My sister is a sellout. I just wanted to get that out of the way before I begin this tale of Thanksgiving, a week late I know, but still...
My sister, Denise, told me she wasn't coming to Tampa last week. Denise, the sellout that she is, blamed it on her husband, which all married people do. I call "bullshit". She didn't want the hassle of driving from AL to FL during the holidays. But every fucking year I'm at an airport flying during the holiday season under the worst travel conditions imaginable. Do you know Spirit Airlines not only charges for checked baggage, but for WATER? A cup, not a bottle, of water costs $2. You don't get food, drink, or semi-hospitable flight attendants on these planes. It does nothing to temper my fear of flying.
Anyway, me and young TAD hit the scene on Wednesday morning. We were greeted by my parents at baggage claim and warm weather, both of which were welcome sights.
Later that night we saw of bunch of my paternal aunts and one of my uncles, with only my aunts being the welcome sight. My uncle Peter is a jackass and a drunkard. He never shuts up and he harassed me and TAD to the point where we were clearly irritated. While my father was telling stories about the bad old days, with me and TAD straining to hear him, my uncle was in our faces talking about nothing interesting and clogging up the good time. Fuckin' Peter.
The Thanksgiving meal was really the cornerstone of my visit. My parents are the biggest non-traditionalists I know when it comes to this. There is no big Thanksgiving "thing" at the table. It's like a buffet. You wanna eat? Go get some food, it's ready. I tried to warn TAD about this before we came. If she was off-put by it, she played it off well, because we ate up some shit.
I swear, the more distance I get from my mother's cooking, the more I appreciate it when I eat it. I've underrated her as a cook for a long time. I'll be damned if I don't miss everything she cooks. But she pulled some bullshit by NOT MAKING SWEET POTATO PIE. That, my friends, is the direct result of my sister not showing to help her. TAD offered to help, but I don't think it was the same as having an indentured servant who you can boss around without impunity (i.e. Denise) to help you cook. Once again, thanks Denise. Anyway to keep my mind off the awful Lions, and to avoid more goofy family, me and TAD dipped out to the IMAX theater to see "Beowulf" and Angelina Jolie's animated titties.
On Friday, my mother spared us by not getting up at 4 am to shop. I believe that was the only thing that my sister not showing up made better. She and TAD ended going to the movies to see "This Christmas". Thanks for catching that bullet for me, Mom. Your check is in the mail. When they came back, me and TAD tried to complete our modest "to do" list for this visit. Go to the beach, go to the Florida Aquarium, and get me some of these.
My love for Devil Crab is unsurpassed. Unfortunately for TAD, this is the only part of our plan that worked out. On Friday, the temperature was 75. On Clearwater Beach, the temperature had to 15 degrees colder. Still, there they were...ahem..."northerners" swimming, wearing bathing suits, and putting their kids in the water. I tried to maintain without a sweatshirt or a skully, but it was not to be. We jetted and went to the aquarium. We arrived at 4:57. It closed at 5:00. So we pretty much jacked up Friday. We didn't have an opportunity to see any of my maternal relatives because they were all out of town, so Friday evening was the requisite wind-down repack while my parents were out at the casino with some of my aunts. The perfect opportunity to play "The Counting Game". If you have to ask, you ain't old enough to play.
And that's how my shit went.