Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanskgiving in Three Acts (with apologies to Hercule Poirot and Dame Agatha Christie)

ACT ONE: Tom gets up early to prepare the turkey and five quarts of stuffing. He discovers that we do not have chicken broth. Michael notes that we do have lots of vegetable broth. Tom points out that he does not use vegetable broth for the stuffing. Michael finds chicken bouillon cubes. Tom admits that he could use them, but it would involve getting water and he does not have time to drill a well to get the water.

Michael wonders out loud why we are going to have five quarts of stuffing when only five people will be at dinner. Tom explains that he loves stuffing. If necessary, he will cook four quarts for the dinner and cook the rest tonight after the meal. Michael notes that Tom plans to use all three of the round, covered Pyrex bowls for the stuffing. Tom finds Michael another baking/serving dish for the green bean casserole.

Michael asks when the turkey will come out of the oven so he can bake said casserole. Or should he plan to use the microwave? Tom explains that he will need the microwave for the last hour before the meal is served to make the five quarts of stuffing. The regular oven will have the turkey and the acorn squash baking in it. Finally the boys realize that the green beans can go on the lower shelf in the oven, and the turkey will come out of the oven a half hour before dinner anyway, leaving ample time for the beans.

Michael says he plans to go to Reedsburg and then come home, sweep and vacuum and set the table. Tom mentions that he has cleaned his bathroom and suggests that Michael clean his, something Tom implies (by stating it outright) that Michael does not do often enough. Michael observes that he cleaned his bathroom four days ago because Tom was having a meeting at the house on Sunday. He also mentions that the toilet gets very rusty very fast because of the well -- what, we already have a well? -- water.

Michael politely does not mention that Tom will probably leave the door to his bedroom open so that guests who visit his bathroom will see that he has not made his bed or put his clothes away since the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Sundance looks back and forth in perplexity while Cassidy snores on Michael's bed. Peter sleeps soundly in his own room, having reportedly been up all night. He set his alarm so that he will be up in time to eat with the rest of us at one o'clock.

Michael gets dressed and goes to St. John's in Reedsburg while Tom decides he can make chicken broth by using the vegetable broth, chicken bouillon and water. When he puts the stuffing into the Pyrex bowls, he discovers he has only made enough to fill two of them, leaving the third bowl for Michael's beans.

Sundance heaves a sigh of relief and goes to get into bed with Cassidy.

Peter sleeps on.


ACT TWO: Tom's turkey got done about an hour and a half sooner than expected. Michael vacuumed the carpets and steamed part of the floor. He cleaned the bathroom and put out clean towels. Michael asked Tom if he should put one leaf into the table. Tom said yes and opened up the one at his end of the table. Michael began to set the table and Tom said, "Do we want to put on a tablecloth?" Michael took the dishes off the table and suggested a tablecloth that was in the buffet, but Tom remembered one that was in the basement that would match the napkins better. Michael did not roll his eyes heavenward, no matter what you may hear. So they went to the basement and looked through bins until noticing the box sitting on top of everything and labeled "Table Linens." And there it was.

Michael put the table cloth on the table and straightened it out so that it was even. Tom said we did not need the extra leaf. So they took the tablecloth off the table and removed the leaf. They put the tablecloth back on, but now it was way long. They folded it up and found a way to more or less fit the table. Michael went to get the dishes and Tom decided the tablecloth needed ironing. Michael mumbled something unimportant and Tom got the iron. After wondering why the iron wasn't working, Tom thought maybe it was broken. Michael suggested that it might be plugged in but was not turned on. And so it came to pass. Tom ironed the tablecloth.

Michael set the table with the new napkins and napkin holders, plates, salad plates, silver, water glasses and wine glasses (for the sparkling grape juice -- no imbibers in this particular crowd).

And on and on and on.

Tom went to wake Peter who hadn't decided if he was getting up or not.

Michael made the casserole and put it in the oven with the Tom's acorn squash and the turkey (being warmed). Then he began work on the salad.


ACT THREE: Tom decides Peter is not getting up, so he and Michael remove Peter's place setting and move stuff around to make more room.

Five minutes later, Peter gets up.

Michael and Tom re-set the table, replacing Peter's place setting and rearranging chairs.

Jim and Adela arrive bearing gifts -- a snow man candy dish that plays a song when you pick up the lid, a pillar candle holder (which they seem to think is the base of the candy dish) and a bottle of Shea butter shower soap.

Okaaay. Michael gives them the Christmas bell ornament he had made for them.

Dinner is excellent. Tom's turkey and stuffing and acorn squash are a hit. Michael's salad is excellent and no one dies from eating the green bean casserole. We have Tom's homemade cranberry sauce and Peggy's orange-cranberry sauce to top it all off. The razzleberry pie is wonderful as always. Conversation is non-controversial. So non-controversial that Adela can barely stay awake. After giving up on stifling her yawns, she gets Jim up and they head home.

Time to do the dishes.

And to all a good night.

See, we made it through the day with no murders after all!


Sunny said...


I feel the need to point out that altho there wasn't any actual murders,per se, there sounds like there were plenty of near misses of opportunity for the chance of it.

Y'all just crack me up!!

Michael Dodd said...

That's our goal!
Michael, Tom, Peter, Sundance, Cassidy