Once again that special time of year is nigh upon us. The holidays. Where we gather with family and friends around fire and hearth to poke at each other’s eyeballs with forks.
Run. I mean that in a T-Rex-is-gaining-on-us-in-the-Jeep sort of way.
From time to time my wife will venture out to work for the Portland elite to line her pocketses with a few handfuls of coppers. She hangs out her shingle as consultant and efficiency expert. That means, of course, employers will spend their entire day trying to trick her into changing diapers, walking the dog and running to Starbucks for another Cornucopia of Venti.
The following is a true story. No embellishment.
It was Thanksgiving. The husband’s parents arrived for a two-week stay. The day after Thanksgiving the wife took off, on her own, to vacation separately in Palm Springs until the in-laws had safely left town.
Why didn’t I think of that?! Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid. Me so stupid! Me bad.
With the in-laws left home alone, the husband locked himself away in the office. The nanny watched their children. And the mother-in-law proceeded to grill household staff. “What the hell does she do around here, anyway?”
God bless us, every one.
The new gold card’s here! The new gold card’s here! I’m somebody now! Millions of people look at this card every day! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity, your name in print, that makes people. I’m in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.
I walked confidently into the corner coffee shop. I got in line and waited a quarter hour. Finally it was my turn. I cleverly placed my order. “I’ll have a chestnut praline latte with a twist. Shaken, not stirred. Make it a grande.” I whipped the gold card out of my camouflage wallet and presented it to the barista. Light from the trendy overhead track lighting reflected and momentarily blinded her. “The name’s Taker. Tom B. Taker.”
Several women in the vicinity immediately swooned and removed their tops. Decisions, decisions.
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Remember learning about history in K-12? I don’t remember much but when it comes to the first Thanksgiving a few images do come to mind. The following paragraph is pieced together relying solely on my recollections.
The Pilgrims and the Native Americans came together for a feast. The Pilgrims wore funny brown hats topped with a column adorned with a belt buckle. There was maize. There was jellied cranberry sauce featuring distinctive rings from an aluminum can. There was even pumpkin pie. There was a horn of plenty that provided a veritable cornucopia of magical fresh fruits and vegetables. And, of course, last but not least, there was turkey aplenty that looked a lot like simple outline drawings of my hand.
Have you ever experienced that moment when you realized history class left a lot of things out? It was decidedly not the place to go if you wanted the big picture. Or an unvarnished viewpoint free of bias that didn’t accentuate a certain narrative. No doubt there were time constraints or contractual obligations?
My exhaustive (you’ll get this pun after the jump) research turned up something else that was given to the Pilgrims. It wasn’t on the dinner table, perhaps, but I’m sure it was still something to be very thankful for.
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I was driving home from work on Wednesday night and listening to some NPR show about teachers that you were thankful made some difference in your life. I can’t remember the name of the show or who was on, but some successful person had looked up one of his grade school teachers and the teacher was talking about how that had moved him.
The show got me thinking about teachers I have known.
There was Mrs. Simmons from the 1st grade. It surprises me I can still remember her name. She was a rather stern woman who looked a lot like Aunt Bee from Mayberry RFD.
I also remember my 2nd grade teacher. She was a beautiful woman and I had the hots for her. Seriously. It was true love. Not a crush. Yes, I started early. I’m a little bit sad I no longer remember her name.
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Thanksgiving to me is, methinks, a bit like kryptonite to Superman. Give thanks? For this? Yeah, right! How about I punch you in the throat? Thanksgiving must be the ultimate Throat Punch Thursday. Why else would it always been on the same day of the week?
Once I was hanging out with some of the guys at work (a long time ago) and one of them was examining the calendar. All of the sudden he exclaimed, “Hey! Look! Thanksgiving is on a Thursday this year.” Indeed? Now here’s your punch. WHAM!
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A protagonist: The turkey. “Gobble Gobble.”
A story: They’re out to kill him.
And it’s a musical. With a song from the movie “Grease.”
Today’s reblog is courtesy of Sid @SidMILB from the My Mother In Law is Still Sitting Between Us… blog. Check out her blog for what could be, quite possibly, the best Thanksgiving song lyrics ever written. It is called Gobble Gobble.
Speaking of the movie Grease… (This is where I put my special twist on the reblog.)
I was out of town with my church group to spend the weekend at a Shakespearean festival. I was 13 or 14 years old. My parents had given me some spending money that was supposed to last for the whole trip.
We brought our sleeping bags and camped in the town’s Episcopal church. In that church was a simple record player. The kind with a swinging arm and a needle and a built-in crappy speaker.
While out exploring town one day with a friend, I came across it totally by chance. The 2-disc Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for the movie Grease. The price was exactly the amount of money I had in my pocket.
You know what happened next. I bought that sucker, took it back to the church, and listened to it all weekend long. I didn’t know it at the time but I was already well-advanced on the path to supergeek.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Sid!