9:56 a.m.: Post-birthday Dad lies in bed, debating merits of newly received birthday pillow made entirely of wool. Dad tosses and turns, wondering if firmness is exactly right. Decides much more pillow time necessary before The Final Decision.

10:42 a.m.: Bacon and two egg chive omelette. Dad admires perfect seasoning of omelette pan, congratulates himself on one of life’s goals achieved.

Dad, coffee

11:52 a.m.: Mom’s nagging inspires flurry of Thanksgiving debate. Mom wants to deviate from Thanksgiving norm, have new dishes; Dad’s annoyed. WHY, wonders Dad, would anyone want to mess with success? The woman is out of her mind.

12:33 p.m.: Debate continues. Dad’s eloquent defense of mashed potatoes so good he wishes he had taped it. Mom, vanquished, leaves the argument to get on with her life. Dad is content in victory, plots turkey. Anchovies as basting ingredient revolutionary idea. Head spinning with the possibilities, he considers the exciting options. What else will spring to mind?? The world is Dad’s oyster.

12:55 p.m.: Regrets anchovy idea.

1:39 p.m.: Decides anchovies actually best idea ever second to seasoning of omelette pan.

4:43 p.m.: After afternoon of intense puttering, Dad decides to brace for pre-Thanksgiving visit to the Co-op. Practices various “smiles” in mirror, decides usual grimace will have to do. Puts on scarf and has pre-emptive espresso and cream.

5:34 p.m.: Co-op visit a victory! Dad keep eyes firmly on products needed and avoids unnecessary conversation except for L.K., who corners him to gossip about stuff up at the radio station. Dad listens politely while thinking about price point on high-end anchovies.

Decides to spring for fattier Portuguese filet. Hopes desperately that it’s the right decision.

6:22 p.m.: Safely at home, Dad tries pricy anchovies. Groans with relief at discovering the fine, fine value. The turkey will be safe. Thanksgiving is saved.

6:47 p.m.: Giddy with celebration, Dad makes cocktail and decides everything is great. Reflecting on gratitude, Dad is grateful to have so many problems. What’s next in life’s rich pageant?

7:33 p.m.: Mom disapproves of insanely overpriced anchovies. Dad secretly debates “accidentally” burning her lamb chop.

8:10 p.m.: After practicing some anxiety-reducing exercises, Dad makes lamb chops equally done for all. Dinner pronounced delicious and marital harmony reigns.

8:47 p.m.: Discord arrives afresh! The Nature episode on TV is a rerun, should they just watch DS9 DVD? Dad bitter Mom neglected to rent movies. Secretly thinks of revenge via expensive anchovies and feels vindicated.

9:22 p.m.: Keiko on DS9 is such a whiny b—ch. Dad relieved he didn’t marry a Keiko. Celebrates wise early life decision with Toni’s blackberry cobbler.

10:33 p.m.: FINALLY time for bubble bath. Dad concerned over new bubble bath - will it make him smell like a lady? Grumbles at fresh lilac scent but soothed by bubbles.

11:23 p.m.: Smelling like a lady, Dad goes to bed. Anxiety about new wool pillow rages up but is quickly soothed by realization that anchovies were a great decision. Looks forward to Thanksgiving and hopes daughter won’t be drunk.

11:25 p.m.: Worries about pillow. Sleeps, to dream of alternate turkey stuffings in the Dada age. Sees pile of stuffing in corner of the Louvre with sign reading “This is stuffing.


EPILOGUE: Victorious dad enjoys Thanksgiving