I had my Thanksgiving grocery list neatly typed. I even arranged the list in the order of aisle number. Yes, I’m anal that way and I have a cursed visual memory that burns maps and spacial information into my brain. But juggling a list while controlling a cart is something I haven’t mastered.
The cardboard Jello Pudding display on aisle 4 didn’t stand a chance. It wasn’t the speed that did it. It was the sheer inertia of my half-loaded cart. Snag. Drag. Bang. Jello everywhere. Humiliated, I reassembled the display and help the nice young man restock.
I was already feeling sheepish and in no way prepared for the humiliation of the meat department. Turkey was my goal. The pale, white fowl begging to be brined then baked to a golden brown. God, I love Thanksgiving. I love the cooking, the eating, the family. I love putting the first fire of the season in the fireplace. But I must focus on the bird.
Suddenly I was confronted with the birds. They were all stamped with the words “Young and Fresh.” I started to push and pick through them, looking for one of the right weight. As I fondled the young, fresh birds, I felt other shoppers staring at me. They weren’t, but I felt they were. I felt dirty. I felt like a pedophile. These young, fresh things were taunting me.
I quickly dropped a 12 pounder into the cart. My eyes darted around the store. No one saw. No one knew my shame, but me. But it got worse.
My young, fresh flesh is currently in the garage refrigerator in a cooler full of brine. As I type that, I realize how very “Silence of the Lambs” it sounds. It puts the butter on its skin or else it gets the gravy again. God, I love Thanksgiving.