donald Trump piñata!
Pinatas have a long and colorful history in our house. One Easter, many years ago, we decided to forego the usual turkey and have tacos for our special dinner. We aren’t at all religious and our celebration of this particular holiday focuses on the chocolate and finding outlandish fuzzy bunnies with which to adorn the table. L’il Sis came up with the brilliant idea of making festive pinatas — filled with chocolate pieces that we could pummel with sticks as our after-dinner entertainment. It has become a cherished tradition and one that has expanded into pinatas for Christmas, birthdays, any excuse at all. So I lamented the fact that I hadn’t bought a Trump one to bash to smithereens. Therapeutic at least, don’t you think?
L’il Sis, being the artsy one in the family, figured out how to make the things — this was long before the Internet included instructions on how to make anything and everything from pinatas to bombs. She began with a balloon, paper strips and buckets of glue…some of which is still stuck to our kitchen table. (In our house, this harvest table has seen a lot of action. It has been homework desk central, sewing table, craft bench, cooking prep area, cupcake assembly line, birdcage holder and once, and I blush as I admit this, The Pig’s exercise equipment as she mounted it and walked its length to get at the food that was left on top. It has all the character, nicks and scratches of an antique piece and has seen more in 25 years of family life than most tables see in generations.)
Making a piñata is not a quick craft. It takes hours for each layer of papier mache goop to dry properly. Once it has dried completely, the decoration begins. We once made a chicken — with small pieces of yellow tissue paper as the feathers. The dog was wearing yellow ‘feathers’ for a week. At Gill’s request, L’il Sis once fashioned an owl. This was one of the most successful pinatas. And of course, there was the infamous beagle piñata. We loved it but The Pig’s scorn required weeks of psychotherapy (for her) to banish the images of us bashing a beagle (fake or not) with a stick until its innards burst forth. In retrospect, this was perhaps not the best or most sensitive creature we could have chosen to replicate. I think she has forgiven us, but every time she raids the garbage or pees on the carpet I wonder if she still harbors a tad of resentment.
With Easter fast approaching, we’ll have to decide on this year’s piñata. I offered to travel back to Mexico to purchase a Trump one, but my offer was met with dead silence. What? I was just trying to help my family…and since Gill won’t be here for Easter this year, it won’t be a full celebration anyway. We’ll have to make do with something more toned-down. I wonder if, in the spirit of inclusiveness, I could find some Trump chocolates or Trump vodka and mail them to Gill! Oops, I forgot…his vodka factory is closed.