Crazy (noun) 1 Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results 2 Internet dating

Crazy (noun) 1 Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results 2 Internet dating

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's a Coun'n Hemp'n Thanksgiving!

Ah…Thanksgiving; A wonderful time of year when we sit around the table with our families and loved ones while watching the football on TV. Well, fuck you Thanksgiving. Yeah, that’s how I’m going to start this chapter and it’s STILL more polite than the holiday kick off has treated me. Thanksgiving has wrapped barbed wire around its fist, stuck up its middle finger, and shoved the whole thing RIGHT up my ass.

So far my holiday has been filled with disappointment, hunger, dog shit, and more unbridled family turmoil than Christmas at The House of Atreus[1]. This year’s Thanksgiving started the way it ALWAYS does for me…with work.  

Christmas time is THE most stressful time of the year for a retail manager, and it all starts with Black Friday: the day after Thanksgiving. Although my store is open regular hours that Wednesday, nine to nine, I end up having to work a 16 hour shift in order to ‘prepare’ my establishment for the day after Thanksgiving. It usually takes me until 1 A.M. to set up all the sales, put up all the signage, and prepare for the meeting I have to have with my staff at 4 o’clock on the morning of the biggest sales day of the year.

That Friday morning I have to be up at 2AM in order to drink copious amounts of coffee, go out for a traditional 3AM pre-sale breakfast with my fellow store managers at Denny’s, and then be at my store by 4AM. This gives me a window of 25 hours, not including sleep, to enjoy my last day off until December 25th. In a normal world, I’d LIKE to be in bed by 7PM at the latest, but that rarely happens.

A Young Cous'n Hemp'n
The plan for this year was that I would go to my Aunt’s apartment for a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with her and my cousin, or as everyone refers to him; Cous’n Hemp’n. My Aunt told me that she would prepare dinner early so that Cous’n Hemp’n and I could see a movie afterwards, and I could still be in bed at a decent time. During the course of the week however, my ex girlfriend T.C. called me to say that she would like to spend the night since her boyfriend was out of town. Even though I had told her to fuck off before my date with the Yoga Instructor last month, I figured that since I haven’t heard from the yoga instructor SINCE our date there was no sense in burning any vaginal bridges. Plus I find that nothing takes the stress out of Black Friday like a good fuck before the day starts. So let’s recap: Dinner with my Aunt, movie with my cousin, sex with my ex…not a bad holiday to look forward to.

Cous'n Hemp'n Now
Well, much like the last three years, my Thanksgiving got fucked like a fist up a Turkey’s ass. So, before I get into the particulars of THIS year’s fist fuck, let me give you some insight into my last three  Thanksgivings while introducing you to the most unique and colorful character that you’re likely to ever read about…Cous’n Hemp’n.

My mother passed away three years ago RIGHT before Thanksgiving. She always made a Turkey for the holiday, and it was usually just the two of us for the big dinner. No matter what was going on with work or women, I looked forward to that meal year round because my mother was such a wonderful cook and she prepared a fucking spread on Thanksgiving that made the feast in The Last Supper look like a TV dinner in an old folks home; turkey, rolls, garlic bread, baked potatoes, potatoes au gratin, green bean casserole, 3 different gravies, cranberries, yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, a bowl of nitro glycerin pills, a defibrillator, and…of course…ham.

I can’t eat ham anymore because living with my mother was like living INSIDE of a pork chop. Everything this woman ate was SOME part of a fucking pig. I can’t tell you how many nights I came home drunk and ended up puking on the kitchen floor because I’d open the fridge to grab a tasty leftover or something, only to find a fucking jar of pickled pig eyeballs or pork skrotums staring back at me from the top shelf. She ate bacon, ham, pig ears, those pork rhine potato chips, sausage, pork chops, and seriously…pigs feet. These were the most disgusting things I’d ever seen. They were LITERALLY pig feet in a jar. Fucking ick. 

My sister and I haven’t talked since 1987 when we had a falling out brought on by an argument between her and my mother. Debbie is 15 years older than me and since I was young, I wasn’t privy to the particulars of that argument, but because the two of them wouldn’t reconcile, I was made to choose sides. I was a dopey kid fresh out of military school, and a mama’s boy…so I chose my mother. Because of this, my sister decided to hate me and we haven’t talked since then. My Aunt sided with my sister, and the two of them have been very close ever since. But, since my Aunt is awesome, she has chosen NOT to distance herself from me and over the years I’ve spent many holidays, other than Thanksgiving with her and her son…Cous’n Hemp’n. Besides my sister, they are the only family I have left.

