It was probably a week ‘fore Thanksgivin’ that Buzz’s maw was taken from the house for her own good – leastways that’s what the Sheriff said. He never did explain properly what was goin’ on, and Buzz didn’t seemed that much concerned. The Sheriff then asked was it okay if Buzz came and stayed with my folks: I was about to answer when Buzz dug his elbow into my side and then winked at me.
Through a kind of searin’ pain, I managed to say that it was no problem whatsoever as Buzz was always stayin’ at our place, in fact he was really like one of the family, I added.
Now that wasn’t exactly the truth. Buzz had stayed once at our home but after that night, my maw said if he ever came within hollerin’ distance of our place, she’d shoot him in the britches.
Which was fair enough considering that he had set fire to our outside washroom or toilet (you’re welcome to call it whatever you want – it was still just a heap of mess after the burnin’). To be real honest, I think I bet my bestest pal that he couldn’t light the gases that came out of his be-hind (I apologize real hard for that kinda talk, but you needed to know what was goin’ on) – so I kinda felt guilty and all, ‘bout him get threatened with shooting in the be-hind when it was his be-hind that I had gotten into trouble.
So the result was that my maw didn’t know that Buzz’s maw was missin’ and all – leastways she wouldn’t know ‘till after Thanksgivin’ when she’d likely find out the story from the town’s one and only ‘Mary the Gossip’ (a badge she wore shamelessly proudly by the way). Buzz’s maw always gave Mary the Gossip a whole heap of goodies to work with. Unlike Mary’s other stories, she didn’t have to exaggerate when it came to Buzz’s family; those folks kept the whole town talkin’ (another reason I was proud of my bestest pal).
Anyhoo – at this point my maw thought I was stayin’ at Buzz’ maw’s place for Thanksgivin’.
Now you might think that my maw would have been real sorry about that state of affairs and said that I was stayin’ home – but truth be told, she was entertainin’ her brother and his family at the meal (Uncle Jedidiah was preacher from the far north and his wife was an Eskimo) and me not being there was probably a godsend as far as she was concerned. I mean she loved me, let’s not get that point wrong – but sometimes my maw was pleased that I wasn’t there (if you know what I mean).
So now we’re gettin’ to the part where I was meanin’ to get to – but tellin’ you all the rest got in the way. So me and Buzz realize that we are gonna have Thanksgivin’ together – given that the rest of his family had been farmed out to other unwary relatives and folks who deserved them.
“What we gonna eat?” asked Buzz, as he tried to smoke a piece of macaroni and look all sophist-ti-medicated. He’d tried to buy cigarettes at the store but Mrs Tulip had said that she wasn’t gonna sell no cigarettes to no child and any how Jesus was watchin’ her.
So that was when we made a plan to catch Big Bessie, the biggest turkey in the world. Folks had talked about a ghostly turkey that lived out in the woods and sometimes came into town to steal bad children (I ain’t too sure how truthful that story is, as it might just be grownups just being grownups – if you know what I’m sayin’.)
I mean those grownups had us kids threatened to be stolen by everythin’ from gypsies to the circus, on account of us being bad. No wonder we all growed up the way we did – kinda crazy.
Buzz’s idea was to dress up as a turkey so that Big Bessie would think she’d found a friend and then we’d grab her. Buzz had said – and rightly so – that chasin’ Big Bessie down with guns and stuff just didn’t work.
So me and Buzz built a real friendly lookin’ turkey costume and hid out in the woods waitin’ on Big Bess.
Well it got real cold out there and with the two of us sharin’ the costume, Buzz kinda made it smell bad.
“Shh, I think I hear somethin’,” shouted Buzz and sure enough, he had. It was a big deer that started takin’ offence to this big turkey lookin’ animal and it started buttin’ us and chargin’ us.
Man, we got out of that costume and those woods as quick as you liked.
On Thanksgivin’ Thursday, Buzz found an old packet of bubble gum and we ate that instead. We just sat bein’ grownups, chewin’ about this and that, and Buzz smokin’ more of his macaroni. It was the best damn Thanksgivin’ we ever did have.
I kid you not.
bobby stevenson 2016