A THANKSGIVING TALE
A THANKSGIVING TALE
I was in the living room trying to solve a sudoku when “Honey?” an invitation with a question mark waifed through our kitchen portal.
I am “Honey.” There are other monikers, my ‘Honey’ calls me other than ‘Honey.’ Though none are as sweet or as endearing. But beware. Be wary. Each of the following ‘Honeys’ may seem innocent. But each is fraught with danger and ambiguity.
“Honey, I need” - is the most ambiguous of all the ‘Honeys,’ and could lead anywhere. Always ask for clarity. Always be sure you know what is needed. Never ask why it is needed or why you need get it.
“Honey, did you?” – this ‘Honey’ is what I call a ‘Bi-Honey.’ Either you already DID what you were supposed to do, but you did it wrong. Or you didn’t do what you were supposed to do and you better have a good excuse for not doing it.
“Honey, why did?” - tread slowly here. This may have nothing to do with you. Silence is golden. Volunteer nothing. Get all of the facts before confessing or offering a guilty plea.
“Honey, would you?” – For experts only. This ‘Honey’ is easily fielded by anyone in a long-term relationship. The infamous “HONEY, WOULD YOU,” honey translates to ‘Honey YOU WILL DO THE FOLLOWING. With a smile. Without question. OR, there will be serious repercussions. Repeat serious repercussions in your brain several times and then do what would SHOULD be done.
“Honey, won’t you?” – this is probably behavior related. Your behavior. And it’s usually quite simple. You should either stop doing something you’re doing or start doing something you’re not doing… Ah, But I Digress…
I put down my sudoku puzzle and headed for the kitchen.
“Honey, almost everything’s ready for Thursday,” Bobbie said. “But we need decorations for the table. You have the artistic eye. Will you take care our table?”
I’d done some slicing, dicing, mashing and peeling, for Thanksgiving dinner but, admittedly it wasn’t much.
Bobbie blew me a kiss and with a good eye-lash batting sent me on my way. Any appeal to the Van Gogh side of my brain and I’m putty. Include an eye-lash batting... I’m Jello.
I started with the liquid amber tree in the front of our condo. For a tree, liquid amber has a soft, flowing sound; doesn’t it? It isn’t. Its bark is brittle and it sheds a hard, thorny cocklebur pod the size of a golf ball.
The thorns can penetrate the three-inch rubber tires of any semi on the highway. I have pix of my wounded flip-flop if you need proof. These pods, think COVID virus with sharp spikes, could be used as ammunition in lieu of rubber bullets. Sticking it to ya, so to speak.
Though, like the Ugly Duckling in the Hans Christian Anderson classic, our liquid amber sheds magnificent leaves. A kaleidoscope of orange, red orange, yellow and magenta. I gathered a dozen of the finest specimens and set them out in little bunches on our table.
Bobbie greeted me with a, “that’s nice.” A ‘that’s nice’ comment from your wife, lover or partner is more subtle than all the ‘Honeys’ above. “That’s nice,” can translate to any or all of the following:
1. That’s the best you can do.
3. You must be exhausted.
4. Why did I ask you to do anything in the first place.
5. I should have done the decorations myself.
Barb didn’t say it, but her look said she wanted something more than leaves. “Nice things,” she said.
Moments later I was dressed, credit cards in my pocket, and strolling out our front door. I was on a mission. Barb’s knight on a quest. I became King Modoroump the Magnificent. The legendary 12th century clan leader, gourmet chef and pest exterminator.
In the 11 century, Modoroumps castle and empire had been infested with clan of vicious voles, all pregnant, and recently escaped from the Fubleonie Flea circus. Senior Fubleonie used the vole bodies and thick fur as low- cost housing for his fleas.
I was looking for a parking place thinking about perfect Thanksgiving decorations, when my mind slipped to the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses the II. Ramses had over 200 wives and concubines, ninety-six sons and sixty daughters, most of whom he outlived.
Ramses II lived to be ninety-six years old. How is that possible? How did he find time for the concubines? Did the wives get along? Is there anything in the fact he had ninety-six sons and lived to be ninety-six years old? Suppose he had twenty-two more sons, what then? Should I have had more children? What if all his wives and all his concubines on the very same day said “Honey, I need…”
These are the questions that keep me awake at night. I won’t even get into the existence of the duck-billed platypus… Ah, but I digress...
I found a parking place next to a C.V.S. Mister Artistic Eye had a job to do. How would Vincent Van Gogh decorate his Thanksgiving table? Beside the ear thing, that is.