Cous’n Hemp’n is the son of my father’s brother. Aunt Jill is unrelated to my mother AND my sister, but since our father’s were assholes and left us both at young ages, Aunt Jill has been a big part of my family dynamic over the years. Cous’n Hemp’n is 3 years older than I am, and although he’s only my cousin, he’s always been more of an older brother to me. He and my Aunt remember my father better than I do because I was so young when he left, so I always love to hear stories about him when I visit for holidays, even though he was an asshole.

Cous’n Hemp’n has a theory that our father’s were involved in a wife swap because HE acts more like MY dad, and I act more like HIS dad. In the grand scheme of things though, all that makes us is two sides of the same asshole.

Before I went away to military school, I can remember spending weekends at my Aunts house. I looked forward to it because every time I went, Cous’n Hemp’n would give me a book. He had hundreds of books, and I loved to read them, look at the pictures, and soak in every part of them. Because I was just a kid, he would give me Garfield books, Gary Larson Far Side books, and even my very first comic books; Vigilante. We’d stay up late on Saturday to watch [2]Son of Svengoolie, we would cross streams as we pee’d together, we’d dig giant holes in the back yard, and I saw my FIRST movie in a theatre with Cous’n Hemp’n and my Uncle Bud…[3]Airplane. I didn’t know WHAT they were, but when the big pair of titties came bouncing in front of the camera as the plane was going down…I knew I liked them.

Cous’n Hemp’n is responsible for a lot of things about me. It was him that inspired my sense of humor, my love of reading, and my love for the only family I have left in the world. I truly dig that cat.

But let’s not forget that The Cuz is 3 years older than me, and in THAT regard? He could be something of a bully at times. Cous’n Hemp’n had 2 friends growing up, JUST two that I know of, and they are STILL the only people he hangs out with to this day, excluding me. Brian and Mike Olendorf; that just SOUNDS like the last name of a bully, don’t it? Brian was more my age, but Mike was older like The Cuz, and the two of them just LOVED to pick on me. With Brian it was more name calling, but Mike would beat the living shit out of me anytime he could while Chris stood back and laughed before breaking it up. It wasn’t kindness that made Cous’n Hemp’n pull Mike off of me, but pure self interests. He knew that if my Aunt or Uncle saw me bleeding, they’d beat the shit out of HIM.

Mike was a skinny kid with black hair and big shoulders. Every time I saw him I just knew I wasn’t going to walk away with anything less than a black eye. At that time, my sister lived with my Aunt and was in high school. So, when I would stay on the weekends, I got to see Debbie as well. One time, while I was riding Cous’n Hemp’n’s bike around the neighborhood, Mike saw me and started to chase me on foot. I pedaled as fast as I could, but I was a fat little bastard and Mike quickly caught me and threw me off the bike. As I was lying on my back crying, Mike began to pummel me in the face. I was scared to death because Chris wasn’t there to get him off of me. Suddenly, I heard a tire screech and I looked up to see a car bumper directly over my head. Mike got off of me and started to back away as I heard a car door slam. It was my sister.
Debbie and I
I watched from the ground, in awe as Debbie went after Mike. She grabbed him by the shirt collar, spun him around and punched him dead in the face. “How does it feel?” she screamed at him. She threw him down on the ground, helped me up and put me in the car. “What about Chris’ bike” I sobbed. “Fuck him, his little dickhead friend can bring it to him” she said still pissed. The Olendorf’s never touched me after that, but they and my cousin CONSTANTLY ridiculed me for ‘having my sister fight for me’. Oofa.

Debbie may be the biggest bitch on the face of the planet, but before our falling out, we always looked after one another.

Now that we’re all older, Cous’n Hemp’n is a tall heavy beast of a man, but make no mistake of it…he has a heart of gold. Mike Olendorf has become my cousin’s hetero life partner and it’s only on the rare occasion that the two of them aren’t together. Mike even moved into the same apartment building as The Cuz. Brian Olendorf got Cous’n Hemp’n a job at the oil delivery warehouse he runs in Manhattan Illinois many years ago, and he still works there to this day. Although I still haven’t seen Brian since we were kids, I DO have the pleasure of seeing Mike every once in a while. He’s become a great guy, but he’s become a very LARGE guy.

