Thanksgiving by: Brett Williams

Unfortunately, all of this stuff really happened.

I woke up at 9:04 that morning with the typical “nothing can possibly go wrong” attitude I like to adopt on holiday weekends. Slightly bloated from the feast of leftovers from Thanksgiving two nights ago, I rolled out of bed. My sister was washing her face in the bathroom to the great dismay of her face, which was suffering from premenstrual syndrome. She asked me if I wanted to go to the gym with her. My brain said, “Eh,” but my wobbly gut said, “It really would be in your best interest,” and so my mouth (the only one that could truly be understood) said, “Sure”. Well her mouth, which seemed to have already adopted a slight downward curvature with the weight of the PMS plaguing the more northerly regions of her face, said “Alright. You’ve got two minutes to get ready.” Well, it was a little less than I had anticipated but no big deal.

Well, I got ready in about four and a half minutes, not that I was really counting, I’m just pretty sure that it was more than two but less than five. Anyway, we went to the gym and had a decent workout except for the fact that the teacher’s microphone wasn’t exactly working, which is another way of saying that it wasn’t working. Oh well, I could still hear her enough to follow the movements of the people in the front of the class who could actually hear her over the sound of the music, which was that kind of music that you know the words to when it’s playing but you can’t even remember the tune when it isn’t. The hour went by and I made sure not to push myself because I knew I would be staying for the next class. Of course that meant that we weren’t staying for the next class, because my sister had forgotten that PMS often evolves to the point where you can drop the P. Well, in most people’s book, the party is over once you ruin your pants, so we went home. No big deal.

We arrived home at about 10:30am to find our mother on the old dilapidated love seat (the one that would shortly be replaced by a new love seat). This wasn’t a particularly unusual position for her; it’s just that this time there was a bag of ice seated on top of her foot, which is usually not a good sign. Apparently, common sense is hereditary and my family is not predisposed. My mother had tried to
move the little trailer (onto which the love seat would shortly be moved) by herself despite being well aware of the fact that she could not actually move it by herself. Thankfully, her foot cushioned its fall when it inevitably did. Well, because no one had seen the incident happen, I can only assume that it didn’t because she was walking just fine only about five minutes later, when she realized that my sister and I were actually going to help her move it. This is of course assuming that the thing could be moved, which was far from the actual case. The problem with moving something that can’t be moved is that it rarely goes anywhere. So the best way to move it is to bring something big to it that can actually move it without injuring itself. That would be our Jeep. By some miracle, we managed to hook them together and
pull the trailer out.

In attempting to back the trailer up the driveway closer to the house, we shortly discovered that my sister can’t back up a trailer to save her life. So we would just have to carry the old dilapidated couch and love seat (which had a date with the dump approximately three miles away) to the trailer which was now parked obnoxiously close to a tree. With all the cushions removed and a rather narrow path in the piles of sewing materials to the door, the couch was actually a rather simple move, until we actually reached the door and discovered that magicians must have installed the couches in the first place. The couch was just the right width to look as though it would fit through the door frame, but just wide enough not to. Thankfully, turning it on its side made it narrow enough to get out, as long as we didn’t mind losing a little paint off the door (not that we really had an option because it happened nevertheless). Well, the problem with couches that don’t exactly fit out of a door is that they don’t exactly fit out of a door twice. Luckily, the legs were made of plastic, so I was able to twist them off with only a small amount of discomfort. And so, the couch makes it out of the house. Then it was the love seat’s turn. Using prior knowledge, we turned it sideways and got the front end out of the door. Well, prior knowledge only seems to work insofar as the circumstances are the same; well, they weren’t. In trying to twist the legs off it was shortly made apparent that they would have nothing to do with it, because, this time, they were made of wood instead of plastic and they were very very secure. For once in the history of furniture, good craftsmanship was given the raspberry.

Well, we somehow managed to get the love seat out the door to the great astonishment of everyone involved, most of all to the astonishment of the love seat. While the furniture got cozy on the dinky wooden trailer, the couch cushions got comfy in the trunk of the Jeep, except for two cushions that had apparently gained weight over the holidays too. They went in the trailer with the couches that refused to be properly bungeed to the trailer. One bungee even snapped back in protest, hitting me square on the left shoulder. Luckily my pain tolerance was in a good mood that day, so a good shrug was enough to make the pain find somewhere else to play where it wouldn’t be ignored so easily. No big deal.