I stalked the aisles of C.V.S. but they had nothing Thanksgivingish left.
I walked to the Dollar Store. The Dollar Store prides itself in the items they have on their shelves for a dollar. I was looking for things to take off their shelves and put on our table. Nice things.
Two days before Thanksgiving there wasn’t a single plastic turkey, rubber pumpkin, ceramic yam or ham. Not even a paper wishbone or small bottle of pineapple chutney. I came home empty. Thankfully, Barb was out. I turned to the internet. And googled Thanksgiving decorations. How to prepare a turkey popped up on my screen.
I was advised:
1. How to cook with Foster Farms. Who is Foster? Why would anyone let him/her into their kitchen?
2. Why it’s better to start from scratch - Here's someone who has never tried to catch a turkey.
3. Easy no Fuss Turkey – stuffing – tell that to the Turkey.
4. Oven Roasted Turkey - Sure, always better than boiled.
5. How to give the Perfect Bird - someone had a sense of humor.
By accident, I stumbled on a video by Bunnie Claire a creative genius. Bunnie makes turkeys. She doesn’t cook or boil them. Bunnie makes turkeys. And Bunnie assured all of her viewers, if she could make turkeys so could we. The last time I made a turkey was in first grade. We placed our hands on a piece of paper, spayed our fingers and took a crayon and drew an outline around our hand and voila a turkey. All you had to do was draw that little dangly thing. Which I did.
Bunnie exuded confidence. If she believed in me, I believed in me. Immediately, I had visions of our Thanksgiving table with handmade turkeys. Works of Art. Eat your heart out Mr. Van Gogh. Turkeys by Tuck.
Bunnie’s site had over 80,000 hits. Eighty-thousand people who couldn’t find one ceramic gobbler to put on their Thanksgiving Table. Eighty-thousand people relegated to making a paper turkey.
Bunnie’s handmade turkeys had character.
My creation would have a personality all its own. Bunnie made a list of all items we would need to make our first turkey. I made a list of all the things I didn’t have to make my first turkey:
1. paper plates
2. color crayons
3. paints – perhaps I could substitute shoe dye or
one of Barb’s old lipstick. Hey, I was doing this
4. scissors – They were around here somewhere.
5. stapler – It was around here somewhere.
6. spray paint – a quick trip to the hardware store
7. a hot glue gun – same store
8. googly eyes –
9. a paper apron -
I thought I’d give it a trial run. I found two paper plates and some brown shoe polish. Regrettably, I cut both plates wrong and I should have waited to apply the shoe polish. I vowed to get it off the table cloth later. I wanted my turkey finished before Barb got home so I went shopping a second time. [Special note here. Two days before Thanksgiving is not a good time to go shopping once, let alone a second time.]
I got a can of brown spray paint at Ace Hardware. And two sponge paint brushes. Bunnie said sponge brushes are best for beginners. Then a Hot Glue Gun. Where were these little beauties when I was building model planes? Once I glued three fingers together and had to eat like a duck for a week.
Tubes of orange, yellow, red, blue and green paint. You can always use more paint. Though this kind didn’t adhere to the crayon color very well. Later when I tried to spread the paint with a Q-tip, my first attempt at a turkey looked more like a very hairy gorilla.
On my own, I bought paint thinner which turned out to be a waste of money. The paint was water soluble.
At C.V.S. I got a large box of crayons. I didn’t need the big box. But it’s the only one with burnt sienna. Burnt sienna the perfect color for turkey feathers.
I found a package of 100 paper plates, but I only needed two. I debated slipping out two plates, but then I would have to go to confession.
I decided I was old enough to have my own pair of scissors. Sister Mary Meanie took away my stubbed nosed pair in the second grade. I sat behind Helen Purcell and she was always such a cry baby. Besides her hair looked much better, shorter.
I should have bought more than one paper apron. They tear easily and cannot be used to remove brown shoe dye stains.
I spent most of Monday shopping and constructing my turkey. She looked beautiful in the middle of our Thanksgiving dinner table next to my handcrafted pumpkin which looked more like a diseased rutabaga than a pumpkin.
My eldest decided we had to name him/her. Everyone put their suggestions on a slip of paper. Names included: Tina Tucker Turkey – Turkey Trot – What-a-Turkey - and Timothy the ass-bite Turkey (a former boyfriend, I think) and finally Turkarina. TA DA!
The total cost of Turkarina: $34.27
Hours spent shopping: Three hours and twelve minutes
Hours spent in construction: seven hours +
For those artistically inclined and think you can do better.