The first time I saw Mike when we were adults, I felt the need to lash out at him. Our roles had reversed quite a bit since we were kids. Back then I was the fat one and Mike was the skinny good looking kid. Now? Oofa. I’m still fat, but what happened to Mike is the exact opposite of what happened to [4]Jerry O’Connel. He looks like a small moon. He’s LITERALLY round like a cartoon fat guy. He always looks as if he’s going to explode at any minute. That first night I saw him again, I sat behind him in my cousin’s truck. Because he’s SO fucking big now AND has no hair, I told him that from behind, his head looks like a giant fucking thumb. Cous’n Hemp’n told me that night that Mike was now driving race cars. My response to that was “what? Do they build the fucking cars around him?” But after I started to see Mike more frequently, it became apparent to me that the two of us had grown up and now I consider him a friend.

I didn’t see my sister OR my cousin in all the years I spent in military school. My mother would sometimes tell me stories of how my cousin was getting into more and more trouble as he got older. He would get caught stealing CD players from cars, he would get caught with drugs, and he even got arrested once for shooting his mother with a bb gun. Because my Uncle left my Aunt around the same time that I started going to military school, she had a handful to put up with from a young kid unsure of his identity and confused by his father’s betrayal. It’s a story as old as time.

However, when I got out of military school…Cous’n Hemp’n was involved in a car crash that changed his life. While driving in an SUV with friends, the kid driving the car swerved to avoid a truck and ended up flipping the vehicle 7 times. Some of my cousins’ best friends were killed in that crash, but he survived…barely. He had a massive head injury and road rash on 30 percent of his body because he was thrown from the car and slid about 100 feet down the pavement at breakneck speeds. Because I didn’t have a driver’s license yet, and my mother wouldn’t see my Aunt since she took Debbie’s side, I never got to visit my cousin in the hospital. It wasn’t until I was 20 that Cous’n Hemp’n and I started to hang out together on a more regular basis. When he felt comfortable enough to tell me about the accident in more detail, he told me that because of it, he had lost quite a bit of memory. He didn’t remember anything about me from when he was young. It was like he was meeting me for the first time. That was a big blow to me…spending those weekends at my Aunt’s house were the best memories I had of my youth…and Chris couldn’t share those with me anymore.

Over the last nearly 20 years though, Chris and I have gotten very close. He’s become a big part of my group of friends, and everyone loves Cous’n Hemp’n. The Cuz and I go camping together, we’ve gone to New Orleans for Mardi gras several times, and we took a road trip to Vegas. Because I don’t make as much money as him, Cous’n Hemp’n always pays. Whenever he wants to see titties, he calls me up even though he knows I don’t have discretionary stripper money. We occasionally go out to dinner to his favorite steak place and see a movie on Sunday nights, and the Cuz always foots the bill. He’s bailed me out when my electricity has gotten shut off, he loaned me money when my car got impounded from my DUI, and he’s always been there for me like a fucking brother. What can I say? I love the guy. 

Cous’n Hemp’n still picks on me like an older brother, and unlike most people? I take it and don’t say anything back. Why? Well, it’s certainly not because I can’t. The truth is that I feel sorry for my cousin at times. I LET him pick on me because I think he needs too. Chris is a man’s man and that means that he’s not one for showing emotion or expressing feeling. Other than Mike and his brother, I’m his only friend. He NEEDS to feel like he’s a part of something, and when he makes fun of me in front of our friends…he’s important. I can take it. However, there are times when Cous’n Hemp’n's lack of decorum or tack can be detrimental to pending vagina.

There was one time when my girlfriend and I set him up with a one of her friends and the four of us went out to see a movie together. When we were all walking through the lobby on our way to the theatre, Cous’n Hemp’n stuffed chewing tobacco in his cheek and then spit it on the floor and walls while we waited to go in. Then, when we got INTO the theatre, he proceeded to spit on the back of the chair in front of him and even on his dates shoe at one point. Disgusting.

When we were all old enough to go into bars, Cous’n Hemp’n would take my friends and I out and show us the best places. He’d regale us all evening with tales of his work as a bouncer at a strip club AND his girlfriend who was a stripper. One year I threw a Christmas party and Cous’n Hemp’n FINALLY invited his stripper girlfriend to join us. I was beaming with pride and all I talked about for weeks was how my cousin was going to bring a hot stripper to my Christmas party. My friends and I couldn’t wait to be indoctrinated into the stripper world where we might meet some of her friends and get some stripper stank.

