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Lady J. Westerfield

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Pass the Alien Rolls: Thanksgivings of My Childhood
By Lady J. Westerfield
Friday, November 16, 2007

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When dinner rolls are inspired by John Hurt's performance in 'Alien.'

Not everyone can claim a Thanksgiving tromping through a forest of turning leaves off to grandmother’s house.  Most of us are stuck eating dinners in confined spaces on paper tablecloths decorated in cartoon Indians and Pilgrims.  Thanksgiving isn’t that much of a holiday since it is all about eating.  I even find the food served during a traditional Thanksgiving not that appetizing.  Basically, Thanksgiving is the Jan Brady of holidays, stuck between Marsha Christmas and Cindy Halloween.


            Besides, the joy provided when one family member makes another cry, there usually has to be something else to satisfy a deep-seeded need to entertained and I’m sorry, but football doesn’t quite cut it.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my family tradition of the Alien roll.


            Back in 1979, a movie debuted called ‘Alien.’  The first time I saw it was at the Cineplex with my cousin who had incidentally seen it before.  She made the mistake of telling me that the guy who was the android was a droid, to which I responded by shouting, “That guy’s an android!” thus ruining the surprise for everyone else in the theater.  There were many elements of that film to be admired, a spooky spaceship with an unbelievable scary creature who had acid for blood (unbelievable scary creatures don’t come much cooler than that) plus, it had like three mouths stacked inside each other like Russian dolls.  It also had female empowerment since Lt. Ripley was a kick ass take-charge type of woman!  Yet most of all, it had an awesome scene where after John Hurt’s character comes out of a coma after having a vagina looking octopus creature stuck on his face and he is eating with the crew in the mess hall when…an alien pops out of his stomach!  God, can you really get enough of that scene?  Dare I utter the cliché – they don’t make film scenes like that anymore! 


Ergo, a family tradition was created.


            Okay, I know that most families wouldn’t cotton to taking a dinner roll, hollowing out the inside and then take scraps from everyone’s dinner plates and stuff that stuff into the roll and then put it back with the other rolls, but I’m telling you it makes for lively discussion once someone bites into the Alien Roll.  No one wants to bite into said roll of course, but if you are caught unawares, then damn, let the fun and laughter begin! 


Unfortunately, no pictures remain from the Alien Rolls episodes.  You can only do it for so many Thanksgivings before even the most dimwitted of relatives catch on, then you have to amuse yourself by pouring salt into your Grandpa’s highball glass (dear Grandpa, I miss you still).  I suppose enough time has lapsed since the last appearance of the Alien Roll so it might be time to reclaim the tradition.  After all, there is a whole new generation to torture and many of them haven’t even seen the original ‘Alien’ movie so it all win-win.  Let’s see, this year I’m responsible for cranberry sauce and a dessert…maybe I’ll stir up some buttery flaky dinner rolls as well.        


              


© 2006 Westerfield     


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