Before dinner last Thanksgiving, hands clasped and eyes closed, I acknowledged life's great bounty with a solemn prayer of appreciation.
But when I raised my humble head to survey the table, however, I observed all the food had already been devoured by my greedier, less reverent family. The only remains were a small, watery blob of cranberry sauce and the ruins of a turkey, slivers of slimy dark-grey meat clinging to its ravaged bones. There might have been the brown blister of an over-roasted Brussels sprout, also, but most of the spread had been reduced to a depressing landscape of drained tureens and serving platters scraped clean.
Yeah, thanks a lot.
My uncle Silas slapped his stomach then belched in my face. That's some good eatin', he said to nobody in particular while loosening the adjustable waistband on his comfort-fit chinos. The others, equally bloated and barely conscious, slumped goggle-eyed in their chairs, threatening to topple face forward into pools of congealing gravy.
I don't suppose there's any wine left? I asked an empty bottle of Sauvignon Blanc rolling across the table cloth. Nope. Thought not.
This year, therefore, I'm not giving thanks until after dinner. And I shall be mostly expressing gratitude for my aggressive elbows and that I'm slightly stronger and spritelier than most of my relations. If I'm still awake by then, of course.