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Wednesday, November 26, 2003

 

Happy Thanksgiving, and God Bless Us, Every One, Oh Shit, That's Christmas



In honor of the coming holiday, during which Bunsen will be traveling to an undisclosed exotic locale, enjoy this golden oldie from a previous Thanksgiving:

We all have friends and family that we would like to see over the holiday, with whom we'd like to have turkey and all the seasonal accoutrements. Yes, there might be some alcohol involved. But who doesn't sit down and have a couple of beers while watching the big Thanksgiving football games (a fine tradition), after a couple of mimosas while watching the Macy's parade? And who doesn't have a cocktail while eating hors d'ouerves, waiting for the turkey to cook? Then there are a few glasses of wine over dinner, to complement the flavor of the turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. There may even be a nip of bourbon in the coffee during the delicious dessert.

And because Thanksgiving is a time to get caught up with family and friends, a trip to a local tavern for a nightcap might be on the agenda. They're probably featuring a pumpkin ale from the local microbrewery, or maybe a Christmas blend with cinnamon overtones delightfully playing against its hoppy flavor. And nothing helps cleanse the palate like a small helping of one's favorite flavored liquer in those cute little glasses; given the approaching holidays (don't forget, Friday after Turkey Day is the busiest shopping day of the year!), peppermint schnaaps will have your tongue dancing in anticipation of candy cane treats soon to come.

By now, the bartender's been well-tipped and is feeling a little generous. He gets the next round, serving up a line of "Turkey Tequila" shots for you and your family and friends. One of your friends from Massapequa is so excited, he may want to share a favorite from his hometown, the Long Island Ice Tea. By now, an ice tea sounds very refreshing and a chance to take a breather and loosen the belt tightened by one-too-many helping of yams. The tea goes down smoothly and quickly, and maybe another one is ordered -- Thanksgiving digestion is a thirsty business.

In the corner, the jukebox might be playing Springsteen's classic "Glory Days," and you and your friends engage in a merry sing-a-long, clapping each other on the shoulder as you harmonize. One of your friends has always misheard one of the lyrics, mistaking the actual lyric "speedball" for "fastball" (yes, you realize baseball is out of season, but there are no good football songs), and you gently correct him. He insists he's correct; he's never been good at admitting he's wrong.

You are probably ready to let it go, but your glass is full again, and it's always nagged at you how he sings the wrong lyric, every single time. You offer to play the song again and have everyone listen, but the juke's already stuffed with holiday dollars, so you'll never get to hear it again. He'll just have to take your word for it. He more strenously insists that it has to be "fastball" -- what the hell's a "speedball," anyway? There's no pitch called a speedball. A speedball's for cocaine. Maybe the song's all about a coke binge now, huh? You counter with the "suicide machine" in "Born to Run" -- there's no real suicided machine on Highway Six, you don't have to be so literal. Springsteen's a poet, and "speedball" is much more evocative than "fastball." You tell him he's got no poetry in his soul; after all, he's an accountant, and there's not a lot of room for creativity on an Excel spreadsheet. He probably answers that since you don't actually have a job right now, that you have plenty of time to look up Springsteen lyrics and think about what words for pitches are most provocative. You retort that he doesn't know the difference between "evocative" and "provocative" (your glass is again full of refreshing iced tea) and that a guido from Long Island is probably too busy stirring his mama's pasta sauce to try to have an intelligent thought about music, and perhaps his St. Christopher's medal is a little bit too tight around his neck.

Maybe he gives you a shove. Your pussy Hollywood ass has gotten a little soft, hasn't it? he asks. How's the screenplay coming? with a derisive laugh. Oh, it's coming along just fine, you fuck. You should work on one, then maybe you can move out of your parent's house and learn to do your own laundry. Hey, fuck you, I'm saving for a condo. Yeah? I hope it's got two bedrooms so your fat fucking ass will have a place to sleep. Did you just try to hit me? Nah, I was just brushing something off your face. Here, I think there's a little gravy on your lip, let me clean you up, you piece of shit. I'm surprised you missed a spot, you usually eat all the way down to the fucking tablecloth. Fuck you! I'm going to your house and fuck your mom on top of some leftovers in ten minutes. Yeah, my face is leaving in five -- tell your mom to be on it.

Maybe your friends calm you down, take you into the bathroom to splash some water on your face. You're looking for your tea. There's ice in it to help cool you down. Your friend from Long Island is in the next stall, crouched over the bowl and coughing loudly. You think to yourself, at least I can hold my booze. You get dropped off at home shortly afterwards, after a couple of apologies and a hearty hug from your temporary adversary. His breath smells vaguely of sick. You'll see him tomorrow night at Riley's. When you get home, there's leftover turkey in the fridge. It makes for a nice snack before bed.

See also: Turducken.



About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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