Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bumbleberry What-now?

I am now the official spokesperson for Bumbleberry Jam. I didn’t ask for this position. I didn’t campaign for it. Frankly, I didn’t know it existed. But for the rest of my life, I will play the role of Ken Craig, Bumbleberry Aficionado.

How did I assume this position? What makes me an expert? What, pray tell, is a Bumbleberry? Well, my narrow fruit-minded friend, I was sitting where you are not too long ago. Before the awakening…before the metamorphous…before the Bumbleberry.

It all started one Sunday after church. A man I knew who was more than an acquaintance, less than a confidant, came up to me in a rare moment my family was not with me and said:

“Dude, your wife has no idea what Bumbleberry Jam is!”

I stared back for an entire minute, without blinking once. I had no idea what a Bumbleberry was either. But I was obviously not going to let this man know that. He clearly held no respect for people unfamiliar with bumbleberries. And I was not going to be that man.

“You’re kidding?” I finally said.

“No! I told her I was going up to Zion’s Canyon this week and asked her if she wanted me to bring you guys back some Bumbleberry Jam, and she said she had no idea what I was talking about!”


“So…do you want me to bring you back some Bumbleberry Jam?”


“Yeah, I mean, YOU were the one who told me about Bumbleberry Jam, so I figured your wife would know what it is – the way you raved about it!”

Oh, crap. He had me mixed up with some other middle-aged, salt-and-pepper haired man wearing a white shirt and tie who hadn’t seen a Sunday afternoon nap in years and feels strongly that the old Disney live-action movies are far superior to the remakes they keep churning out now. (Shaggy Dog and Freaky Friday, I’m looking in your direction.) And apparently, this other person is also a big fan of Bumbleberry Jam.

But it had gone too far now. I had played my hand, and my hand pretended to know and love Bumbleberry Jam. I couldn’t back down now.


“So, great, I’ll grab you two jars of it.”

All week, in the back of mind, I waited for that phone call. The phone call that would go something like this:

“Hey, it wasn’t you that told me about the Bumbleberry Jam, it was (insert name here). Why didn’t you say something?”

Of course at that point I would just lie. “It wasn’t me? Really? Because I’ve got to be honest with you, I’m a huge fan of Bumbleberry Jam. Love the stuff. I rave about it to everybody, so when you said that I had told you about it, I may not have remembered the conversation, but I felt pretty sure it was me that told you about it. Because I do it all the time. Heh-heh. See? I’m not a liar.”

And then he would say, “Wow – what a small world!”

And I would say, “Isn’t it? Crazy. Now, about that jam….”

But that phone call never came. Next Sunday did, though, and when it did, it brought two jars of Bumbleberry Jam. And it also brought this discussion:

“Dude, listen, when I brought up the Bumbleberry Jam to your wife, and she had never heard of it, I thought maybe you had never told her about it because you had gone to Zion before you were married, like, with an old girlfriend, and it was a sore subject between you and her. And if that’s the case, I’m really sorry I did that.”

“No. You’re safe.” I reassured him. “You’re safe.”

But am I? And for how long? And for how long will Disney insist on casting Tim Allen in their second-rate movies? Buzz Lightyear we hardly knew ye.