Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Trains, planes and automobiles

I'm taking the train south this evening where Tess will pick me up to head for the airport. Unless the fog rolls in again, we'll be catching a 9:30 p.m. plane to Boise where we'll arrive about 11:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, and head to the car rental booth. I will undoubtedly be asked if I want to upgrade to a larger gas guzzler for a few dollars more and avoid the embarrassment of driving around Boise in a Hyundai. I will likely resist the offer unless they offer me a Hummer.

We'll drive the Hummer to a hotel near Boise's airport that I booked online. The hotel room will have a pastel print of flowers on the wall, a microwave and three plastic wrapped cups. I will flip on the 19-inch television and flip through 34 channels of religious programming, shopping networks and Dukes of Hazzard reruns until I reach HBO. We will watch a rerun of Deadwood and go to sleep.

In the morning we will call my brother and ask him what time we should be at his house for Thanksgiving. He'll say dinner is at 3 p.m. but we can come over earlier if we want. We will then drive over to my 80-year old mother's house and wrestle with Dutchess, her 200-pound mutt to get through the door. My mother will tell us about the latest squirrels Dutchess has killed. She'll apologize for how messy the meticulously clean house is. She'll offer us reheated Folgar's coffee made from powder and we will politely decline since we have likely stopped at a Starbucks on the way there.

We will offer to drive my mother to my brother's house for Thanksgiving, but she will decline saying that she will likely want to leave early to get home and let Dutchess out to kill more squirrels. I will wander around the house I grew up in, scrutinizing faded high school prom photos of my brothers and I tacked to the walls. Tess will be politely talking to my mother about what tree she has trimmed in the backyard. We will fight our way out of the house past Dutchess and say we'll see my mom at my brother's house.

We'll drive to my brother's house, but first stop at one of the open grocery stores on the way there to pick up rolls and a bottle of red wine that I know my brother doesn't like to drink. We'll pull into his driveway and block half the street with the Hummer.

We'll knock on the door and my brother will answer it and say, "Sic 'em Wiley" to his shepard mix dog. Wiley will look embarrassed and pee on the floor. My almost grown, nearly unrecognizable niece and nephew will be hovering in the background wondering if we brought them gifts and hoping that we remembered that they are teenagers now, not little kids. I'll hug both of them and ask my nephew to pull me finger. Both my niece and nephew will slink off to their rooms to call friends or play video games. Tess and I will hug my brother and my sister in law.

Tess and my brother and sister in law will start talking about teacher stuff (all of them are elementary school teachers). I will try to help out and be handed a box of crackers to pour into a bowl.

My mother and my brother's mother in law will arrive. We will sit down at the table next to Thanksgiving themed nametag holers Tess and I sent them a week ago. I guarantee you that my nametag will be in the turkey nametag holder.

My brother will say grace and we'll all hold hands. I will feel awkward because I don't have a religious bone in my heathen body. We will pass food. I will pass gas and blame the dog. We will tell stories about our childhood and my niece and nephew will roll their eyes. My brother will remember things that happened to him that actually happened to me.

We will finish dinner and I will help clear the table.

We will retire to the family room where my brother, nephew and I will play a video game that basically involved shooting anything that moves on the screen. I will not figure out how to make my player move until we are finished with the game.

We will retire to the living room where a cardtable has been set up to play Pictionary. It will be the boys against the girls. My mother and my brother's mother in law will watch. We will take turns drawing things that look nothing like the Pictionary prompt and being amazed when my niece or nephew guess the word in two seconds. We will play best two out of three. I will demonstrate how verbally clever I am throughout each of the games.

My mother will leave to go home and let the dog out. Tess and I will say goodnight and drive toward the hotel, wishing we'd taken a doggy bag of turkey because we are hungry again. We'll stop at the only place open in Boise at that time of night on a Thanksgiving, 7-11. We'll fight the meth heads for the last corndog and nachos and head back to the hotel to catch what is on HBO.

Friday morning I'll wake up early longing for that continental breakfast they are serving downstairs off from the lobby. I'll pull on sweats and go fill two plates full of nasty grocery store bagels and brown fruit. I'll serve Tess breakfast in bed.

Once we've showered and dressed, we'll drive to my mom's and force her into the Hummer to take her to lunch. We'll likely go to a Sizzler because she likes Malibu Chicken lunches and gets a senior discount. During lunch she'll describe the latest dental work she had done by Dr. Smith, the same dentist who pulled my wisdom teeth when I was 20. We'll drive mom home so she can let the dog out.

We'll call my brother and see if they want to go out to dinner. We'll ride in their van. Tess will sit with my niece and I'll sit next to my nephew. I'll tell him I'm feeling gassy.

We'll get to the restaurant and discover what food phase my niece and nephew are going through now that they are teenagers. I will entertain everyone with my witty banter until Tess and my brother and sister-in-law start talking teacher talk again. I'll pay the check and we'll say our goodbyes.

Instead of going back to the hotel near the airport, I'll suprise Tess with a room at a place called the Anniversary Inn. It has themed rooms. So far we've stayed in the Mammoth Ice Cave Room and the Sultan's Palace. This time we are staying in the Mysteries of Egypt Room. There is nothing that says Romance like an Egyptian tomb.

Saturday morning we will fly back to Seattle.

I will then republish this blog in the present tense.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Alex Pendragon said...

What level of hell were you discribing again? What section of the Penal Code is it that describes the consequences of passing on all this fun and just staying home? What were the pilgrims thinking? Is it Christmas yet? Did you have to refill the tank on that Hummer and did you get a good rate on the loan you had to take out in order to refill it? Was a night in the "Tomb Room" a foray into necrophelia? Did I take some perverse pleasure that YOU wrote this story instead of ME? YES!

It only happens once a year. Then there's Christmas. Be afraid, Be VERY afraid. I already am.

Time said...

the michael,

Looks like it's just you and me my friend.

I'm typing this from my brother's computer. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to....................arghhhhhhhhhhhhh