304 - Party Favor


Thanksgiving dinner is over and, as is the tradition in your family, the host for the evening hands out minor parting gifts. Your sister hands out wrapped tubes to all the gathered members of your clan.

Your sister prepared a lovely meal for all of you, even if the turkey was a little on the dry side (no worries, you let her know) and the stuffing could have used more seasoning (you were quite subtle in how you handled that culinary faux pas). Also, the champagne brut nature was a terrible pairing with the heavy spread, but with your firm counsel, she’ll never make that mistake again.

“Okay, everyone,” your sister announces “just twist the knot at the end to pop open your gift! I’ve given you each a personalized message of how deeply I feel about being able to share this life with you.”

Grandma Pearl opens her gift and quickly reads over the note. She smiles her big, wrinkly smile, even though you’ve told her time and time again that the way she wrinkles her nose and eyes up makes her look like a bulldog.

Your father reads over his note and gives out the great, deep, disgusting laugh you know everyone finds unbearable, even if you’re the only one with the balls to say so.

Mom grabs hers and a couple tears sneak out of her tear ducts. She glances at you fearfully and quickly wipes them away. Well, at least someone has gotten the message about their shameful and inappropriate display of emotion.

Your turn! You twist the tissue wrapping and pull out the message, which you’ve no doubt is a kind, succinct thanks for the wise direction you’ve given to your sister these past three decades. To your surprise, it is no such thing. It appears to be some sort of weird hand drawing?

“Does your kid not know how to draw a hand-outline turkey, sis?” you ask. “This looks all fucked up.”

“That’s a middle finger,” she explains. “it doesn’t nearly capture the varied and nuanced emotions I have about you, big brother, but it knocks out a sizeable chunk. Dinner’s over. Get out of my house.”