Berry Butt

the source of berry butt

Eleven years ago my youngest child graduated from high school (some say “graduated high school” and perhaps that is correct, but I am unsure whether a school graduates a student or a student graduates a school. I will stick with the former.) So, back to my reminiscence… Often a state occasion such as the graduation of one’s youngest, a “launching” so to speak, brings a crush of special events. So much so, that one’s memory can blur the details. True, but Berry Butt remains crystal clear.

The term was coined at my son’s graduation party — actually at the time the party was winding down. But before I go too far, allow me to set the scene.

All of our children’s graduation parties were modest affairs in our backyard, which is no wooded estate, rather a concrete slab patio and a small square yard with various hardy plants (because no others would survive), surrounded by a 5-foot wood fence. On the north side, the wood fence ran parallel to the “Barbie” fence, a term coined by my children after my neighbor erected an ugly white plastic fence. Between the wood fence and the Barbie fence grew a spindly tree that shed berries every spring. By “shed,” I mean a near constant dropping of red berries onto our patio furniture for a two-week period in June. The berries were inedible, the tree, an ugly runt of a thing, but for some reason, likely laziness, we neglected to remove it.

On the day of the graduation party, we swiped the berries from the patio chairs multiple times prior to the guests’ arrival, but then, when guests began arriving, in the crush of congratulations and greetings, we became lax. My son’s friends stood, preferring to stop in, mingle, and move on to the next party. But the old guard–the neighbors and friends–who attended out of obligation or pride (“I knew him when…”) sat, lingered, chatted, until it was time. Each stood and reached out to say all the nice things like “You’ve done a great job.” “Wow, three kids graduated and off to college.” “Bet you’re proud.” And we nodded, but then watched them walk toward the gate, the seat of their pants a testimony to the fact that they sat in one of the patio chairs close to the red-berry-shedding tree. Berry butt.

in our defense, what were we to do? Say, “Yes, we are excited for him and thanks so much for stopping by and your pants are stained and red berry stains are hell to contend with?” No. We did not. We said nothing regarding the seat of their pants. We just watched, silently at first, but then giggling, as each and every non-high-school guest left with a confirmed case of berry butt.

2 thoughts on “Berry Butt

  1. Berry butt LOL! I will forevermore check the seat before sitting down outside! And I agree with Bob – post more often!

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