The Jeep, the people in the Jeep, the trailer, and the couches rolled down the gravel driveway and onto the paved cul-de-sac. The shift revealed a rather irritating thumping sound coming from the trailer that was previously obscured by the usual thumping sound that comes from driving a trailer down a gravel driveway. Well, that’s probably not good. Upon review, it was found that the right wheel of our two wheeled trailer was in a considerably bad mood. It had a rather unfortunate crack in the side of it that had leaked enough air to yield a visage of concern from my mother. That was no big deal though because, luckily, we had a compressor in the trunk of our other car, and even more luckily, my sister was willing to fetch it. The genius that had invented this compressor made it so that it could be plugged into the lighter of the car, but made the hose only long enough to reach the wheels of the car into which it was plugged. It didn’t account for the wheels of a trailer attached to the car into which it was plugged. No big deal. We got the other car and pulled up behind the trailer. This was equally effective, so, in other words, ineffective. It was an easy fix though; we just pulled the other car to the side of the trailer. Now there was no possible way that the cord would not be long enough. However we did not take into account the fact that the genius who had invented the compressor was also a complete nincompoop. Apparently, the genius had installed a release button on the plug. One might compare this to a self destruct button because that is precisely what it did. During the handoff, the entire plug fell apart. The tire continued to not be
filled with air.

After much discussion, we decided that because the dump was only three miles from where we were (at the time blocking anyone from entering or exiting the cul-de-sac), we could just drive the distance at a painfully slow speed with my sister following behind in our other car. This worked for about two miles to the chagrin of anyone following us. Well, when the trailer began drifting into oncoming traffic, we thought, “Huh, that could be a bad thing,” so we decided to pull over. We opened the doors of the Jeep to the unwelcoming smell of burning rubber (a smell that most try to avoid). Both wheels of the two wheeled trailer were now flat, only three quarters of a mile away from the dump which was quickly beginning to look like a Mecca in relation to the hell hole we were currently digging ourselves into. One of the overweight couch cushions sensed this and tried to make a getaway only to be run over and then picked up again by my sister in the other car. Hey, no big deal, we were getting rid of the cushions anyway.

Only a hundred feet down the road was a gas station, and if BP’s record is any indication of how quickly things can go from bad to worse, we might very well have just given up then. But if there’s one thing my family is good at, it’s ignoring bad omens. The gas station must have been giving away free puppies with their gas because everyone and their cousin Bob seemed to need to use that particular gas station at the exact same time. Two cars were on either side of the vacuum pump (which was cheerfully labeled) but there was no indication of a hose that might blow air in the outward direction. I went inside and was informed that the air was just a hose in the ground between two yellow poles. We pulled up next to the two yellow poles, successfully blocking the two cars using the cheerful vacuum pumps and successfully being blocked by some poor schmuck on a motorcycle who needed a jump from someone else that managed to park in the exact spot that completed our game of vehicle Tetris. Unfortunately no one disappeared as a reward for completing it. Well, at least the air was free, not that it did us much good, because it was at that time that we realized that the tire that had been feeling a little down in the dumps earlier (pun intended), had taken a page out of the book of the escapee couch cushion. The tire was now halfway off the rim. Well, that might be a big deal.

Via something that can only be described of as voodoo, we managed to finagle our way out of the gas station and into the parking lot of the shopping center only fifty feet away. There was an Ace Hardware in the shopping center that was the most likely to be our saving grace. Unfortunately, though they were well supplied with grace, they were short on trailer tires, and apparently had been so forever. It was 1:00pm. The voice of logic (my mom) called AAA, which must stand for “All About Absence”, because they took their sweet time getting there. In fact, they were gone just long enough for my sister and I to eat a late lunch and peruse a nearby used book store (which seemed to have some sort of fascination with leaving both the back and front doors open in 50 degree weather, thus creating the perfect draft that makes you shudder every couple of seconds), while my mom went several miles out of her way to buy a couple of new tires.

When AAA finally moseyed by, it was about 3:00 in the afternoon, and the dump usually closes at 5:00pm. Of course, this is just the right amount of time to make it completely impossible to get the trailer a half a mile down the road, because the tires were not the right size. Why would they be, right? Apparently, 35 dollars is the amount of money it takes for AAA to do absolutely nothing but jack up a trailer. Ace Hardware, still full of grace, was kind enough to let us use a couple of its cinderblocks. So the trailer, full of dingy old couches, sleeps on a bed of borrowed cinderblocks in a little space in the parking lot of an Ace Hardware (half a mile away from a dump that should be full of those old couches) until a time when it can be fixed. So if you see this poor trailer, would you be so kind as to take it?

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