When his stripper girlfriend showed up, my first thought was “Yeah, she could be a stripper…for the fucking blind”. This girl was chunky with a face that made Mick Jagger look like Brad Pitt in the MIDDLE of Benjamin Button. It was the yellowed wrinkly saddle bag face of a smoker who suntanned ON the sun. Zits ran across her all-to exposed skin making it look as if War and Peace had been written in brail on the Dead Sea scrolls. Again, disgusting.

Even after TEN years, my best friend’s wife Laura STILL hates me because of something that Cous’n Hemp’n did. Steve met his wife when I saw a girl that I used to work with at a bar. She and Laura agreed to join us at our table. It was Steve, Cous’n Hemp’n, the two girls, and I. Because the Cuz has no governor on his conversational skills, almost immediately after the girls sat down with us, he looked at Laura’s rack and said “so what are you rockin’ there? Double D’s?” Now granted, after having gotten to know Laura quite well, I can tell you that she has the sense of humor of a Lutheran Priest, but after that comment she forced the girl I wanted to fuck out of the booth and told her she wanted to leave.

Now that he’s older, Cous’n Hemp’n has stopped even trying to meet a woman. He simply gets hookers…ALL the time. The Cuz goes on vacation several times a year to Aruba because the hookers there are hot and cheap. He seems happy with this lifestyle, but I have to say that it makes me quite sad. Cous’n Hemp’n is WAY better than that. He deserves more because he can be one of the most generous, earnest, hard working men that a woman could ask for. I’m sure he’s awkward on a first date, but if given HALF the chance, he could be everything that women in Cosmo say they want in a guy. 

However, on the other side of Cous’n Hemp’n’s philanthropic nature, lies a mama’s boy. Even though he now has his own apartment and makes good money from his job, he still takes his mother out to dinners, borrows money from her, and argues with her consistently. Aunt Jill dotes on him as if he was a toddler, and that can make Thanksgiving…an unbearable holiday to spend at the Hempens.

So, now that I’ve introduced you all to The Cuz, let’s find out what I’VE had to be thankful for these past three years.

The year that my mother died, my sister decided that it was finally time to let bygones be bygones, and invited ME, along with Aunt Jill and Cous’n Hemp’n over to her mansion for the holiday. My sister is very wealthy. She owns her own State Farm insurance franchise and her husband, John, went on to inherit his father’s business, part of which consists of selling religious themed school supplies in Japan. Debbie is also as good a cook as my mother was, so I was looking forward to a family gathering that I hadn’t been a part of for a long time.

As teens turned into 20’s, I tried several times to come back into my sisters good graces with no luck. I’ve always felt that part of the reason she wouldn’t forgive me, even as I got older, was because I wasn’t as successful as her. A feeling which was substantiated that Thanksgiving. Throughout the evening, Debbie made condescending remarks about my lifestyle, told me how to invest my money, and generally made me feel like a big piece of shit. The problem with my sister, and I hadn’t realized it in my youth, is that she intimidates me because I so desperately WANT her approval. I kept my mouth shut, my head down, and my puppy dog sad eyes pointed at the floor as she berated me all evening. Because Cous’n Hemp’n could give less of a shit about my sister’s approval, he simply laughed, not so much at her jibes, but at my reaction to them. I stood there and took the humiliation from both sides.

As the night drew on, and Debbie kept feeding me glasses of wine from her personal [5]vineyard, I realized that wine seems to do to me what the combination of beer and pot usually do…it makes me feel invincible. As the evening drew on, Debbie began talking shit about my religious beliefs, or lack of religious beliefs…that’s when the REAL fun started, for The Cuz anyway.

When she asked me if I went to church regularly, I told Debbie that I really didn’t want to discuss that subject. We’d JUST rekindled our relationship, and I thought we should take things like that in stride until we got to know each other better as brother and sister. Cous’n Hemp’n then told her, with a bright smile in his face “Mike’s an Atheist”. I shot a ‘shut the fuck up’ look at him, and he just grinned and winked at me like the Cheshire Cat.

