The Worst Thanksgiving Dinner Ever

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This (and other pieces) were inspired by and in answer to the prompts in the wonderful book 642 Things to Write About. If you haven't got a copy please get one. A collection of writers give the reader/author prompts (usually one liners) and the rest is up to you, be it fiction, fact or a mix up.

The Worst Thanksgiving Dish You Ever Had;

This is a work of fiction.

Jeez an easy one. Ma and Pa were at it again. The old man drinking too much watching the game before the bird is even out of the oven. Ma sees red and pulls the plug. The bird freezes to death. No point even setting the table as we hear mum in the kitchen yank out the corkscrew on her third bottle of Blue Nun. Before we move to the next level I spare my kid brother the blushes of hearing her curse under her breath. With that kind of language Blue is the only Nun she will ever be acquainted with. I steal a glance at my snoring, farting pop. He is out for a least another three hours. Turning to my baby bro (huh, ‘baby’. He is ten and has seen enough for a fifty year old).

“Come on kid, I’m buying.” He doesn’t reply, just zips up his parka and we hit the cold city streets in search of nutrition.

Zip, zilch, nada…nothing. Every food outlet crammed, all bars closed to a 16 year old and his snot nosed kid. The restaurants downtown? Give me a break! I can’t even afford to look at their menu. Soup kitchens are out down to sheer pride. Pride in the fact that despite our rumbling tummies growing into angry bears I wouldn’t be seen dead in one and that is what I would be if I tried to share with the clientele. Dead. They don’t take kindly to a couple of wise ass kids trying the break bread with them, not even on this great American holiday.

“Come on short stop. Home before we freeze. If we are lucky we will fall asleep before the hunger starts to hurt.”

But short stop does indeed stop and points at a donut house closing up. In the alley a worn out employee empties trays of hard,cold but jam filled treats. We wait him out. It's an age as we watch for the lockup. If we are caught stealing from the bins a beating is what we will get, not a frosty filled treat.

Eventually the door locks and we scuttle like rats to our treasure. Jeez it is pitiful. Two kids better off orphans sitting in a piss filled alley eating stale dough but it fills a gap. We eat our fill of chocolate cakes, vanilla slices and other unidentifiable goodies. Short stop then fills his pockets. He has a bigger heart than me.

The warmth of the house, however meagre is welcome and before I head for the sanctuary of my dimly lit room I watch Short stop empty his pockets and share his leftovers with his two passed out, down ‘n dirty drunk role models. He finds two reasonably clean plates, wipes them with his sleeve and fills ‘em up, placing them on the arm rest of mom n pop’s chairs. Like I say, a bigger heart than me.

Simon and his work can be found here

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