Maybe it's just the handsome in me that doesn't like to be around other people, or maybe it's that when I'm on vacation I don't like ever having to get out of this bathrobe, because I dare you to try and name another kind of clothing that is soft like a beach towel but still has pockets big enough to hold two grilled cheese sandwiches and a liter bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. But whatever the reason, what I'm trying to say is I didn't want to go to Thanksgiving dinner in the first place, so the fact that I ended up there is pretty much my holiday gift to my parents, which is actually a good thing because now on Christmas Morning I don't have to mumble some lie about getting robbed again this Christmas Eve, and who would have thought the notorious Christmas Eve Bandits would strike 6 years in a row, as I hand them my hastily wrapped gifts from the convenience store.
And it's not that I don't LIKE my parents, because SOMEONE is going to have to leave me money when they die, it's just that they are not fun people to be around, and by "not fun" I mean "a hard and completely depressing look at how life can sneak up on you and steal your soul via years of pointless toil" and to double-down in the depressing department it was also my Dad's 70th birthday, which is apparently the age where people spend a fair amount of time sizing you up visually and wondering if you'll keep shrinking and thus enable them to get you a child's coffin instead of a pricey full-size one. Oh shut up. Like you've never cut a corner in your whole life. When he was taller I used to imagine we'd be able to find a funeral home that for an extra 50 bucks would be willing to saw off his legs and then he could be sent to his final resting place in a tiny coffin, hugging his beloved legs to his chest. Trust me. It's what he would have wanted.
Another fun thing about dinner at my parents is they seem to always have fewer teeth than the last time I visited, and definitely fewer than people want to see when chewing food, and I don't pretend to know what the fuck is going on in that house that makes people lose teeth like a motherfucker, but part of me hopes Fight Club -style brawling. That would be awesome. If I knew my Mom and my Dad were going to go all Tyler Durden on each other I would totally make it a point to drop by when I DIDN'T need money. The easy bet would be on Dad, because he is so accomplished and has such a storied history of beating the shit out of those weaker than him, but he's got that weak heart and like I said...he's shrinking. His reach wouldn't be what it used to be. Mom, on the other hand, has been drifting up into the "heavyweight" bracket for a while now and she has 40 years of bitterness to pack behind each punch. No wonder when Dad smiles it looks like a cartoon piano. Will he get dentures? Hell NO! Why would he when he can still use the 5 1/2 teeth he has left to make every meal the visual equivalent of watching a sick dog root around inside a whale carcass that someone left on the floor of an abandoned ironworks where they've been storing cow manure in the off-season.*
So I went and I ate and the food was good and they made sure to tell me everyone they know is dead now, and sometimes they repeated themselves and they did all this at a volume close to the one that causes hearing damage because they are both becoming deaf as posts, so of course it's a better solution to scream everything rather than go and get hearing aids, but that's okay because they no longer communicate with one another in any form other than insults and sarcasm punctuated by long periods of ignoring each other and passive-aggressive stares. Now I understand why all those shitty religious groups were so up-in-arms about gay marriage. God forbid we queer up the sanctity of THIS motherfucker. I look at my parents and three things occur to me. 1) I wish I wasn't looking at my parents. 2) They should maybe have divorced back when they didn't take quite so much joy in imagining out-living each other. 3) I need to get to the Dentist as soon as possible, because as the great Will Smith once said "Aww Hellll No!"
If you didn't bother to read all that, here are some foxes bouncing on a trampoline.
* I don't know if manure actual has a "season". It always seems like it's ripe to me.