Debbie was furious “An ATHIEST? You are SO uneducated Michael”. Ok, now I was starting to get pissed. The Cuz piped up from behind me like a 10 year old “Yea MICHAEL”. Now actually TRYING to keep my cool, I gritted my teeth and said “Debbie, we don’t have to talk about this right now, how’s work going?” It was a flimsy grab at a subject change, but I had to try. “If you want to go to hell that’s your business, you probably learned that from your mother, and that’s probably where SHE is right now”. Cous’n Hemp’n let out a childlike ‘Daaaaaaaaaamn!”, as my Aunt tried to tell my sister that that was uncalled for, but enough was e-fucking-nuff, she had pushed JUST the right button.

“First of all, I’ve forgotten more about religious history than you’ll ever fucking know. I didn’t just wake up one day and DECIDE to be an atheist, and nobody had to TELL me not to believe in what is basically an Aesop’s fucking Fable. I read. That’s it, I just read. Try it sometime, they’re called FACTS…you’ll find them in books. Christianity is a ridiculous grift created by Romans who decided that it was more profitable to take money from religious idiots like YOU, than to kill them. And other than [6]NAMBLA, it’s the only club where fucking boys is not only expected, but well hidden by its leaders. OUR mother Debbie, not MY mother but OURS was a born again Christian who went to Church more in a week than you’ve been in the last year, I never told her MY feelings about it because it seemed to give her comfort. And if YOU’RE such a big fucking believer, maybe you could have forgiven her and not carried a grudge for 20 fucking years so she could have died with some sense of peace knowing that her daughter loved her, instead of sobbing and calling out your name on her death bed. So FUCK you because the ONLY reason YOU believe in God, is because YOU make money off of HIM.”  

Cous’n Hemp’n had gone from a giggle at the beginning of my speech to laughing like an idiot at the end. As Debbie and I stared daggers at each other from across the kitchen island, my brother in law came around, grabbed me by my shirt and started to forcibly drag me out of the room while shouting “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE, GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE”. As we came to the stairs leading to the living room, I tripped and landed on the hard wood floor, my sister ran over and started kicking me in the ribs with her pointy rich girl shoes as my brother in law started pulling me along the floor by my shirt collar. “FUCK YOU MICHAEL!” she screamed as she furiously kicked me. Behind her, I could see Cous’n Hemp’n doubled over in laughter as Aunt Jill was running to catch up telling my sister to stop. At the door, they stepped back long enough for me to stand up, my fucking ribs were killing me. I just brushed off my shirt, pushed my hair back with my hand and stood up straight. I looked, first at my brother in law, then at my sister and said in a calm even tone “Thank you for a wonderful evening, dinner was lovely. Mighty Christian of you” and turned to leave.

As I walked down the long entrance steps to the parking garage where my car was, my sister screamed after me “FUCK YOU MICHAEL, DON’T EVER TALK TO ME AGAIN!”

And that was the last time I talked to my sister. So there’s THAT to be thankful for.

The next year, I was 9 months into my relationship with T.C. when Thanksgiving rolled around. One of the main steps in ANY relationship is introducing your girlfriend to your family. My Aunt is a sweet lady and a woman can tell a lot about you by how your family members treat them. I knew I was in for a good review, so I asked my Aunt if I could bring T.C. over. She agreed and I looked forward to that evening for over a month.

T.C. was very excited because I rarely talk about my family. So this was like taking our relationship to another level. One of the things I like most about ANY holiday dinner at my Aunt’s apartment is the food. Cous’n Hemp’n is allergic to ANY poultry so my Aunt always makes the most awesome roast beef. Don’t get me wrong, I dig turkey, but I like cow WAY more than I like bird. I kept telling T.C. how amazing this dinner was going to be, and she was salivating at the thought of the spread that she was in store for.

When Thanksgiving came, I spent all morning making a low sugar desert that I knew my Aunt would love. She’s a diabetic and limited as to her dessert choices, but I know she has a fucking sweet tooth. T.C. and I got all gussied up, and made the long trek out to my Aunt’s place. When we got there at around 4, I rang the door bell…for a half fucking hour. Nobody answered. I kept pushing the button, but nothing. I called my Aunt and the phone just rang and rang. I tried calling The Cuz, but he didn’t answer either. I started to get worried and after about an hour of not being able to contact anyone, I began calling hospitals. Nothing. I ended up taking T.C. out to a Chinese Restaurant for dinner like in a [7]Christmas Story. It was embarrassing. I had to be up for work at 2AM, but I couldn’t sleep because I was so fucking worried about my Aunt. Worse, I couldn’t even get a good holiday hard on going to stuff T.C.’s turkey with. I left a ton of frantic messages on the Cuz’ phone, and finally at around midnight he called me back.

