“The feasting has summarily been concluded and I have repaired to my room, far from relatives most fractious and grievances oft repeated to no avail except to sway Aunt Ecclesianne to dip once more into the sherry and regale even the most unseasoned family member what a total arse they be.
“I had stepped not one manfoot into the repast quarters during the time of preparation when I was immediately struck with comments most thunderous about my unkempt head fur and demeanor quite displeasing. Our family being all well recovered in health and having all things in quantities good and plenty had apparently done little to close their fowl holes for even one damnable moment. Rather, they took to the occasion of my verbal lashing yet again with great practice and flourish, once more rekindling my passion for a native onslaught, great blaze or some warbler of alarming size to finally rid me of these blood fellows.
“While I was instructed vigorously on how I was slicing most unwell the almonds for the greens, my valueless sister arrived, short in wanting to assist in our cooking endeavors but long in attributes of a canine feminine. Rather she took the moment to shine but on herself as was her want, introducing her new swain to relatives no doubt astounded that a woman of such girth and cretinous demeanor could land a man without ammunition or rock most sharp. For his part, the man I readily surmised to be no greater possessed of intellect than the nuts I angrily cleaved. Yet within but a moment our feast had miraculously transformed into a celebration not of our great harvest but rather a fete in honor of two people who could not look less like that of God’s image if their hands were cloven.
“Soon the relations not so immediate arrived, complaining of foot traffic unending and sharing long tales whose points even the great native scouts could not manage to uncover. Grandfather himself directly embarked once more into his yarn of how the very idea for the Frobisher Expedition had been vilely stolen from him, only rather than a ‘Northwest Passage’ Grandfather stated he would have explored for ‘tobacco mermaids.’
Meanwhile, several of the nonmaleperson’s arms groaned heavily from the prepared meat they carried into our dwelling, notwithstanding my mother’s pleas that she was well in capacity to prepare the feast. Said nonmalepersons countered that guests oft like a selection—especially more than one lone pie—and not everyone takes to the singular aridness of my mother’s turkey. This put my mother is a humor most abominable, which my Aunt Benefice sought to allay by stating that this is why they really ought to have held the feast at her house instead.
I asked to be excused, fearing being confined with such persons would soon make me disembowel my feces and utter remarks untoward yet unerring, but even such a simple request was furiously denied. Alas, I was harshly instructed to set the manner of the table alone while all manguests sat before the large fireplace, preparing for an afternoon of watching whose pine cone would blaze in great, colorful glory.
“After what seemed to this author an interminable era wherein I tried to make myself scarce whenever chance allowed—only to be utilized repeatedly as the beast of burden unassisted—the food was brought forth to the banquet surface. I had not one hand on a ladle of potatoes mashed when I was scolded for impertinence and told by my mother to proffer thanks. ‘For what?’ came fast my reply, only to receive a slap wholly sharp on the posterior of my head. Knowing that I had no choice in the endeavor and seeing this as my only moment to speak undeterred, I chose to educate my family most disagreeable with the atrocities they have brought upon not only the initial inhabitants of this land but on this very person.
“‘Oh Lord,’ I commenced with great solemnity, giving not a soupcon of what was to come, ‘We thank you for allowing us to defile your earth with contemptible persons who want only for themselves and care not for their fellow man or creature. We thank you for the ammunition with which to blow asunder more animal than Noah himself could board, even if he dismantled and stored them in containers non-perishing for later utilization. We thank you for the arrival of my sister and her manfriend, whose very countenances surely makes His Lord question His own powers. We thank you for the wisdom of our parental folk, who sought to keep me from enjoying but a seventh a fortnight skiing with peers on Plymouth Inclines, rather imprisoning me here to toil at their unkind will while the most contemptible lot of individuals ever gathered not before a barrister or executioner gorged themselves on appetizers and imbibed great quaffs of ale as if the end were near and you Lord would only welcome the plumpest, most pickled, most execrable vermin to skitter into the gutters of thy kingdom. Amen.’
“Sadly, I was not six words into my oration when great cries and several blood pressures rose from the table, seeking to shout me down only to be met with great failure. Great paternal Uncle Cotton was first to damn my good name, swearing that my absence of piety was no doubt grave indication of my maternal side’s deficient breeding. My mother’s father Cotton was swift to take umbrage at this assertion, declaring that Uncle Cotton could take nourishment from his manmember for as long as he sought to suppose such twaddle. That was when my Aunt Cotton, for reasons still unknown, thought it best to bring up the curious displacement of departed Great Grandmother Cotton’s china most fine, mere days before the reading of her will. My mother, locating great offense in this, took the occasion to mention to the gathered that Aunt Cotton’s daughter Impudence had been seen “plowing the field” with the Reverend Increase’s niece not two days ago. Said daughter, turning crimson as the harvest beet, then summarily countered that her brother Barrett had most recently acquired a stamp of ink fully permanent on his reaping arm, fashioned in the visage of a skull immolated. My detestable sister then wailed fiercely that everyone was churning gray clouds on what she took to be her, and hers alone, special day, whereupon I with tremendous skill hurled an acorn squash at her proboscis. Soon all family took to flinging pies at one another with violent force. And it was at that very moment, when the dining hall sky was thick with mincemeat and butternut, that my Aunt Ecclesianne stood up, swigged from the sherry bottle she no doubt stored most secretly in her garments, and bellowed ‘A pox on you all!’ It was then that we learned that she had the devil’s pneumonia and soon, alas, we would as well.
“I pray this be the last time we visit this holiday.”