Tuesday, December 23, 2014

the Trojan Christmas.

Gather round, dear readers, for a heartwarming Christmas tale. It is a story that has gone down in Bjorklund family history – one that we retell with joy each Christmas. This, my friends, is the story of the Trojan Christmas.

The story of the Trojan Christmas begins not at Christmas, but in the summer of 2005. If you recall, I had just graduated high school and was hard at work making a movie with my friend Bob. Well, attempting to make a horror movie. We had a location (an old abandoned house), a script (though it was terrible), and actors (our rag-tag band of friends). What we didn’t have was time. Or any idea what we were doing.

However, we did have props. I spent all of my church camp/Dairy Mart wages that summer on supplies for the movie, and we were at WalMart or Goodwill at least every other day with a whole laundry list of things we needed. From tiny tea lights to gigantic black sheets to tacky wall hangings, we were well-stocked with props.

One of those props was a box of Trojan Her Pleasure condoms. Why? Because our movie had a sex scene. Well, as close to a sex scene as a bunch of modest goody two-shoes like us were willing to get. In the scene, Bob’s character and Bob’s character’s girlfriend sneak off somewhere to take advantage of the privacy in the creepy abandoned house. In our master camerawork plan, we were planning on showing an open box of Trojans to not-so-subtly hint as to what went on in there.

Buying the Trojans was, as you can imagine, a bit hilarious. I was 18 and Bob was 17, and we had a whisper-battle in line at WalMart: “You buy them!” “No, YOU buy them!” “I’m not buying them!” (Alas, these were the days before self check-outs.) I don’t remember who ended up buying them, but I do remember giggling uncontrollably after we got to the parking lot.

Sadly, our masterpiece never came to fruition. Summer ended, and many of our actors (myself included) went off to college. With that, the momentum was gone. Bob and I packed up all our movie stuff in a paper box and placed it in my parents’ basement. Even though we both knew we’d never finish our movie, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to throw away all our props and our months of hard work.

Fast forward to fall 2010. My brother Mitch was 17 and was digging around in the basement for God knows what. He came across and old paper box with “movie supplies” written on it in permanent marker. When he opened up the box, under the pages of costume designs and script rewrites, Mitch unearthed an open box of Trojan Her Pleasure condoms.

The lower level of our house is Dad’s domain. Naturally, Mitch approached Dad and said, “Dad, do we need to have a talk?” Dad laughed and said that, yes, actually, those were his! He had purchased condoms to include in a card for a friend’s 40th birthday.

Fast forward again to Christmas Eve 2010. I came downstairs to fill my mom’s stocking only to find Dad with Mitch’s stocking in hand. He said, “Just watch Mitch’s face tomorrow. Just watch.” I had no idea what was transpiring, and I did indeed keep a close eye on Mitch as he emptied out the contents of his Christmas stocking. Smushed at the bottom, way in the toe, was the crumpled box of Trojans. Between peals of laughter, Dad told the story of how Mitch found them in the basement and confronted him. Realizing that they’d come from the movie prop box, I cried, “Dad, those weren’t yours – they’re mine! Wait, they’re BOB’S!!!”

Cue endless hyena laughter.

The Trojan Christmas is so much a favorite story of ours that a certain phrase has made its way into our family vocabulary. When we want Mitch or Dad to give us their very best smiles for a picture, all we have to do is say “Trojan smile!” Works every time.
The original Trojan smile.
That, dear friends, is the story of the Trojan Christmas. You may be wondering if I’ve ever had a normal Christmas. Between the Christmas Hangovers and the “I’m not saying you ARE fat – you just LOOK fat” and letters from Santa in my mom’s handwriting and Trojans, the answer is most definitely no. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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