It turned out that my Aunt WAS home. Cous’n Hemp’n told me that he had gotten into an argument with her earlier in the day about the amount of money she was giving him for Christmas, and because he upset her so much…she cancelled Thanksgiving dinner and went to bed.

Cous’n Hemp’n’s ALWAYS gets his Christmas gifts on Thanksgiving, and it’s ALWAYS the same fucking thing. Gift cards to Best Buy. The reason my Aunt gives him his Christmas gifts on Thanksgiving is so he can take advantage of the Black Friday deals the next day. Aunt Jill has a sister who is unrelated to me, but is Cous’n Hemp’n’s aunt. She’s very wealthy, and Chris gets his Best Buy gift cards from her on Thanksgiving as well. Because I usually see my Aunt on Thanksgiving, she gives ME a 50 dollar gift card from her, and a 100 dollar gift card from her sister.

Well, about a week after Thanksgiving last year, my Aunt called me to apologize for cancelling dinner. As we talked, she asked me if my cousin had given me my gift cards. To tell you the truth, I hadn’t even thought about it because, since my mother passed I don’t get gifts anymore. Well, it turned out that Cous’n Hemp’n had orchestrated the events of the day JUST so he could leave with MY gift cards…he basically stole Christmas from me and he didn’t even bother to deny it when I asked him. So there’s THAT to be Thankful for.

And then there was this year…

This year’s Thanksgiving started out pretty good at my Aunts. I arrived early in the day, and watched a Clint Eastwood western with the Cuz as Aunt Jill cooked dinner. About an hour before dinner was ready; my Aunt came into the living room and announced that she had just found gifts for us that Santa had left under the Christmas tree in her room. Seriously? What am I? Five? The Cuz got all excited, went down on his knees, hung his tongue out of his mouth and started panting like a dog begging for table scraps. Watching this exchange would TRULY be a psychiatrist’s wet dream. Cous’n Hemp’n is all sugar and nice to my Aunt RIGHT up until she dangles those gift cards over his head and he snatches them from her like a homeless kid stealing a loaf of bread in a Dickens novel. After that? He completely ignores EVERYTHING in the world, as he grabs the black Friday sales ads and starts circling things with the thought and precision of George C. Scott in the War room from ‘Dr. Strangelove’.

This man is NEARLY 40 by the way.

As the Cuz was LITERALLY on his hands and knees, circling things in the Best Buy sales ad on the floor with his ass stuck in the air like a fat porn star with scoliosis, my Aunt came back into the room and asked him to carve the roast beef. This was a tradition for them. “I’m busy” Cous’n Hemp’n flippantly said to my Aunt like a bum had just asked him for a quarter. “You have to cut it now before it gets cold honey” she said back to him. “In a minute! GOD, ma!”.

I was starting to feel uncomfortable so I told my Aunt that I’d be HAPPY to cut the roast beef. She thanked me and said that it was her and my cousin’s tradition, and he would do it because he was a good boy. Jesus.

Suddenly, Cous’n Hemp’n STOMPED up off the floor and shouted “FINE! I’ll cut the god damned roast beef! FUCK!” As doting mothers will often do with their spoiled children, my Aunt simply smiled and said “oh, you’re such a goof Mr. Man” as she followed Cous’n Hemp’n into the kitchen. Oofa.

I went after them to see if I could snatch up an end piece as Cous’n Hemp’n carved the roast beast with the electric knife. He was pouting angrily as he carved, eager to get back to his sales ads. My Aunt and I stood by and made small talk as Cous’n Hemp’n cut into his third slice and shouted: “FUCK MOM! This isn’t even fucking DONE! You are the WORST cook!”

Then, and I’m being quite serious when I say this, he picked up the entire roast beef with his hand, slammed it up against a cabinet door, and threw it across the room where it hit the TV and fell to the floor. I stood there in stark amazement. It was like I was watching a movie in another galaxy. What the fuck just happened? Did I just SERIOUSLY see a 350 pound grown man throw a temper tantrum? Then he angrily stalked into the living room, KICKED the roast beef onto the couch, grabbed his sales ads and gift cards off of the floor, and stomped out of the front door without saying a word. My jaw was on top of my chest. I looked unblinking at my Aunt waiting for her response. I expected her to cry, to get mad, to go after him…SOMETHING. But she just looked back at me, smiled and said “he’s a good boy”. Holy fucking shit. This was a COMPLETE turnaround from the man who NOT 20 minutes earlier was all sunshine and kiss ass before he got his gift cards. I stayed and helped my Aunt clean up. Obviously she wasn’t in the mood for a dinner, so she put half of everything but the roast beef in Tupperware and sent me home with it.

