Land of a 1,000 Night Lights

“Hey handsome, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.  I’ll miss you & I’ll see you soon.  Drive safely.  Oh & you can still bring back a plate or two & I will also so we can eat Thanksgiving together.  Don’t forget pie.”

“Drive safe?  Honey, I listened to ASAP Production’s “The Track” over and over again for the entire ride back to St. Pete!  Just continual rewind?  Apparently “ASAP is full of feezek!”

I was somewhat less successful on the food front, as Stella Marrs‘ cute little kitty can attest.  So I hope you went to town at the uncle’s.  Remember my surprise over the phone this afternoon when I arrived at my cousin’s house and found it empty?  Well it turns out they feasted in (the hated B-) Orlando.  My aunt, having no idea I would be visiting, hadn’t bought anything.  (Luckily, not knowing of my visit, she also had no time to think of a reasonable excuse to ditch me.)  The night was saved, as it had allegedly been so many years ago, by a couple of plates of Snicker Doodles.  Just as in the Thanksgiving myth!  When Tonto, tired of having sat all day atop bulls, planted fish carcasses into the belly of a dough tree, and brought to life the world’s first cookie!

We dined at the Cracker Barrel; being served by a burnout, Southern-drawling waitress with overly bleached hair trying to fight its way out of a perm.  It was halfway to victory.  She (the waitress, not her hair) also had an obsession with fatty foods.

‘Do you want gravy with your mashed potatoes?,’ she asked.

‘That would kind of defeat the purpose of my grilled chicken, wouldn’t it?,’ retorted my aunt.  This waitress would make no headway all night long.  Though, if this stint at Cracker Barrel doesn’t work out, she’ll still fit in right at home at the neighboring Waffle House.  Much to my chagrin, as you know how much I enjoy their pecan waffles.

The town’s (still) full of the same people that scared me off years ago.  I.e. men who look older than me despite being a great deal younger.  It’s not the genes folks, just the fact I refuse to wear shorts, as all men should.  Ones who dress as frat boys even though they never had a(ny) drive for a higher education.  Just a drive for khaki shorts and those accursed shirts with the ventilator holes in the back under a triangular flap.  Guys that are twice my size both up and around.  Makes me glad to have escaped to the land of shopping-cart pushing , crazed gun-toting hobos.

You’ll be happy to know that I did manage to raid my father’s pantry before leaving.  So hopefully the boxes of excess cookies and outmeal I mooched off him will tide you over as the crowds of bargain hunters trample me tomorrow.

I know we’ve already discussed my aversion to my father’s new wife on the grounds of their cumulative oldness.  Along with the blindingly austere whiteness of the house, and the unbareable fact that everything there not only occupies a certain place, but unnaturally are in said certain place!

That said, the wife has done a commendable job in reigning in my father’s perverse desire to fill his kitchen entirely, top-to-bottom, with cat knickknacks.  That I applaud; I cannot, however, stand his/their new obsession with nightlights.  Literally every wall in the house has a nightlight.  Every one, including the guest bedroom that never gets used, the equally ignored bathroom, and(!) the hallway between the two!  It’s perpetually noon in that house!

Whatever modicum of safety is gained by not bumping into walls is surely lost through the inevitable retinal burns.

I felt guilty, as if I was breaking some sort of law, when I turned the guest room’s nightlight off.  Surely they’d have an alarm letting them know of my trangression.  I felt even more guilty when I accidently flooded their toilet a mere hour and twenty-four minutes into the visit.  Some people arrive by giving a peck on the cheek, some with flowers, or a vaguely randy innuendo.  Very few start off the holiday festivities with a flush and a yell of, ‘Dad, I think we’re gonna need some towels!’

P.S. beautiful, don’t worry, I washed my hands before I grabbed the grub!”

One Response to “Land of a 1,000 Night Lights”

  1. […] first time I’ve been truly excited about thanksgiving in nearly seven years. (Except maybe here.) I realized this last week when I was driving to work. For the first time in forever, a national […]

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