Monthly Archives: November 2012

Pumpin’ Out the White Stuff

Can’t beat the holidays in rural America. No, sir.

…was a term used by a snow reporting service for ski resorts here in the 90s. The sooper-hip chick reporter talked like that.

Just in time for the carol sing at the gazebo tomorrow night.

Another perfect day in paradise.

All Aboard the Holiday Express

Spark it up, whatever your holiday.

When I suggested watching Rudolph the day after Thanksgiving, my niece said, “Can’t we at least wait another day?” Auntie Ann couldn’t.  And didn’t. All aboard.

Weirdly, turns out Rudolph was almost named Reginald or Romeo. That’s Dartmouth College for you.

Why stop eating?

Fat and fearless.

We’re not the only ones undaunted by a meal bigger than ourselves. This little fatty couldn’t bother to clean up after himself.  I consider him a role model.

Whodathunksgiving – That Was It?


My Buddy

This time of year, when I’m not buying battalion-sized Christmas wrap at BJ’s Club, shaving years off my birth date when paying for the fine wines of Rite-Aid, or standing on a snow-peaked mountain drinking a green wellness nectar in a thermal yoga costume, I’m girding myself for the family brawl at Thanksgiving. I have an idea what might fire it up this year.

Yes, it was a tight race, folks and no one knew just how it was gonna unfold. What boggled was the speed of it. Everyone went, “That was it?” Imagine, Florida not slowing us down for once, like the granny in a Cadillac Fleetwood that she is, who for unknown reasons, despite 20 cylinders and a giant grille on her land yacht, just can’t manage to keep up with the others. Whodathunk?!   I can’t touch the lambasting of Flo on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, so podcast the 11/11 show for that thorough hosing.  But some of my best friends are Republican, or Floridian, so I move quickly on.

I have a (proven!) theory that it’s not what you are prepared to endure that will go wrong. It’s something out of the blue that will blindside you and ruin everything. The holiday family brawl is a thing we’re prepared to endure that actually probably will go wrong.  On the rare occasion that it doesn’t—no heated argument or fisticuffs about politics, nuclear power, or a family member’s bad behavior—a kind of uncertain, almost disappointed apprehension hangs in the air. Like when sparks spew out of a volcano but no lava follows. Just a collective and baffled, “That was it?!”

I’ve never seen so many rodents in my life, have you? What with them so abundant due to soft winters and fewer predators, it’s like Willard out there. Good menu items for T-day could be roast squirrel for the entrée (they can stuff a quail, can’t they?) with spicy battered mice poppers for the first course or as a passed app. Both cheap, plentiful, and eminently deep-fryable. People who deep fry turkeys and eat rodents are unafraid to make a statement—even if that statement is “We crazy!”—in a way that I for one have come to admire. Don’t fret, the baby mice caught in my Havahart® trap are too cute to eat. I asked my sister-in-law why babies are so cute. Her texted answer: “Survival.”  The alternative amuses as it horrifies: “I’ve had it with this ugly little thing; let’s drop it off on the loading dock at Costco.”

Which reminds me: ado is being duly made about Black Friday having moved up via fake holiday creep to Thursday night, thereby ruining big box employees’ holidays. I’ll tell you what the Aikens family will be doing Thanksgiving night: watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles for the eleven hundredth time, followed by movies on TCM with charming olde-tymey dialogue (“It’s no good, I tell ya. It’s just no good!”) A spanking for retailers’ management, I say. A spanking! And not the good kind.

Now for some Turkey Day Sniglets®, some old some new.

Bloatilla – The fleet of bloated corpses littering the living room post-meal

Candensation – Glistening moisture layer that forms on canberry sauce

Exconversation – Labored dinner conversation with your sister’s creepy new “boyfriend”

Goo-goo Goggles – What your son must be wearing to see any merit in his new “girlfriend”

Coochie Cool – The appeal of your niece’s cute new squeeze

Loonesta – The boring postulate posed by a crazy relative so late in the meal it puts you to sleep

Yankee Panky – What the Pilgrims did after the feast to increase their number.

Which reminds me: I have a somewhat macabre and expressionless decorative light-up pilgrim I bought years ago at, you guess it, Rite-Aid.  Should have bought the entire family but I just got the man.  He’s gotten dirty and I had a good laugh washing his little plastic fanny a few days ago. I also enjoyed strapping him into the passenger seat for the ride to New York, not unlike people who have scammed their way into the carpool lane with a plastic “passenger”.  I grew fond of my inanimate co-pilot. Fellow motorists dug him.

Which reminds me: years ago, my waiter friends shared an apartment on the lower east side of Manhattan which, though probably quite tony now, was a dangerous hellhole back then.  As a “security measure,” they placed My Buddy in the window to make it look like someone was home. My Buddy was a large male doll marketed to boys.  That my friends, one of whom died tragically not long afterwards, actually believed an unmoving rendering of a boy positioned  in a window would deter burglars (read: desperate junkies looking to fix), and that it was called My Buddy, is as silly—yet dear—as the childish signature on your original Social Security card.

Well, whodathunk? In the end, this column is to me what Thanksgiving is mostly about. Plastic fannies, cheap wine, doomed attempts at innovative menu items, and remembering people now gone, possibly with inanimate friends, that were once unspeakably beloved. And funny. And twisted.  Who shall forever remain unforgotten.  At least while we’re around. Good eatin’ and good day.

All That and a Bag of [Kale] Chips

Showcase kale’s greenery with a contrasting serving bowl.

November’s a dreary month in northern New England. It’s overcast without enough snow to do anything in. So we put on pilly sweaters and beater corduroys and move inside for workshops on Nonviolent Communication. BYO kale chips.

Kale chips. With the nutrition baked out of them and all the oil and salt you can stand ~ and so richly deserve.

The Final Word from Mighty Whitey

Mighty White Vermont has spoken.

What I like, and as a professional exit poller in Vermont I know for certain, is that people here vote across party lines.

But even we didn’t reach quite far enough. You really have to think long-term.

It’s Snowing!

In a parking lot today under a miserably cold rain that turned briefly to snow, a country woman walking into the Dollar Store alongside her teenage son observed, “Oh great. It’s snowing.”

Amused, I offered, “I’m wearing sandals!” She replied that she didn’t even have a coat on. I said she was like the Vermonty schoolchildren that wear no coat all winter, or don’t zip it up.

She responded over her shoulder with:  “I tell my son before he gets on the school bus, ‘At least wear your boots so I don’t look like an ass.'”

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