The Queen of Twizzlers (Thanksgiving Part 3)

twizzlersIt’s about midnight when my dad and I decide to stop at Wawa.  We’re on our way down to Hoopers Island for the Black Friday Martini Bar Soiree and even though TWD and his children won’t be joining us until the following afternoon, I have to get there as soon as possible because as the only female child, I am what my mother likes to call a “skilled laborer.”

My brother, being a male child, is an unskilled laborer—and not because my parents intended for the division of labor to fall along the traditional gender lines, it just worked out that way.  He’s good for driving to the supermarket, carrying things and buying ice at Island Pride, the local convenience store, but that’s about it.

I, on the other hand, am in charge of dessert.  And half of the appetizers this year, which is a big step up from previous years.  (My mom, you see, used to go a little crazy around the holidays.  When I first moved back from the UK, I had all sorts of idea about what I was going to cook for Thanksgiving dinner but these were quickly shot down because they “didn’t fit” within her pre-determined menu.  I got pissed off, she got pissed off and by the time the annual New Year’s Eve party finally rolled around, we had a big blow out.  The situation may or may not have been exacerbated by my unwillingness to vacuum the house twice in one week but the less said on the account the better.  Long story short, conditions have improved and even though my mother is already dreading the day when she’ll have to come to my house for Thanksgiving dinner, I am allowed to do whatever I want with the desserts and appetizers in the mean time.)

As such, I am needed.

So the minute I return to Philadelphia after dinner in New Jersey with TWD’s family, my dad says, “Okay, let’s go!”

I was supposed to drive down with my brother but I got booted by his “friend” so now it’s my dad and I and by midnight, we’re both getting a bit punchy.

We stop at Wawa and he purchases a pack of Twizzlers.  I hate Twizzlers but once we’re back on the road, he tells me that he’s been trying to break his record.

“What record?” I ask.

“With the Twizzlers.  I’m trying to see how many pieces I can bite off before I get to the end.  My record is 44.”


I mean, seriously?

I can’t take this.

“You know, it’s a wonder I even got into college!”


“With a father who drives around trying to break his Twizzler record!  You’re insane!”

“You’re just jealous,” he replies.

“No I’m not.  I hate Twizzlers.”

“Even so, I bet you can’t beat 44 bites!”

“I don’t care!  I can’t wait to tell Mom that you do this.”  And I really can’t.  I can already picture her rolling her eyes and telling everyone to get their Twizzlers out of her kitchen.

But there’s a part of me—a small part of me, the side I inherited from my dad—that wonders if I can break the record.  Surely I can bite a Twizzler into more than 44 pieces.

“Fine,” I grumble.  “Give me one.”

He hands me a long, red straw, places another one into his mouth and says “Okay: one, two, three—GO!”

So I start chomping away, biting my Twizzler into tiny, one-sixteenth of an inch pieces.  He finishes way ahead of me and announces triumphantly, “46!” but I’m still going.

Next, because we’re kind and caring individuals, he starts trying to distract me to so I’ll lose count.  But I am focused.  I am like a Zen master.  I am like a Jedi knight.

“57!” I finally exclaim.  “57!  Beat that!”

I promptly spit the entire mess into an empty travel mug and my dad tells me that my record doesn’t count because you actually have to eat the Twizzler so I’m disqualified but I tell him he’s just jealous.  I am the Twizzler-biting queen.

And with that, the skilled laborer has arrived.

17 Responses to “The Queen of Twizzlers (Thanksgiving Part 3)”

  1. becky119

    LOL!! Awesome story. Your family is very quirky. I am the second oldest out of four and the oldest girl, so often times I find myself in charge of things like cooking and organizing. I honestly don’t know what my dad did for my mom for Christmas before I was old enough to help. He and my ‘little’ brother (actually towers over me…) always get either me or my sister to do their wrapping for them. I’m not sure if the guys are really just that helpless or if they’re just that lazy. Either way, I like wrapping presents. And I love shopping when someone else is picking up the tab!
    Adam is one of two boys and I’ve found that since his family has adopted me I’ve been in charge of organizing most family get togethers with his mom. Sometimes I think that she’s really bummed out that she only had boys. Super not-quite-yet-daughter-in-law to the rescue!!

    • Kat Richter

      Oh my God my dad tries to pawn his gift wrapping off on me EVERY YEAR! And I can’t remember the last time my brother actually went shopping. He usually orders things online or asks me to pick stuff out for my mom then buys them from “my” store. I’m sure your not-yet-mother-in-law must be glad to finally have a girl in the family 🙂

  2. Zak

    Oh my god. I can’t wait to get a Twizzler just so I can beat your dad and eat it, too. 😛

  3. chauffeur

    OK, To be clear, I am sure most readers would agree, a record only stands if the twizzler is consumed, and there has to be a time limit on how long to take the numerous bites, think a beaver biting, not a débutante. Well it did keep us alert and awake during the drive.

  4. Jill

    A friend of mine has a theory on the boy thing. They are both smart AND competent, in her estimation. So smart that they fake ineptitude, so competent they know just how long and how idiotic they have to be (never going over the line) until the resident girl-person takes over the job in exasperation and tells them to go buy more ice. I think she has a point. And, now I realize the pattern’s already repeated into another generation. My girl is skilled help. My boys are my ‘sturdy Irish laborers’ who carry wood and never wrap anything. Dang.

  5. chauffeur

    Zak, As someone with more than a casual fondness for candies with red dye no. 2, (twizzlers, swedish fish, mexican hats etc etc), I can say…. “bring it on”

  6. Landlord

    I tried SO HARD to avoid gender roles, believe me Kat could write an entire series of blog posts on that alone, however it was not to be. Tech Support hates anything to do with the kitchen, even eating, he eats very little and has no real appreciation for food. Chauffeur’s culinary skills start and end at eggplant parm, which although superb, is not exactly expansive. You didn’t talk about my penchant for decorating (on the cheap/natural), another post? LOL Twizzlers… ick! Becky, you don’t know the half of it, quirky doesn’t even begin to cover us 🙂 Jill, it creeps up on you before you realize the roles have been cast…sigh and dang!

  7. awindram

    Think the Twizzler attempt required an independent observer, a bit like Norris McWhirter on Record Breaker.s Could you not have roped in a Wawa employee? They probably would have been up for the road trip.

  8. Laurie

    This is the best of all imaginable father-daughter competitions. It should become a national event. Rules would have to be made of course, involving timing and eating, etc. I actually loved the part where Kat spit out the pieces. So ladylike! And calorie conscious! I laughed out loud reading this story.


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