Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Story 58: Giving Thanks

            (The table is set for Thanksgiving dinner.  There are 10 relatives seated, with the Matriarch and the Patriarch at the opposite ends.  The Patriarch carves the turkey and distributes the plates around the table; each person takes portions of sides and begins eating)
            Matriarch: The mashed potatoes are lumpy.
            Son: (Chewing) They’re not bad.
            Matriarch: I say they’re lumpy!  And don’t speak with your mouth full.  (She eats some of the turkey) Dry.  Where’s the gravy?  (The boat is passed to her and she pours the gravy before taking another bite) Burnt.  Where’s the stuffing?
            Patriarch: There wasn’t any put in.
            Matriarch: Tsk.  Could somebody pass the cranberry sauce?  (It is passed to her and she ladles some on her plate to eat) Too sweet – it’s drowning in sugar.  I need more wine.
            Daughter: (Pours it into her mother’s glass) Here you go, Ma.
            Matriarch: (After sipping) This is best-tasting thing I’ve had all night.  The string beans look weak, the lettuce look wilted, and the corn looks like it died.
            Patriarch: It all tastes fine –
            Matriarch: No!  It’s all ruined!  I declare this Thanksgiving dinner to be a disaster!  (Daughter-in-law begins weeping softly) Oh hush, dear, your wine is about the only thing I can stomach right now.  I’m re-cooking everything!  (She starts gathering the dishes while the younger children watch with their mouths open.  The Daughter and the Son stop her)
            Daughter: Ma, don’t re-cook Thanksgiving, everything you made tastes delicious!
            Matriarch: Don’t lie to me!  That bird is practically a mummy!
            Son: (Still chewing) You’re the only one who thinks so.  Besides, Thanksgiving is about showing your appreciation for all the good things you have in your life; the meal’s secondary.
            Patriarch: Tertiary, son: football is secondary.
            Son: (Almost chokes) The game!  I forgot to check the score!
            (Most of the relatives dash out of the room)
            Daughter: Good – all the more for us.  (She sits and starts eating again)
            Matriarch: (Takes a bite of a candied yam) I suppose it’s salvageable.  I’m never making this meal again, though.
            Daughter: I’ll ask the same thing I did last year when this happened: would you like one of us to do Thanksgiving, then?
            Matriarch: Absolutely not!  You’d ruin it!