Thursday, May 10, 2012

A pleasing night of P’s


Alliteration, if you can’t remember from way back in high school English class, is the repetition of similar first syllables used in adjacent words in literature.  Or basically, a bunch of words start with the same letter.  Technically, Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers is more than just a tongue twister, it’s alliteration. 
This wacky little English tool has been used for hundreds of years, and was quite prevalent in old English, but something so spectacular seems to spread though the centuries.  It’s used in advertising, cartoons, poetry, music, and just about everywhere else, including my own home on what turned out to be an excellent evening of events.  We simply dubbed it “The Night of P’s.”
The first great thing about The Night of P’s was that it was just G’s, as in just girls.  With just my two daughters and my dog, we were free from the plagues of the boys, including passing gas, paper airplanes, and persistent pestering.  We all four sat huddled on our couch, my two daughters and I snuggled under a soft red blanket and our puppy perched on the top like a princess.  It quickly evolved into one of the best evenings I’ve had in, well, about forever, and I have these “P’s” to thank for it.
PJ’s.  No comfy night in in complete without them, these rewarding clothes at the end of the day, because they truly are a reward after a hard day of work.  After hours of wearing clothes that have to look nice enough to be seen in public, pajamas are the wardrobe’s way of whispering to the world, “you had your fancy stuff, now I just want to relax.”  (Note: This is the philosophy behind why people who wear pajama pants during the day appear lazy.)
Princess Protection Program.  This triple P is the actual name of the actual tween movie we chose to watch that evening, that we actually enjoyed.  There’s something to be said for movies produced specifically for that age group that has outgrown animation and not yet progressed to the violence and adult content that is sadly most of the entertainment world.  They’re sweet, family-friendly, and there’s always a hint of life lesson and a speckling of immature humor that appeals to just about anyone who is sacked out on the couch wearing pajamas.
Polish.  As in nail polish.  Chimpanzees and other animals use grooming as a very important social tool.  They bond over picking bugs off of each other’s skin, and it’s something we humans may never understand.  But I reckon that if a chimp could watch a bunch of girls paint each other’s nails, it would totally get it.  Nail painting is one of those mysterious activities that brings two people close—physical contact, decorating the other person, and the whole issue of trusting that the painter isn’t going to spill the paint or really botch up your nails, even though you chose to have your nails painted green and pink.
And finally, popcorn.  (You must have guessed that one by now!)  This tasty treat has been a tradition for us just as it’s been at every slumber party/movie night since the dawn of the big screen.  The girls in our family are most fond of this food, so when the boys are away, the corn pops away.  It wasn’t just any old popcorn, it was “mommy’s famous popcorn” and while knew we may delight in digestive difficulties at a later time, we didn’t care and devoured two entire delicious batches.
And there you have it, the six P’s that came together so profoundly to bring this parent a feeling of peace and prosperity, pride and pleasure, and primarily perfection.

Mommy’s Famous Popcorn
In a lidded pot or large pan, heat 2 Tbl olive oil over medium high heat.  Add ½ cup popcorn kernels (or less depending on the size of your pot) and cover.  Shake frequently and don’t remove the lid.  When popping has nearly stopped, empty popcorn into large bowl and toss with more olive oil and popcorn salt.  

There are more than fifteen uses of alliteration used in this column.  How many did you find?

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