February 15, 2009

Just What in the Hell is Relish?

This story didn't happen to me, it happened to my cousin and I am sharing it with you as it plays out in my head. The punch line happened, the premise around the punch line is also true as I know it. Everything else is added for your entertainment and may or may not have happened as I wrote it. Nonetheless I hope it inspires you to share some of your embarrassing or awkward tales from your youth. Feel free to email them to me at lolafrog@gmail.com. Be sure to let me know if I can post your story or not.

So in high school my cousin, we'll call him Dustin to protect his real identity, was in theater group, class, whatever. So as happens sometimes, a group will get together to socialize outside of the purpose of their group. They got together for a potluck. Justin, I mean Dustin was told to bring a relish tray. Not knowing what this meant and assuming his mom would understand, since mom's are supposed to be experts in food and social gatherings around food, he didn't bother to clarify what this meant to the teacher/director/adult in charge.

Dustin goes home and tells his mom, "I gotta take a relish tray for our theater potluck. Mom what's a relish tray?" "Well Dustin relish is usually made out of chopped up pickles and stuff and you put it on hot dogs. But why in the world did he say to bring it on a tray. Are you having hot dogs?" Dustin "I don't know, I'm a guy, I can't be bothered with those kind of details."

So my aunt gets him a jar of relish to take to his potluck and he shows up relish in hand. To which the teacher/director/adult in charge says "What's this?" Dustin replied "uh relish, that's what the label says it is. Oh was I supposed to bring it on a tray? my mom didn't give me one." "Dustin, did you not understand relish tray to mean vegetable tray?" Dustin said "well if you wanted a vegetable tray, why didn't you just say that?"

From my understanding, the teacher/director/adult in charge laughed big time over it and never let my cousin live it down. And if he/she's anything like the teachers I had in school, they are repeating this story to each class every year at least once or twice and by the time each kid graduates they will have heard the story anywhere from 4-8 times if they had them as a teacher for at least one class every year. I can't blame the teacher. That's actually a funny story and I'd tell it too.

The moral of the story is that cliche about assuming is true!!! And if you want someone to bring a vegetable tray, call it a vegetable tray, not a relish tray. This is just one of those awkward lessons that my grandmother apparently didn't share with my aunt, so which generation gets to learn the lesson as awkwardly as possible, the 3rd generation. Sucked for us. At least these lessons make for good laughs.


Jay said...

Until I read this just now... I would've done the same.


Amber Sunshine said...


Chandira said...

Wow, your poor cousin, I'd have thought the same thing.
That's a very unkind teacher, if you ask me!

Those are the kinds of things that stick with you for life, especially if you're young, not that I'd know, I've never embarrassed myself.. ;-)

BlenderBach said...

aw, that's funny! I wouldn't have known what a "relish try" was either, but I would have asked to clarify! :)

Anonymous said...

Why don't you just learn English? It's idiocy that makes a person not understand what a relish tray is.

Wisa said...

As the sister of Dustin, I can say your version holds quite true. For a long time the English teacher couldn't tell the story without tears of laughter.
Better it happen to him than me!!
As for Anonymous, if you are serious, and I'm thinking you might be since you won't put your name down, here's what Webster has to say:
a. something savory or appetizing added to a meal, as pickles or olives.
b. a sweet pickle made of various vegetables, usually chopped or minced.
c. an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre.
From this, how is a high schooler supposed to know that a relish tray is a vegetable tray? Knowing the English language has no ties to knowing American potluck lingo.

Amber Sunshine said...

Don't worry cousin Wisa, people who comment anonymously are ashamed of their own inadequacies...and thus have to point out or mock the mistakes of others...while the rest of us learn from our mistakes...But you kicked his/her arse!!! You can be my lawyer anytime!!!