Once upon a time, there were two Zima.
They didn’t start out as two, no, they were 4 leftovers from a 6-pack, to begin with. They were excited to attend their first barbecue, brought along by a Happy Couple to bless the household. They weren’t aware that their hosts had never before tested them, so they were therefore unknown. They were just happy to go along for the ride. It was 1996 and barbecues were fun!
These innocent little bottles of Zima, clear and cold, were thrilled to be chosen by the host and his wife. Two were opened upon arrival, and sampled.
“Oh! Ick!”, said the man, taking another sip. “How much did you waste on these?!” His wife followed suit, thinking surely they could not taste that bad. She was wrong. “Oh my gosh, these are nasty!” she exclaimed.
And the two little Zima that remained didn’t quite know what to do. They were quickly stowed in refrigerator, and they never found out what happened to their friends. Little did they know that the contents of the other two had been quickly poured down the sink. The barbecue went on without them.
When it came time for the Happy Couple to leave, the two little Zima were left behind. The host family was unaware until the next day when they were discovered, hiding out in the refrigerator.
“Looks like David forgot his Zima. What are we going to do with these?!” the man asked. “I have no idea,” replied his wife. And so they sat.
And sat until New Year’s Eve rolled around. The host and his wife were invited to a party at the home of a friend.
“We should bring the Zima and leave them after the party”, the man said. “Ooooh great idea!”, replied his wife. And so they did.
When they walked into the home of their friends, they said, “We had a couple Zima so we brought them too!” The poor little Zima were so sad, because their reception was less than pleasant. “Zima?! Don’t you guys know that stuff tastes nasty?” Oh yes, they did. They knew. And so apparently did their friends. The two little Zima were stashed in the fridge and forgotten.
The next day, their friends called to let them know that they had forgotten “those nasty Zima.”
“That’s okay! You guys can have them!” was the reply.
Springtime came, and the couple invited their friends over for a barbecue. Unbeknownst to them, the two little Zima came along for the ride. About halfway through the evening, the man discovered them in the fridge. Hilarity ensued as they all agreed that no one really wanted them. After their friends left, the man said to his wife, “We have to get them back to them.”
They kept them until New Year’s Eve, and when the friends had another party, the man and his wife brought the Zima. They didn’t announce it this time. This time they were stealthy. This time they had a plan. This time, just before they left to go home, they carefully placed the two little Zima in the cabinet under their friends’ bathroom sink. And laughed all the way home.
The phone call came about 45 minutes later. The man and his wife giggled about it half the night.
Year after year, this couple and their friends passed those two little Zima back and forth. There was always an air of secrecy to the handoff. There was always plotting and planning involved. Discoveries were made in bathtubs, scrapbook supply bags, under bedroom pillows, under sinks, and in produce drawers of refrigerators. At times, they even subjected one another to searches of purses, winter coats, and diaper bags, to make sure “You didn’t bring those nasty Zima with you!” But they always did.
Many years passed, and then their friends got divorced. The two little Zima were left in the possession of the friend’s wife, who unwittingly had them in storage with some of her belongings. This past spring, she found them again as she was unpacking boxes. And then, while I was driving down the road, they rolled out from underneath the driver’s seat of my car. She had somehow managed to get them back to me.
And so the tradition has continued. Christmas 2014, we passed them back to our now-divorced friends, each gift wrapped for Christmas with notes that said, “According to Washington State community property laws, your estate was split down the middle. Here’s your half.” And so it continued.
We are still waiting for the passback that both have promised. 🙂
This post was originally published on my parenting/homeschooling blog in 2015.