2006.11.30 A barfy Thanksgiving

Written by David Green.


It was, indeed, a very barfy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving, or THANKSgiving as it is pronounced in the south and elsewhere in the midwest, is probably my favorite holiday. I know, you’d never expect the guy who writes 50 percent of his columns about food to favor above all others the holiday where people get together to gorge themselves, but it’s true—turkeys have nightmares about me.

This was probably the worst Thanksgiving ever. I’ve been fighting a stomach bug for about two weeks now. It’s nothing major, so long as I stick to what my mom calls bland foods—lightly buttered toast, soup broth, salad, and cups of noodles. Pretty much anything heavier sends me bolting for the bathroom before long.

I spent the three or so days leading up to T-day (turkey day) in training, nibbling on this and that, relying on my plentiful fat stores to stave off collapse. I wanted to be better so I could go after that turkey with a passion, to teach it who’s boss with salvoes of mashed potato body slams, dinner roll pile drivers, and green bean casserole haymakers.

But during the two hour drive from Highland to Sturgis, echoes of wooziness still bounced around my belly. I ignored them, and when we arrived at Aunt Julie’s, went straight for the hors d’oeuvres, plying my empty food bag with fancy cheese and crackers and cauliflower with vegetable dip, delightedly washing them down with can after can of Diet Coke.

Big mistake. When dinner time came, I got about halfway through my first plate before something down there went awry. I excused myself to quell this uneasy feeling with a few laps around the house (this should be read as “I dashed out the back door to a nearby pile of leaves and emptied my stomach”).

My Thanksgiving was effectively over, but Darla the dog’s feast was just beginning. As much as she may hate it, Darla is a dog of weak gastro-intestinal fortitude. She may want to eat things like paper, deer turds, and jalapeno poppers, but she just can’t keep them down. Add to this list large quantities of turkey grease.

Just as we were leaving, my Uncle Don opened the garage, where the left over grease was stored. Darla swiftly struck at this target of opportunity and was snout-deep in it before Dad found out and shooed her away. It was too late. She was dry-heaving before we made it out of Sturgis.

An hour later, as the sun dipped into the west and the sky took on a tint of purple and orange, she barfed all over Mom. Were anything left in my stomach, the sickening smell of the Darla barf would’ve led me to follow suit. I hiccuped and swallowed spittle for the remainder of the trip.

The next day, it was back to soups, salads and fruits for me. I exercised with my dad, mom and Darla at the park and felt pretty good afterward, but took it easy and watched reruns of “Third Rock from the Sun” all afternoon and into the night, ignoring my friends’ calls for me to leave the basement.

Saturday was much the same. I ran some errands and envyingly munched a Greek salad while my friends Tony and Evan enjoyed kielbasa and macaroni and cheese and fried cod and french fries, respectively.

Sunday was once again soup, salad and napping all day, right until mom woke me up for dinner, after which I crankily remarked “Why don’t you turn down the heater? It’s burning up in here.”

“What are you talking about?” said Dad. “It’s cold.”

“John, check to see if he has a fever,” said Mom.

“I’m fine, I’m fine,” I insisted. “What’s for dinner?”

“Corned beef casserole,” said Mom.

“I’m in,” I said.

Shortly afterward, I departed for Morenci, making it precisely three quarters of the way down my road before barfing all over myself, my car interior, and my work clothes. Then I sobbed.

Back home, mom forbid me from leaving the house, even after the laundry was redone. This was a good maneuver, because my night was filled with more barfing, feverish half-sleep and nightmares involving a talking, teleporting washing machine and, wouldn’t you know it, turkeys.

Again, it’s a good thing my stomach was empty when I set out for Morenci in the morning, because the smell in my car—I’ll be eating blandly until I devise a way to get rid of it.

I will, however, live to eat again.

    - Nov. 30, 2006 
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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