How To Video: Sweet Potato Horse Head (And What I'm Thankful for This Year)

Well, it's Thanksgiving, and I have much to be thankful for (including, but not limited to: the great folks who support my art, my family, amazing friends, health, happiness and Local Taco). I'm super thankful, but I won't bore you with it. Just know that I am.

For this post, I'll just write about one thing in particular that I'm thankful for: family traditions. Specifically, my favorite tradition of all time, the Thanksgiving Sweet Potato war.

Friends, let me tell you a story.

The Story of the Sweet Potato War

Twenty years ago, when I was 8 years old, and long before I thought they were delicious, I was offered my first taste of sweet potatoes. As most second graders would, I instantly thought they were revolting. Impressed by my incredible bravery, my older brother asked how they were.

"Delicious," I responded without thinking. I don't know why I lied. Wait–yes I do. I lied so I could trick Matt into eating them. He fell for it, and after he'd taken one mushy, disgusting bite, I burst out laughing. The seed was planted. He would have revenge.

The next year, Matt snuck sweet potatoes into my food. One sneaky little spoonful was tucked underneath my regular (safe, delicious, non-orange) mashed potatoes. Oh the horror! Later that meal (or perhaps the following Thanksgiving... it gets blurry) I snuck sweet potatoes into his milk. Simple enough.

It grew from there. In 5th grade, I made a blow dart out of a drinking straw, and in a move that would become Klim family history, blew sweet potato into his mouth from across the table as he raised his fork to eat.

In college, I worked in a hardware store and (partially out of boredom) started plotting months in advance. I came home armed with invisible wire, eye hooks, and a CD that included Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. This was now the post-divorce era, and our Thanksgivings were no longer the big productions of my childhood. Assigned seating was a thing of the past, but one person had an assigned seat that year.

Matt humored me by sitting at the seat in front of the place card bearing his name.

I waited until dinner was well underway, and then turned around and pressed play on a portable stereo I had stashed beneath a side table. The chorus began to play. At that moment, I untaped the end of the invisible wire, which had been strung through a series of eyehooks in a makeshift pulley system, and as I slowly fed the wire more slack, a sweet potato lowered from the ceiling onto Matt's plate. My cousins applauded. Once again, history was made.

Since then, the tradition has faded as life continues to offer more and more distractions and holidays become rushed. I missed the past two Thanksgivings to play gigs. Matt has a family of his own. There have been attempts (such as giving Matt's daughter a Mr. Potato Head as a Thanksgiving gift, and having her unwrap it in front of him only to find a sweet potato adorned with plastic facial accessories), but I've never matched the Hallelujiah-descending-potato.

Until now, perhaps: