Please, never come to this orphanage ever again.
Sister Agnes Neary, Our Lady of Fatima Holy See
Clearly clarity dictates that clarification is in order. Let me begin with a most vociferous declamation: I intended no harm in this matter. Swear thee greatly to Gods Above, Below and Adjacent, I sought only to share in the Holy Day's Spirit, and thusly, in the spirit of sharing, asked unto myself "With whom must I share? Who needs most desperately my charitability?"
Yes, for certain, I first thought of my much admired cohort of Monkey Island, but was duly informed that 1) The Monkeys of Monkey Island are of the vegetarian sort— and we all well know of the necessity of meat in these secular rites and 2) my lab assistants and I are no longer allowed within the decorative walls of the Detroit Zoological Park (this last owing to some little unpleasantness, regarding that which, frankly, the less mentioned, the better for all.)
Clearly, the brewing and drawing of a brainstorm was called for, lest we find ourselves again without the honor of celebrating this festival, which to my understanding is so important. Strangely, it was my dear lab assistant Rob for whom the cranial thunderheads first broke with a deluge of inspiration:
"Orphans!" he shouted, slapping his manipulator to his be-pimpled forehead, causing general destabilization of his reversed baseball cap, "It's always orphans, man! Nuthin' says charitable holiday shit like giving crap to orphans. It's an American tradition, Lord Architeuthis!"
There can be no argument with the wisdom of Rob's declaration, and as such I immediately began my preparations, with a flurry of telephone calls to butchers, greengrocers, orphaneers, my head mechanic Devo— oh, in those heady first days, such a grand plan we laid forth, a feast we would provide the local orphanage, so that their many round-eyed, hopeful waifs might most certainly know at least a single evening of unquestioned fulfillment.
There were many to the ideas of our head came into.
Perchance you are a-heard of the Traditional Southern American delicacy called "turducken"? It is, in short, a gustatory work of genius, where-in a talented chef takes the corps of a turkey large, and within her stuffs the corpse of a middle-sized chicken, and within that stuffs the mortal coil of a duck small, within whom has been stuffed sausage (of whose creation it is best not to describe, though I am lead to believe by some it is similar in many ways to the manufacture of legislation, and having seen for myself the moral cess-pool that is Washington I can only deny that rumor as it casts unwarranted aspersions upon the race of sausages) and apples and all of the much vaunted savory bits and pieces. Understandably, I was much inspired by this culinary artifact, and immediately recalibrated my manipulators, waldos and automotonic limbs so that I might begin the appropriate preparations. Let it not be over-stated: I slaved for that meal, was slave to that meal, to the vision of its final, crowning perfection showered upon the most needful of your kind. It was to be a perfect act of charity.
Finally, the day— YESTERDAY— came. Sang, Rob, Devo and several dozen day-laborers loaded me into my newly refurbished, eight-legged auto-velocitator— how its new chrome gleamed in the steel-grey late of midday Michigan Novembrus! In the interest of helping me to cut a slightly less intimidating profile to the pupae charges I was about to shower with generosity, I had Rob mount a red and white conical floppy-hat and white, fuzzed ersatz beard upon my environmental suit's dome, so that I might be readily identified with my gift-giving role of the day. Also, so as not to lose the flavor of the white men for whom the day is honored, I had a papier mache' blunderbuss affixed to the front of the mativator, and shiny brass buckles to the razored points of my many-steeled limbs. I myself had crated the food that very morning, and familiarized myself with the new velocitator's controls by helping my hired hands load said containers into the freight elevator. Casualties were minimal, and generally not mortal.
We arrived at the orphanage in the early afternoon, and apart from some little difficulty parking our tractor-trailer conveyance, unloaded our comestibles with little incident. The many and several covered silver serving trays were arrayed upon a vast collection of long folding tables in the orphanage's auditorium, and the children gathered to us. I stood before them upon their stage, and spoke briefly, though eloquently, regarding the histories several of this secular holy day, of its varying significances, and my general delight to take more full a part in American Traditions, both great and small. The children, while somewhat unpleasantly moist and catatonic in their demeanor, were well behaved all. The primary lights were dimmed, the candelabrum ignited, and at my signal, the many trays revealed.
Know now and trust forever, that all was the very epitome of perfection! Not an item was forgotten, from the silver carafes of apple-made-cider, to the steaming dishes of greened-bean casserole, the much-mashed potatoes, the stuffing— both moist and dry— the gravy— with lumps and without— the cranberries sauced, biscuits and muffins, eight sorts of pie— not a sundry was neglected. Boney china, linen tablecloths and nappy-kins, sterling silverware, lead-crystal goblets.
But the crowning achievement— and I seek not to be immodest, but rather simply observe facts— was the primary course, which I had prepared myself, according to my own recipe, and it was these that so thrilled my little guests.
The ringing, clattering covers were lifted from the great serving trays at the center of each table, revealing a sweet St. Bernard, roasted to perfection. And, believe you me, these children were clearly no strangers to turducken for, even before the servers had the opportunity to step forward and begin to carve these delectable dogs— thus revealing the turkeys stuffed within each, and the chickens stuffed within those, and the dogs within the chickens, and kittens within the ducks, and bread-dressing within the kittens— my little guests of honor were already wailing their savage screams of joy, weeping tears of delight and ravenous hunger.
It was a perfect, cacophonous moment— the candle light rimming the silver service, gleaming in the dogs' cooked eyes, prismatically cloned in each child's wide eyes and saliva streaked face, me in my gift-giving hat and novelty beard, my assistants at my side— basking in the delight of a perfect moment of selfless giving and receiving I had wrought.
I felt, in that frozen moment, truly and perfectly American. I had not known happiness until that moment. My blunderbuss was stiff and proud before me.
And Rob, deceitful, hurtful, selfish stink-chimp that he is, destroyed it all! He took one long look at the joy I had made, and bellowed, jumping off from the stage, wildly flailing arms, overturning tables, pulling curtains down over the scrumptious smorgasbord, snuffing candles, and screaming at my tiny guests "Get out! Get out! Run outta this nightmare you stupid little fucks!!!"
It was a travesty. And, of course, the shame Rob's comportment brought us was too much to bear in that moment, obliging us to beat a hasty retreat. I have endeavored, all of this Turkey Day, to contact by telephonic-phone the management of that fair orphanage and tender my sincerest apologia, but not will answer my call, such is their chagrin at Rob's loathsome destruction of the orphan's feast.
I truly feel the Holiday Blues, Dear Readers, and am too exhausted with shame and ennui to even bother tearing Rob limb-to-limb.
Your Giant Squid
Post-Scriptorum: Please enjoy you, each and every, your holiday.
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Copyright (c) 2000, 2004, David Erik Nelson, Fritz Swanson, Morgan Johnson