Thanksgiving (part 1)

The first thing I ought to say about my 2018 Thanksgiving is that it was better than the one in 2017. No dealing with Monica and her crazyass family. I have Joyce for a girlfriend now. Joyce’s family is back in New England, so she’s like me: we’re away from our families for Thanksgiving. She says it’s been a problem for her for years. She gets invited by this married friend and that married friend, and she says she always ends up feeling like a pity invite – because (she says) that’s exactly what she is. It must be hard being a single woman when all your friends are married. I’m single too, but I’m at an age when most of the people I know are single.

So we were both in a situation to have Thanksgiving suck. Joyce had an invitation to the married friends she’d gone to last year, and the invitation included me, but she didn’t want to go, and she felt I was going to be the pity invite of the pity invite. She was real relieved when we got invited to Adam and Allan’s house over in Arcadia. (I probably don’t need to remind y’all that Adam is the Pasadena Parrots’ catcher, gay and sober. Allan is his husband we were all surprised to meet at the team Labor Day cookout. Allan also had a serious thing for me that afternoon lol.)

I didn’t know that Joyce was so friendly with Allan. I knew she was thinking of having him redecorate part of the house, but I didn’t know that they did things like have lunch together. But that’s great: Joyce and I now have friends in common. Like we’re a couple and we know a couple. And we were certainly invited as a couple: I’m Adam’s friend, she’s Allan’s friend, and Allan is totally gaga over me. It sounded like a good place to go for Thanksgiving. Adam is totally cool and, even though they have an interior decorating business, they didn’t act too gay at the cookout.

They were having dinner at 5, which meant I had plenty of time for the turkey bowl over in San Marino. I didn’t know that people didn’t know what a turkey bowl is are until last year. So I’ll explain: a turkey bowl is a football game guys arrange on Thanksgiving morning. Mom used to love that it got me out of the house when she was busy in the kitchen. I stopped playing football after my junior year in high school (when I was third string quarterback), but it’s still fun to get together with a bunch of guys and play once a year.

This year, I played in the same game I played in last year. Me and Keaton got involved through our outfielder Travis, who said he needed 2 guys for a turkey bowl game over in San Marino. Keaton played tight end and some linebacker in high school, and me and him were glad to volunteer. I was afraid I wouldn’t get to play in a turkey bowl game on my first California Thanksgiving.

When we got there last year, we found out it was a super organized game, like they even had velcro flags for everyone to wear and there was a referee. He went over a whole mess of rules first – like the quarterback could run with the ball (awesome!) and some light blocking was allowed. That meant it was gonna be a lot more serious than the game of touch football me and Keaton thought it was gonna be, but we were both cool with that. I always thought touch football was pretty lameass, and I reckon y’all can guess that Keaton never backed away from anything because he was afraid it was gonna get too rough.

We played 9 guys to a side, and we had a big field, so it was a real game. There were two big high school guys, Travis from the Parrots who was 19, then mostly dudes like me in their 20s, with a couple guys in their early 30s (like Keaton lol.) The dude who organized the whole thing looked like he was the oldest guy on the field, and told us he’d been at this San Marino turkey bowl since he was a running back in high school. He’d grown up in San Marino, but now lived in Pasadena with his family, and switched from playing to referee two years before. He seemed like a cool guy and one thing was clear: the dude loved football. Almost as much as I love baseball.

I’m not going to tell you all about last year, but you do need to know one story if you’re gonna understand about this year’s game.

So there was this one guy, about my age, but shorter and heavier than me…and he was a total jerkoff. There’s a jerkoff in every group, right? This dude was him.

I don’t know what I did to him, but he made it real clear real quick that he didn’t like me. Maybe he was pissed off that it was my first year and they were letting me play quarterback. Keaton said he didn’t like me because I’m good-looking…and he ain’t. In any case: jerkoff.

He was on the other team from me and Keaton, and started off by calling me – y’all guessed it – “pretty boy”. It’s like he went out of his way to talk so he could keep calling me that. It pissed me off, but I could deal with it. I was there to play football, so I just put him on ignore.


I was running with the ball on one play. The jerkoff was behind me, but, instead of pulling the flags off my waist, he knocked me down. I just got up and didn’t say anything. I reckon I could have taken a swing at him, but I was with dudes I’d just met and was Travis’s guest. Better let the jerkoff look like a jerkoff than be a jerkoff myself.

Don’t y’all worry. I got him back. I waited until someone else was getting a turn at quarterback and made sure I was lined up opposite him. Then I threw a Block block at him as soon as the ball was snapped.

I reckon I need to explain about a Block block. I told y’all I played quarterback, but I was never a starter, so practice could get kinda boring. One day, to keep myself busy, I went over to where the linemen were taking blocking drills. It looked like a shitload of fun, so I joined in. After that, I took blocking practice whenever I could, and dudes a lot bigger than me found out that I could block pretty dang hard. I don’t know why I’m real good at blocking, but I am. Maybe it’s because a baseball swing teaches you how to throw your weight in the direction you want to throw it. In any event, that’s how the Block block got its name, and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of one.

So that’s what this jerkoff had coming. And he got it. I totaled him, but then I helped him up – and he made the kind of face only a total jerkoff would make in a situation like that. I mean, he got me, I got him back, and that should have been the end of it.

Only it wasn’t. He was playing in this year’s game too.

4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving (part 1)

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