Diary of a Crafty Chica: Cascaron Catastrophe
For the past five years, I’ve demonstrated a craft idea every week on the local news. It’s like clockwork. I have my project, the instructions, and the demonstration goes as smooth as frosting on a cake. That is until The Great Cascaron Catastrophe of 2005.
It was the Wednesday before Easter, and the usual host was on vacation. In her place was Jan, a long time, beloved Phoenix personality. Jan is an all-around do-it-yourself queen and an Emmy-award winning journalist. She makes pasta noodles from scratch, carves ornate candles, plays classical piano, the accordion and mucho mas. Crowds adore her because she does it all with warmth and kindness. Did I mention she is petite, gorgeous and playful? No wonder Arizona loves her so much!
Leave it to me to be the one that hit her on the head six times.
On live TV.
Here’s how it went down:
My segment was cascarones, beautiful hand-decorated confetti-filled eggs meant to be playfully crunched on people’s heads. The set director made Jan and I sit outside at a picnic bench, in front of a cheery background of flowers and trees. Before the cameras rolled, Jan and I decided we would have fun and crack the eggs on each other’s heads on the air. At first I was reluctant. I didn’t want to be seen smashing an object on a popular, respectable TV star. But Jan’s energy is so upbeat, I agreed.
One second before the red light came on, she said, “Kathy, make it look like a surprise!”
“OK,” I replied. “I’ll tell you – ‘Hey Jan, look over there!’ and I’ll point to the left.”
“Great, Kath!” she said.
We went on with the segment, and after I finished the details of how to make the eggs, I pointed to the sky and threw out my “Hey Jan, look over there!” line. Her eye line moved from the camera to my finger, and I tapped her head with the hollow confetti egg.
It didn’t break.
So I hit her head again. Harder. I was nervous because I was on live TV and wanted my craft to work. For that instant, I forgot it was a human head that I was belting with all my might. It could have been the edge of a frying pan for all I remember. I just wanted my craft to work, that’s all…
But the darn egg still didn’t crack! I was confused because I make these eggs every year and never had a problem. I had been Punk’d by the universe.
At that point, Jan got a tad defensive.
“HEY!” she hollered as she grabbed an egg and hit my head. Her egg didn’t crack either. She tried again. Harder. In the next instant, we both beat each other’s heads with these fancy painted eggs until finally, they cracked open and we were left with pretty, shiny sequins all over our hair – and nervous grins on our faces.
Jan wrapped the segment and picked up another egg. I assumed it was a signal for Round 2. I also lifted an egg, and hit it on her head. It didn’t crack! Again…I tried two more times. She hit me on the head with her egg, that didn’t break either. She had enough. She raised her tanned, manicured hand up to her head and yelled, “OOooowww! That hurts!!!” And the cameras cut away.
Jan is so sweet. On the commercial break she said everything was fine, smiled at me and the floor director whisked her off to the next segment. I stood there, alone – a plus-size crafty bully. I cleaned up my mess and the security guard walked up to the table and broke the silence.
“Wow. You gals really got into it,” he said.
I didn’t respond. Instead I hustled to the car and called Patrick, my husband. He answered the phone with one word: “BRUTAL!”
I cringed. “Oh no! Was it really?”
He released a whistle through his teeth and laughed. “Girl, it was BRU-tal! They should have had sound effects from the Psycho shower scene.”
I hung up with Patrick and dialed up my sister Theresa, who was, um, just as supportive.
“I bet she has head trauma! You hit her HARD. Over and OVER, Kathy!”
I made my way back at my desk in the office. I immediately called the TV station and asked to please check that Jan was OK. The nice receptionist said, “Oh wow, Kathy! Now that was great TV! Don’t worry, they were just eggshells!”
Needless to say, I was embarrassed. I’m triple Jan’s size and must have looked like Lenny from Of Mice and Men: “Aagh, purdy eggs. Me like to smash on head.” (arms outstretched like a mummy…)
My co-workers had plenty to say as well: “Kathy, I can just imagine what some viewers must have thought. Things like, ‘Gee! Those Mexicans are so violent!’
Later in the day, one of my editors asked me if I could please hit another editor over the head with my eggs. I had become the cascaron hit lady.
Crafty Chica’s lesson learned: Whether you are a newbie or a pro, never take your finished projects for granted. If giving or showing off a craft you made, test it out first. As far as cascarones, squeeze the egg with your hand at the same time you tap it on your victim’s head. It is much less humiliating. Even if it is good TV.
Peace, love, and glitter!