Monday, November 28, 2016

Thanksgiving in the hood VS Thanksgiving in the sticks

Thanksgiving 2016 was the best Thanksgiving I've ever had.  Instead of just one day, this year's holiday was spread out over a four day weekend.  It began on Thursday on Chicago's Southside (where I was the only white person everywhere I went) and continued through Sunday where my soulmate Lillian, my two munchkins and I hung two and a half hours south of Chicago in rural Groveland Illinois (where Lillian was the only black person everywhere we went).

Here are some of the highlights from Thursday in the hood:

- I met Lillian's 80 year old mother who is in the final week of her radiation treatment against cancer. She was so cute and sweet that I wanted to pinch her rosey little cheeks. Instead I gave her a nice hug and told her how glad I was that I finally got to meet her.  Her sweet demeanor masked her humorous ornriness however.  As we piled in the car at the end of the night there was a begger with his pants nearly falling down loitering beside our car.  Lillian's mom commented, "you should honk the horn and scare him" as she started to giggle.

-Picking up a relative in what looked like a crackhouse surrounded by barren lots polluted with abandoned metal boxcars beneath the L tracks. It was pitch black out and this was no mans land - not another car in sight.  Then as we parked in front of the crackhouse, a shadowy car pulled up right behind us, just inches from our bumper. I turned around and kept my eye on the male wearing a hoodie in the drivers seat as Lilian started digging in her purse for her mace. The hooded man didn't seem to want to get out of his car and our staring contest continued until, out of nowhere, a pimped-out ghetto cruiser with four or five gangbangers hanging out the windows drove by, zigzagging from one curb to the other and revving its engine until it dissapeared into the darkness of the night.  The guy in the hoodie seemed to take this as his cue, and he got out of the car then walked into the crackhouse just as the relative we were picking up came out.

-Watching and listening to a half dozen women in their 60s laughing and drinking and singing and dancing to a bunch of 80s hippity hop music with lyrics like "back that thang up" and "get that freak on!"

Here are the highlights from Saturday in the sticks:

-Six of us piling into my mom's SUV and seeing the festival of lights in E.Peoria where my mom found it appropiate to do her anal rendition of "Silent (butt deadly) Night" causing me to immediately accuse Jack: " Oh come on Jack, that smells disgusting"
"It wasnt me," Jack protested so I turned to Lucy: "Lucccccy???"
"It wasnt me!" she declared. So then, eventhough I hadn't smelt or hearf Lillian fart once in the six months since I met her, I turned to her in accusation asked, "Lillian? How could you?"
But just then I heard my mom giggling in the front seat, which was as good as a confession, "I couldnt help it," my mom cried "It was the crannberry sause from dinner."

-Getting all the sludge/water out of one of Terry and Ruby's fishing boats so I could drag it out of the lake and up to the shore. (What fun is a holiday visit to your folks if you cant throw your back out and get your brand new pants caked in mud?)

-Jack protesting against going to church with Ru Ru, Terry and Lucy. I let him stay back with Lillian and myself, as all three of went for a jog.  Afterwards we came inside and I had a beer as I watched football games on the TV that I had bet on.  When Lucy returned I asked her what she had learned in church.
"That cheating is a sin," she informed me. 
I nodded, noting to myself that drinking beer and betting on football aren't exactly behaviors that put you on the fast track to sainthood either.

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