I invited myself to Sandra's house for Thanksgiving. I find that it's best to crash these sort of events so that I'm not expected to bring anything. Just in case, I brought a pack of gum to share.
Sandra has this party every year. The invitees are all people without family members in town. This year, there was a man named Kevin who called himself an orphan. It seems that his parents are dead. I would have comforted him, but he was a mouth breather. Instead, I told him about the production of Annie that I was in when I was ten. He leaned in for a hug.
I needed a drink. Unfortunately, the crew on alcohol detail hadn't arrived. I slipped off to the bathroom for a few Scope shots before rejoining the other guests. Sandra buys wintergreen mouthwash. I prefer the orange flavored variety, but I was in a pinch.
I volunteered to help in the kitchen so that I wouldn't have to participate in the discussion in the living room which was why humans don't just have one ear in the middle of the face and something about feudalism. Sandra put me in charge of the microwave because it has no sharp edges, thereby reducing my risk of injury. My job was to reheat a sweet potato and marshmallow dish that she had prepared in advance. I put it in for ten minutes and backed away from the microwave. I have an irrational fear of radiation. Sandra has a very advanced microwave. It has a convection oven setting. Apparently, the term "convection" means "warp speed." When I opened the microwave, the marshmallow concoction had been replaced with a Goodyear tire.
Sandra sent me upstairs to find the gravy boat. While I was searching a closet, I heard a noise. A scratching rodent-like noise coming from directly above my head. I looked up and stared into the face of a squirrel. A man-eating squirrel. With fangs. And venom. I screamed.
Quickly, all of the guests were upstairs. The squirrel was trapped in the closet, paralyzed with fear. Then, it disappeared into a hole where a light fixture should have been. Sandra screamed. She had a look on her face that told me that she was considering how she was ever going to sleep in a house with a squirrel on the loose. "You can stay with me," I offered. She screamed again.
She called 911. Within moments, a squad car arrived. We explained the situation and brought the officer upstairs. He shined his flashlight in the hole. He scientifically pressed his ear to the wall. "It's in there," he said, motioning to the wall. Sandra panicked and insisted that he Do Something.
The officer nodded and asked, "Ma'am, do you mind a hole in your wall?"
He unholstered his gun.
Next year, we are meeting at a Chinese restaurant.