“Hi Annie,” I said looking right at Annie, who was sitting there in a chair looking at me.
No response, “Hi Annie,” I said again. Figuring she might have her invisible earbuds in, I waved directly in her face and said again in a super loud voice, “Hi Annie!”
“Were you talking to me Slam?” Annie asked.
“Your name is Annie right?” I asked.
Annie started laughing. “You always get our names wrong, calling me Annie Jr.”
“I said Annie.”
“Yeah,” Annie said. “It’s all in the accent. When you say ‘Annie’, the way you did that is Annie Jr. and when you say it like, ‘Annie’ that is me.” It sounded exactly the same.
“That is why I say Annie and Annie Jr.” I said.
“That makes absolutely no sense,” Annie said shaking her head.
“Hi Annie Jr!” Annie screamed as Annie Jr walked into the room followed by a huge turkey. “See the difference Slam! Hi Otto!”
Every year it was the same thing. Annie would buy a baby turkey in early spring and start fattening him up for Thanksgiving only to fall in love with the turkey and keep it. This year Annie Jr. picked the turkey. Otto was well fed.
Otto trotted over looking for food. “Get him away from me!” I yelled. “Annie you know I am terrified of birds. I left work the other day and I saw you with your flock of crows waving your flags and screaming ‘fly my pretties’ and making them dive bomb me. Why do you do that and where did you get that many crows?”
“Otto is a girl,” Annie Jr. screamed as Annie laughed her crazy laugh and screamed, “Get her girl!” at Otto.
Otto came running at me and I shooed her away with a broom. “You cooking that turkey yet, Slam?” Annie asked. Her traditional thanksgiving bib already fastened around her neck. “I’m not ‘melling anything yet?” She was drooling.
“Annie, no, I am going to Aunt Din-yell’s for dinner. I told you.”
“When?” Annie screamed.
“Last week, yesterday an hour ago?” I yelled back.
“I thought you meant next year. Now what am I going to do?” Annie ran around the room holding her head and growing red in anger.
“What Annie? Your blood pressure!” I yelled.
“YOU ARE MAKING A TURKEY! I invited Duh-Wayne and Spam for an old fashion dinner. And what about Asa, he hasta eat. And it’s Annie Jr.’s first Thanksgiving. ” she ranted waving a hand at Annie Jr. who was dressed as a pilgrim. “What about Peppermint Patty and Pig Pen and the gang they are counting on dinner.” Annie lamented further. Figures she had watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special 82 hours straight.
“Sorry, Charlie,” I laughed. “You are on your own.”
“Karmel, Slam. Karmel will get ya.” Annie hissed.
An hour later, I saw Annie, Annie Jr. and Duh-Wayne in the back yard dragging a ping pong table we didn’t even own out of the garage and a collection of odd chairs including a stack of tires covered with a pile of dirty moth eaten clothes Annie Jr. had dragged home in his old red truck, one day while he was out collecting junk. Coral and Jewel had a perfectly good picnic table on their deck and since they were invited to Annie’s old fashion Thanksgiving dinner, they probably would have allowed Annie to use it.
When we got ready to leave for Dinyell’s, Duh-Wayne was filling bowls full of pretzels and Spam was in the back yard trying to make the ping pong table look appealing with a ripped up table cloth some wet paper napkins and a turkey centerpiece made out of a dried out old turkey carcass Annie saved from last year and a feather duster tied to a moldy drumstick.
Annie Jr. was standing on a stool, banging on the toaster with a wooden spoon, smoke was pouring out of the toaster. A huge pile of black toast was on a plate behind him and Otto was spreading butter on it with a feather she pulled from her back end. Annie was dressed in an apron and a chef’s hat at the stove making popcorn. She had a bag of microwave popcorn in a frying pan half filled with grease and the heat on high. The smoke alarm was going off. I was glad I was leaving.