Oofa, do I miss my mom sometimes.

I got home at around six, and when I opened the door to my apartment, I was greeted by a smell that almost knocked me over. I quickly turned on the lights and started to look for its origin. As I went into my bedroom, I looked up and saw my dog lying on the bed. She looked back at me with a ‘fuck, you’re home early’ expression on her face. Apparently, she had decided to redecorate my bedroom with her poop. And I’m not talking about a few chunks, I’m talking she used her ass as a spray paint can and covered my bedroom in a fine quarter inch layer of doggy diarrhea. So much so, that the mist from her spray could even be seen on my TV screen.

I knew that I had to clean EVERYTHING before T.C. came over, so I got to scrubbin’. I had to open every window in the apartment in the hopes that the smell would dissipate by the time she got there at 8. After I was done cleaning every inch of my bedroom, I took a meticulous shower and went into pussy preparation mode. Soft music, candles, low lights, and of course…a quick scrotum bikini wax. Even with ALL the windows open, my apartment STILL smelled…off. I was freezing because the temperature had dropped to 13 degrees and I was still wet from the shower. When 8 o’clock came and went, I sent T.C. a text asking her if she was still coming by. No reply.

I waited until 9 and sent her another text. I had to be up in six hours at that point. 10, nothing. 11, nothing. I still hadn’t been laid since she left me. I was feeling bad for my Aunt, ashamed for my cousin, hungry because I had no holiday dinner, and cold because of my dog’s ass. If I was to endure the tortures of thoughtless holiday shoppers the next day…I was gonna need some pussy. I hadn’t seen T.C. since a few weeks before my yoga instructor date (there has NOT been a second date by the way), and I’d been looking forward to this night more than Bernie Medoff’s clients were looking forward to sentencing day. I even bought her favorite ‘after orgasm’ ice cream. Then I finally got the text.

And I quote (can you ‘quote’ at text?): “Um, my boyfriend went to Arkansas this morning for Thanksgiving, and he wanted me to go with him at the last minute, so I called off of work and that’s where I am now”

You couldn’t have SENT me that text 11 hours ago? What the fuck? I don’t mind a vagina-less holiday, but DON’T leave me fucking hanging like that. I’m SO sick of this bitch not being able to make up her mind. Another sleepless year before dealing with holiday shopping assholes.

So, what have we learned here? Nothing obviously, but there ARE certain truths to be had from my Thanksgiving experiences:

Family can be a mother fucker, but at least that mother fucker is uniquely YOURS. We all have different family members to contend with, but it’s the overall feeling of being a PART of something that’s bigger than just you that drives us into each other’s arms for the holidays. You may not like everyone in your family, and just because you share the same DNA as them, hell, you shouldn’t. But in life we all have to deal with people who are just plain assholes, whether it’s at work, at school, or at family functions. You can’t STOP going to these places just because you don’t like one or two people, so fuck ‘em.

Although I love my cousin dearly, he can be an even bigger asshole than I am at times. But to me, that’s part of what defines him and makes him the character that we’ve all come to love. If he was just a boring ole regular guy? Well, who the fuck wants to know that guy? As for my Aunt, I cherish all of the other holidays I get to spend with her. Thanksgiving has never quite worked out, but thankfully it’s not the only time of the year that she makes a good holiday roast beast.

As much as I’d love to have a relationship with my sister, I just don’t see it happening any time in the future. She’s too absorbed in HER definition of what’s socially acceptable and she’ll always be more judgmental than The Situation at a fat chick bikini contest. But overall? I still love the bitch.

