Joel Vernier

The holiday season is about to begin, and Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I just love this time of year! Napping during the holidays lets me enjoy the current holiday and reflect on holidays past. I think I will just settle back into my “Comfy Chair,” close my eyes and dream about all of the holiday cheer, food, family, friends, and fun I have enjoyed through the years. I settled deep into my “Comfy Chair” pulled up my comfy throw blanket with the turkeys and pumpkin pies pictured on it, snuggled in. At long last, sleep was about to envelop me like hot gravy on mashed potatoes, I was about to slip into REM sleep, and I was abruptly woken when my wife yelled out, “Joel, did you pick up the turkey?”

I quickly ramped up out of my nap mode and replied, “no, I forgot!” She yelled out, “well, you better get going, or we will have frozen TV dinners with all of the trimmings this year.” There is nothing wrong with frozen dinners, but the tradition at the Vernier house is turkey. “On my way!” I yelled back, racing out the door. 

As I drove out to the store, a flock of wild turkeys crossed the road ahead. They are a beautiful bird and, in the wild, very smart, unlike the white turkeys that have been domesticated for our consumption. I remembered a story that domestic turkeys are kept under a roof because if they were outside during a rainstorm, they would look up at the sky. The rain would cause them to literally drown themselves.

I went into one of the local grocery stores, down the meat aisle, and looked at the turkey section; much to my shock and surprise, they were none in the cooler case!

A little sweat appeared on my brow. Upon asking the meat clerk where the turkeys were, I was told, “sold out!” I headed out of the store and raced to the second grocery store in town; they were also sold out. Panic began to set in. Anxiety was driving pure stress-induced panic! 

I drove to the neighborhood butcher store, ran up to the counter and said, “help, I need a turkey for Thanksgiving!” The butcher responded, “sorry, we are all out of turkey.”

“This is a nightmare!” I yelled out. “I have my entire family coming over for dinner on Thanksgiving; what can I do?” The butcher replied, “well sir, you could serve spam, very popular in Hawaii, you know.” I heard myself like I was dreaming. “Spam!” I cried out. “How many cans of Spam do I need for 12 people?” He replied. “12 cans, one per person!” 

I envisioned the holiday table set with all the trimmings: mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, green bean casserole, baked cabbage, pumpkin pie, and there in the middle, a stack of Spam shaped to look like a turkey. Where is the white meat? How do I carve it? Where is the wishbone? I do remember liking Spam at deer camp.

Then my shoulder was moving from side to side; it was my wife. “Joel, you must have been having a nightmare; wake up.” “I didn’t get the turkey,” I exclaimed. “Yes, you got it yesterday.” I jumped up, grabbed my car keys, and headed for the door. “Where are you going?” she asked. “To the grocery store, I have a sudden urge for Spam,” I responded.  Spam sandwich, Spam and eggs, Spam pate. I just have to have a taste of Spam! I’ll grab my nap later!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – © Joel M. Vernier 11/20/2020 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.” 

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