And the holiday season begins

Late yesterday afternoon we drove two hours out to my mother’s cabin in the desert where we will be spending the Thanksgiving holiday with a large number of people who think it is perfectly normal to smell their own farts. My sister and her five kids will be here later today, including the twin five-year-old boys whom Leta refers to as Noah and Not Noah, a description only slightly more accurate than what their older brother calls them, You and You Over There. I still cannot tell the twins apart, they are so unbelievably identical, and will usually just give up and scream out, “BOY!” when I want one of them to bring me my beer.

My cousin GEORGE! is driving up later today as well, and I have major plans to get him drunk on Sprite and see how many aluminum cans he can crush on his forehead before bruising. We haven’t seen GEORGE! in several weeks, so he and Jon have a lot of catching up to do, and that usually involves comparing notes on who in the last week has taken the most satisfying crap. I feel like you should be able to have that conversation with a few good friends in your life, friends who will not judge you for having the need to talk about it in the first place, and I’m glad that Jon has found that in GEORGE! I can’t think of a better reason for cousins to exist, other than maybe having someone to compete against in a burping contest, and that is scheduled for breakfast tomorrow morning.

On the drive up yesterday we tried to get Leta to watch a couple of DVDs, but she was more interested in seeing if she could adequately reproduce the sound a goat would make if its tonsils were being scraped out with a slotted spoon. Chuck was sitting next to her in his little dog bed, and usually when she starts making that noise he hops up and immediately flees the room. Since he was sitting in the back seat of the car he had nowhere to go and so pressed his body as flatly as he could get it up against the door, as far from her bleating as he could get, his ears rigid pancakes against the back of his head. That’s his body language for please, tell me again, why is it not a good idea to eat her?

And then once we got to the cabin he had no idea what to do with himself because there is no cavernous basement here where he can retreat and draw skulls on his paws with permanent marker. He’s looking for direction from us on where he’s allowed to curl up and die, but whenever I point to our room he looks at me like, you’re coming with me right? Last night we stayed up late talking to my mother and step-father, and because Chuck did not want to be alone in the room he sat upright next to me, his nose pressed to my knee in an attempt to hurry me along, like, are you coming now? How about now? Now? By 11 o’clock he was so wasted that he fell asleep while sitting up and listed so far forward that his head hit the coffee table. Knocked him wide awake.

Many good wishes to you and yours this Thanksgiving holiday. Hope you all are eating at a table where the cook has a killer recipe for yams.