Did everybody know this but me?


I remember helping my mother in the kitchen as a kid. She baked a fair amount, which — in the 1970s — meant that there was always a large can of vegetable shortening in the pantry. Seeing a can of Crisco always makes me think of my mom, and pie crusts, and sometimes biscuits.

That is, until today.

Because today, in a blogpost critiquing recent obituaries for singer-songwriter and poet Rod McKuen, I came across this: 

Rod McKuen, “Slide Easy In…” Discus Studios, 1977. (Image courtesy of JD Doyle, via Notches.)
Rod McKuen, “Slide Easy In…” Discus Studios, 1977. (Album cover image courtesy of JD Doyle, via notchesblog.com.)

And read this sentence:

In the 1970s, Crisco — a vegetable shortening — was practically synonymous with gay sex as gay men used Crisco as an anal lubricant.

I may never look at a biscuit the same way again.

* * *

Or at Rod McKuen either, who — according to Gillian Frank’s discussion — was far more interesting and activist than I had ever realized. I feel like I should spend today listening to some of McKuen’s music, to make up for roping him into my own private Remembrance of Pie Crusts Past so soon after his death.

[Crisco image via]

8 thoughts on “Did everybody know this but me?

    1. Ooh! Well, lemme see if I can get you prepped for other Crisco-related facts, should it ever turn up on Trivial Pursuit! Which it no doubt will some day. (It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a commercial product in possession of a long-standing brand, must be in want of tie-in marketing. I’m just sayin’…)

      On Facebook — where all my contacts seemed well-versed in *this* particular use of Crisco — people have quite helpfully been offering me (and one another!) a number of other Crisco-related facts:
      ~ the formula was changed in 2007 to legally qualify as having 0 grams of trans fats.
      ~ which is good, because the transfat-free version they produced from 2004-7 had a tendency to turn blue in the can shortly after opening.
      ~ Crisco is highly flammable and can, in case of a power outage, be turned into a handy-dandy light source.
      ~ Or possibly burn down your house.


    1. See, I just KNEW everybody knew about this but me!

      Damn. And this has everything I pay attention to, too: sex, cooking, and cleverly referential pop culture artifacts. I have absolutely no excuse…


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