11/18/2005

Entry Thirty-seven: Thanks.

[I'm taking a break from the other stories to bring you this holiday-themed chestnut in seven parts. Today: 3 of 7]

The key was to go first, or at least go early, because the closer you were to the end the more creative you had to be with your answer. According to the unwritten yet firmly memorized rules the order was established clockwise based on the first person chosen. Dad was throwing Aunt Rose a bone. First was good and she knew it.

“I’m thankful for my children,” said Aunt Rose, speaking slowly with a big smile on her face that everyone correctly interpreted as having nothing to do with parental pride but everything to do with her knowledge that she just screwed the rest of the family out of the easiest answer.

“I’m thankful for my parents.” My cousin took the second easiest answer and the tension around the rest of the table congealed thicker than Uncle Neal’s giblet gravy. I conducted a silent, mental calculation and determined I was Designated Thanker #18, which, obviously, put me closer to the end than the beginning. That was dangerous territory, being so late, and I was going to have to come up with something particularly clever.

My aunt Phyllis mentioned she was thankful for the food, which, I felt, was a bit of a cheat since Father had already alluded to that in his opening monologue but she got away with it because she is old as dirt which allowed her to play the sympathy angle. She sealed it by pretending to have something caught in her throat then quickly taking a sip of water while cutting her eyes to my Uncle Phil sitting next to her. He picked up on the one-act play and reached over, patted Phyllis on the back and asked if she was okay. She nodded yes and he exclaimed, “I’m thankful my beautiful bride is okay.” It was brilliant, obviously rehearsed and I thought I was going to puke.

All words and images ©2005/J. Colle

2 comments:

littleoneagain said...

I would like you to know that I have finally caught up...but it is the 19th of Novemeber and there is no 4/7....though not all of us comment you have to remember your public...COMMON MAN..JEEESH..lets get on with the get

Jay said...

I have to use the weekends to work on my great american novel. The public will have to wait...