I come from a very conservative family. They refer to non-Republicans as those damn dirty Democrats. One of the happiest moments of their lives was when President Reagan included them on his Christmas card list. I say them because they tend to exclude me on most things and consider me to be one of those DDD’s. I think that is a totally unfair designation. I do not support any party. Even so, by not supporting Republican ideals, I get called that name.
Being Republican means they have dogs. I’m serious about this. Look at Clinton and Bush. Clinton had a cat and Bush had a dog. My mother supports this trend more than any other. She doesn't just have a dog. She has gigantic dogs. People, when they first see these animals, ask my mother where she got the horses. The Hubble telescope can see her dogs from space. Everyone else in the family has taken a page from her and surrounds themselves with dogs. Well, except for me who can’t commit to care for something that has a larger gravitational pull than I do.
Of course, I do not come around to see them anymore. I became persona non grata after one particular Thanksgiving. This is a holiday filled with tradition. The family gets together. They bring their spouses (of which I have none), children (of which I have none) and talk about their careers (of which I have none). There is really not much for me to talk about so I just sit there and stuff my face with food. It is a free meal so I cannot really complain. Somewhere between putting turkey and corn in my mouth someone made a comment about how I wouldn’t understand what it is like being a parent since I don’t have any children.
If I had just kept my mouth shut I would still be getting free meals once or twice a year. But, of course, I couldn’t do that.
“Well, no kids that I know about.” The entire table froze and every head was turned to stare at me that very second. I could have said that I have donated to a local sperm bank. That might have saved me. I didn’t say that.
I could have stopped there and things might have turned out okay. I didn’t stop there.
“I cannot tell you the number of times I have woken up in a strange place with a woman I don’t know. I’m not sure of who they even are or what happened to get me there. More often than not, they have no idea who I am either. We come to as complete strangers in the morning. Let me tell you, that lead to some uncomfortable silences. Fortunately I never have to see them again.” My brother does a spit take at this statement, dousing Cousin George across the table in beer.
Things might have been smoothed over even at this point if I have stopped. I didn’t stop.
“Then there are those times when it isn’t a woman I wake up next to. I look over and see him laying there, once again no idea who he is or what happened to get me in a strange bed. They always wake up and tell me they don’t normally do this kind of thing. After the 3rd or 4th time of my doing this I couldn’t even say that anymore.”
At that particular moment all eyes were upon me. Even the dogs stared at me. I felt special. I felt loved. I felt the swelling of pride in my breast. No one said anything. No one dared blink. I could hear Janie swallow hard and then one sentence changed my entire fate. My mother stood up, pushing her chair back as she did, and in a shrill voice with one single wavering finger pointed at me declared, “Off with his head!”
This lead to the Thanksgiving riot you may have read about in the newspapers. It became so heated that it grew to three cities. People who had no idea what was going on joined the melee. The local SWAT teams had to come out and they still could not get the situation calmed down. Even the local mayor was found looting (which of course he thoroughly denied by saying he was trying to put things back).
Now I have to find a new family. Maybe the Addams family is looking for new members.