Even though this Thanksgiving was JUST as bad as the last two since my mother passed, I still hold out hopes for next year. In the grand scheme of things, a year may not be that long, but a lot can happen in that time. I know that even if I have a girlfriend, and even if her family invites me over, I’ll still end up trying to eat at my Aunt’s because I’d rather have the fucked up family holiday dinner that I DO know, than the fucked up family holiday dinner that I DON’T know.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

[1] I know I’m pulling out an old one here, but I love this story. This is all Mount Olympus and Zeus shit. So, the House of Atreus. The story goes that Tantalus was invited to have dinner with the gods. While there, he stole a bunch of ‘godly’ stuff and brought it back down to earth, revealing the secrets of the gods. Thas some OLD school white trashery. Ever one to question authority, this mother fucker right here decided that he needed to KNOW if the gods were omniscient. So…he chopped up his son, put him in a stew, and served him to the gods. Zeus got pissed and sent him to the deepest pit in the underworld where he forever stands in a pool of water up to his neck that recedes when he tries to drink. Also, there are low hanging fruit branches that pull away anytime he tries to pluck some dinner. Hence ‘Tantalize’. Dudes other son was forced to burn himself because he wouldn’t pay homage to the gods, and his daughter caused the death of her 14 children by talking shit. Now THAT’S a dysfunctional fucking family.

[2] Svengoolie was originally a character played on Screaming Yellow Theatre from 70 to 73 by Jerry G. Bishop. This was a local show on WFLD Channel 32 in the Chicago land area. A fan who often wrote in with sketch ideas, Rich Koz, eventually took up the moniker in 1979 as The Son of Svengoolie. It was removed from the air in 86 when Rupert Murdock bought the station to become part of the Fox Network. Koz came back in 94 as just ‘Svengoolie’, dropping the ‘son of’ on WCIU Channel 26 in Chicago. The show, which features horror movies and various sketch comedy skits played before and after each segment is still on the air today. Although Koz doesn’t talk during the films like in MST3K, it’s still some funny shit who’s long running gags of screaming ‘BERWYN!’ and rubber chickens being thrown at the host whenever he lets out a particularly corny joke, still crack me up today. Even though they were always shitty B movies, these were the first movies I ever saw.

[3] Airplane was, and quite possibly still is the funniest movie ever made. Released in 1980 with a budget just under 4 million, the film went on to make over 86 million in the US alone. More intelligent and satirical humor you will not find in a movie. Starring Robert Hays, Airplane featured a supporting cast of famous actors known for their dramatic roles, which made the comedy hit home that much better. Lloyd Bridges, father of Jeff Bridges (the Big Lebowski, Iron Man), Leslie Nielson (who would go on to work with the Zucker Brothers again in ‘The Naked Gun’ series), and Barbara Billingsly (June Cleaver from ‘Leave it to Beaver’) were just a few. The film was a spoof of the ‘disaster’ genre of films that were popular at the time, and a direct spoof of the movie ‘Zero Hour!’ If you rent Airplane! And can stomach ever seeing ‘Scary Movie’ again, I’ll suck your cock for you.

[4] Jerry O’Connell played Vern Tessio in Stand by Me when he was 12 years old. You may remember him as ‘The fat kid from Stand by Me’. He went on to star in several TV shows and movies and is currently on the ABC show ‘The Defenders’ which I quite like. O’Connell is also a super fan, and a frequent guest on the Howard Stern Show. His most notable achievement to date is his marriage to the super hot Rebecca Romijn (Formerly married to John Stamos) who just gave birth to the couple’s twin daughters in December of 08. From fat kid to hot guy married to one of the best looking women on the planet; I love the dude, but fuck him. He’s the same age as me and I’m still single and working in retail.

[5] My brother in law actually owns his own wine label called Ron/John. Not to be confused with the California surf shop, Ron/Jon is named after him and a friend who owns the business with him.

[6] This is a club that I was dumbfounded to learn ACTUALLY exists. The North American Man/Boy Love Association is all about fucking kids. I don’t know how this group continues to enjoy its existence, but LET me meet one of these mother fuckers in an ally with no witnesses present. There’s no argument you could give, no excuse you can make, and no explanation you can reason with…you fuck a kid? You die. That’s justice 101.

[7] I doubt if there are many people out there who haven’t seen A Christmas Story, but for the rare few who haven’t, I’ll educate you on MY generation’s it’s a Wonderful Life. Released in 1983, A Christmas Story has gone on to be a holiday classic that’s usually played on Television in back to back 24 hour marathons. It’s a story that’s told through the eyes of a young man growing up in the 40’s and even though few of us can relate to that time, many of us can relate to the situations that Ralphie finds himself in. That’s what makes a timeless classic; the way it relates you as an individual. You know why the Godfather was so great? Because all of us WANT to be part of something like that; a family, an omerta. It didn’t have to be about crime, and a Christmas Story didn’t have to be about Christmas. These movies just struck a chord in the American consciousness and hit on a subject that we are all a part of, or wish to be a part of. Great movie.