We arrived at Din-yell’s full of anxiety that Annie would burn the house down in our absence but Spam was pretty level headed. Din-yell brought a beautiful deep brown juicy looking turkey to the table. We all filled our plates and began to eat. I felt someone tugging at my pant leg. It was Phil, she said hello and showed me her fingers with an olive stuck on the end of each one. Then I felt another tug, it was Annie Jr. with some sort of eyeballs stuck to each one of his claws. I heard a crazy laugh and looked up to see Annie sitting at the table with a plate piled high with Thanksgiving treats.
“Hi, Slam,” she screamed at me waving from the other side of the table.
Just then Lars came running through the room with Otto on his back. Otto was nearly 300 pounds but so was Lars, and Otto was flapping her wings and gobbling like some kind of insane duck. “Who let Lars in?” Din-yell screamed.
“He wanted turkey, Aunt Din-yell,” Annie yelled. Then, “Here boy,” as she dangled the rest of turkey over the edge of the table. “No leftovers Aunt Din-yell,” Annie screamed as the turkey plopped into Lar’s great big jaws.
Annie and Annie Jr. rode home with us. Annie had Allie come get Otto and drive him to Aunt Paula’s in the wagon. Since Aunt Paula was babysitting Otto for a few years Annie said. We listened to Annie screaming at Allie as she face timed her drive home with Otto.
Annie’s thanksgiving party mess was left in the kitchen and the back yard. I cleaned it all before I went to bed. Annie went straight to bed and at 5 am she was standing by the side of my bed banging pot covers together like cymbals. “Slam we need milk!” she was screaming while Annie Jr. screamed at the top of his lungs he needed breakfast.
“Annie, can’t he eat something else. There is bacon and eggs, and frozen waffles, and pancakes, and hash browns and sausage, muffins, donuts.”
“Slam, growing cats need milk!” Annie insisted.
“It’s black Friday, 5 am, the store will be packed and I don’t want to go fight that mess just for milk.”
“Oh Slam, get into your shopping duds, I will teleport us down to the Walmart’s right to dairy, grab your milk, teleport to the check out and teleport home. 10 minutes, tops.” Annie said.
Annie Jr. continued to wail about his breakfast in the kitchen. I would never get any sleep. I got up. Annie slipped into her Walmart best, a pair of torn up pajama pants with white sheep all over them except for the one on the back which was stained dark brown with what looked like poop, a bright green halter top with a mustard stain down the front and what appeared to be relish, a pair of boots that traveled up her entire leg and had high heels with a fish swimming in them. She took out her dentures and put on a long black and purple wig.
“Duh-Wayne,” Annie yelled with the teleporter in her hand, finger on the button. “Slam has all sorts of breakfast food cook up some vitals for Annie Jr. and Asa.” Then she hit the button before I could escape.
There I was trapped in the middle of a brawl down at the Walmart. Annie clobbered a woman over the head with her bat Lucy, trying to get a prized lego set for Annie Jr. It was the prison set and came with a little Charlie. There was an entire display behind them as they battled for it.
She punched an old man in the face for a box of denture cleaner that was marked up by 50%. She attacked a rat faced mom with a mouse faced kid, near a display of 99% off last years Halloween candy, complete with ants.
I was forced to push her cart which was filling up rapidly with, pajama’s size 5x that smelled like farts, a freaky zombie elephant hat that groaned and dripped blood, cloth wall calendars from 1969, dvd’s with titles like, ‘582 uses for old lumber’ and my favorite a 52 foot spruce tree, she felt would fit in the corner of the bedroom.
Trapped for hours at the Walmart on black Friday with Annie dressed in her Walmart best, along with hundreds of other people dressed just like her fighting over ridiculous things and being recorded by local news broad casters with the caption, “Look at this idiot down at the Walmart!” I was ducking the iron Annie was throwing at some guy who was trying to grab a slightly irregular chain saw out of Annie’s hand. It was running.
Trapped, trapped at the Walmart. It was karmel, Slam, karmel. Karmel will get you and that is what Thanksgiving is all about Annie Jr.