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Thanksgiving 2000

(Jim Horan 11/00) Copyright (c) All Rights Reserved.

I'd guess it'd depend on your point of view as to whether this plan was brilliant or total capitulation. Whether it was a passive moment or just a brain fart. A kinder determination might be to label it a "Senior Moment". Whatever it was, it was.

For years Dottie and I have given more than a little thought as to how we could salvage a decent Thanksgiving dinner as well as our mental health. Of course our physical health was also factored into a part of the equation. We don't want to recap what has gone past but those wishing to read the other Thanksgiving offerings can accomplish that by clicking "TALES". We lived it so we don't need to read about it. There still is pain. The conclusion of course is that we almost always have been thwarted in achieving our goal by those insidious damn CATS!

This year our lives have been disabled for the entire year. Sleep deprivation is serious and we have been deprived. OK, so HE had a little hardship. HE had to have a rear wheel removed. It seemed that maybe this would be the equalizer in bringing peace in our time. While running was still one of HIS options, the act of jumping had been taken from HIM. That included chairs, sofa and beds. Not a problem for us, as we considered the meaning of what this brought to our lives. For instance, though we have a King-size bed, it has always seemed we were cramped when HE decided to stretch out. So for the first few weeks post-surgery, we slept quite well.

Why or how that all changed is beyond our comprehension. I mean how HE figured it out really speaks to the evil that dwells within HIM. It happened one night as we slept, there occurred a terrific CRASH! It was my suggestion that Dottie get up and investigate it and I would share in the labor by keeping the bed warm. After a revote on that idea, I discerned the sound came from the bathroom off of our bedroom. Turning on the lights I gazed at an over-turned wastebasket and HIMSELF leering up at me. Figuring that HIS clumsiness has caused this, I up-righted it and gave HIM my best sneer while returning to bed. Just as sleep was about to reclaim my body, another CRASH happened. To make a long story short, this was to be HIS demand to be placed upon the bed atop the electric blanket. And so it has been for the past year. It's not that this occurs once a night. Oh no. Pangs of hunger rack HIS body throughout the night and always upon HIS return...CRASH! You might ask, "why don't you put HIM on the bed when you all retire?" Fair question. The answer is that HE doesn't want that. HE wants to "tell" us when HE wants to go to bed. Another fair question is, "why don't you close the door to the bathroom, so HE can't get to the waste basket?" Do you have any idea what HIS other options might turn out to be? Think what would happen if HE decided the dresser, or chest, or large mirror might be a more apt "signal" of HIS wants! Now you see what we have lived with?

It should be explained that after HIS surgery, when HE was weighed, it was at 2 pounds less than pre-surgery. HE took full observation of that happening and has made a determined effort to get back to HIS "prime" weight. (It might be noted, HE has been quite successful in HIS realization of that goal.) This was not lost on us either as we arrived at the final solution.

As past readers will know, we have never been successful in "out cleavering" HIM. No matter what we came up with and to what extremes we went to, it was all in vain. This year we came up with the original thought of, "Why fight THEM? Just give in." It seemed the simple and most obvious answer.

Dottie would prepare the "bird" and place it on a platter to present to them. We would then retire to the garage where we had a small fire burning, though we had no fireplace there, and toast a marshmallow and dream of what could have been. We informed the neighbors, our friends at the Emergency Room, and the local Fire department that there would be no need for their concern this year. We were going to capitulate. It seemed no other alternative was acceptable, as we were just too tired to out-think HIM. Of course the prospect of living through another year of HIS gloating was measured into the decision. We also informed HIM of the decision and received a "now-you're-getting-it" arrogant leer in return.

Thanksgiving morning came. After having gotten up 4-5 times in the night to reset the wastebasket and HIM, we crumbled out of bed. Looking back, we noticed that HE did not stir and only emitted a short snarl when I leaned over to turn off the electric blanket. Dottie commenced doing the work of preparing THEIR Thanksgiving dinner.

As the morning passed and the house filled with the wonderful aroma of THEIR feast, a remembrance came to me. Remember when you were a kid and you were playing sandlot football? And that one time you got to be QB and call the plays? And you called for a handoff? But as the ball came to you, you decided to improvise as you thought you saw a hole where you could run through and you ran for a Touchdown? What a great feeling...right?

I became "inspired" with a vision of us actually eating the bird, as Dottie handed me the platter with the finished product to place before their gapping "cake-holes". As I set the platter down, my hands slide up to the "bird", which I grasped firmly and centered between my legs towards Dottie. Perhaps I should have shared my "inspiration" with her. Right after the "bird" went through my legs, there followed a mass of 3-legged fur moving at speed heretofore unseen, inches behind the "bird". HE passed through and gave a kick-out with HIS remaining hind leg, which sent me down to dislocate my knee and shoulder. The "bird" spiraled in the air, leaving a grease trail descending along its trajectory. Dottie stepped forward to clutch at the fowl. Unfortunately, she was unaware of the grease being laid before her feet. Down she went into a fortunate unconscious state. The "bird" was descending from it's orbit when a pair of white paws reached up and not unlike Deion Sanders, batted the "ball" to HIM, who awaited earth bound, having crashed through the garage door. The object splattered its grease on the floor of the garage, thus feeding the small ceremonial fire we had started there. I rolled onto my good side to see what problems my "inspiration" might have brought forth, and I saw Hell! Seven paws and 2 mouths slammed into the bird and two tails hit each other in a "high-five" gesture. I passed out.

It seems that while our neighbors, EMS and Fire Department had wanted to believe that all would be well, they couldn't conceive of how it ever could be with HIM. They were on hand and in pretty quick order saved almost half the garage before the flames over took it all. As the EMS was carting us off, I had another remembrance from my sandlot days. I recalled the time, I "improvised" at the last instance and got crushed by some really big guys and fumbled the ball and felt really lousy! Yeah, I remember that and will again and again this year. At least at the ER we can get a full nights sleep.

Next year, we may just call THEM a cab, give THEM a credit card and let THEM go to a restaurant of THEIR choice.

The best Thanksgiving to you and yours.