Thursday, November 22, 2012

CWA Mini–Sode: Thanksgiving


    In a dimly–lit room, around a large wooden table were seated six people,
 At the head of the table, Dr. Smith. Across from him at the other end Capt. Brown.
Scattered around the edges of the table; their parents.


 “This looks great. Good job, Jeeves.” Dr. Smith said, “Can somebody pass me the lingonberry sauce and a drumstick?”
 Mrs. Mary Brown, stout Iacobist, felt she could not restrain herself “Don’t you say a prayer of thanks to the almighty Iacobus1?”
“Well not usually because that’s a load of–” Was the sentence that Dr. Smith started but did not finish when he saw his mother’s eyes. He tried again. “But why don’t you lead us in one, Mrs. Brown.”
“Alright.” She replied. They bowed their heads.

“O Iacobus. 
We honor your almightily grace on this, the holiest of several most holy days, with the sacrifice of thy most favoured bird so that thee may feast upon its delicious ghost flesh in thine devine dining room and thereby bless us with thine infinite majesty. 
 We thank thee for the sun and the rain, the summer and the winter, the rich harvests in our fields, we thank thee for our senses by which we hear the songs passed down by the saints in honor of thine holy spirit, and most especially for the presence of those gathered here. 
Graciously accept this sacrifice as atonement for our many sins and grant our souls safe passage though the eight hells to stand at your divine side in the never–ending battle against the heathen devils who have not yet accepted thy devine grace.  
Ahmen.” 
They all chorused ‘Ahmen’ but Dr. Smith said it slightly more nervously. He’d never quite understood why Thanksgiving was a holiday, but a day to celebrate the things that you’re grateful for and eat a lot seemed like something he could get behind.
But now he knew the Turkey was a sacrificial offering to a bloodthirsty god.
He couldn’t help thinking maybe it would be a sound plan to not get on the bad side of these religious types.

During dinner Zachary Morton Smith {Dr. Smith’s Father} excitedly explained to everyone the minute intricacies of some boring mechanical thing, and when he had finished Capt. Brown told a hilariously inappropriate story everyone enjoyed, Mrs. Lisa Smith {Dr. Smith’s mother} tried not to say anything to anyone, and Mrs. Mary Brown {Capt. Brown’s mother} told everyone all about that adorable thing one of her many grand–children did at the last Brown family reunion.
 Morton turned to Mr. Brown
  “So Mr. Brown” he said
  “Please,” cut in Mr. Brown “Call me Nino.”
  “Alright, Nino. You can call me Morton. As I was saying what manner of business are you occupied in?”
  “I used to sell water retention systems to the government.”
  “Which government would that be?”
  “Any one that needed a dam.”
 “Please dear,” Interrupted Mrs. Mary Brown “Let’s keep our language civil at the table.”
“I think it’s time for desert.” Declared Capt. Brown “If you’ll help me clear the table, gentlemen.”
The men lept up and clumsily co–ordinated the dishes to the kitchen, leaving Mrs. Mary Brown and Mrs. Lisa Smith alone at the table.




“That boy’s so sweet,” Mrs. Mary Brown said. “But he NEVER CALLS HIS MOTHER!” She shouted at the kitchen. 
Mrs. Lisa Smith laughed. “Oh, so you’ve got one of those too?” 
“Yes, but I can usually delude myself that he’s much too busy running a country. Your boy seems nice, and such a snappy dresser. What does he do?” 
“He’s a doctor.” 
“Ooh, Well our James could never be a doctor. No matter how happy it would make his old mother, he’s too dumb. What kind of doctor is your– ” 
“Zachary.” 
 “Zachary. Is he a real doctor or…?” 
“What do you mean ‘A Real Doctor’?”
“Well, you know. A Doctor of Medicine. As opposed to one of these scientist types.” 
“What’s wrong with being a scientist?”
“Oh nothing dear. I’m sure they have their points. It’s just, it’s not the same is it. Real Doctors help people. ” 

Mrs. Lisa Smith stared at this crazy person. 
And decided to change the subject.
“So James, um, Did you adopt him or…?” 
“No, we were just as surprised as you are when he turned out so tall.” 
“Yeah you and your husband are both…and he’s like a hundred feet tall. ” 
 “Well. Iacobus works in mysterious ways.” 
“Actually” said Dr. Smith, who had just walked in carrying a pie “It’s all to do with genetics. Dwarfism is a recessive gene and just because it’s present in both parents doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll manifest in the kid. It’s all a matter of odds. I’m more interested in his hair colour.”
“Whose hair colour?” Asked Capt. Brown, who was carrying another pie. 
“Yours. See, your dad’s hair is black and your mom’s hair is red, by rights you should have red hair. Red hair’s one of the most dominant genes.” 
“I get it from my Pop here, tell them Pop.” 
Nino smiled from under his magnificent moustache. 


“In the past,” he said “People didn’t used to have last names, they were named after the place they were from, with their middle name being “Son of [Father’s first name] But when last names came around people had to choose one. Some people just adapted thier old names, which is why you get a lot of ‘Jamesons’ Or ‘Johnsons’ or they adapted their occupation. Smith, for example.” Here he gestured to the gathered Smiths. “Or some dominant feature about them. Well, my people are italian, and they all had brown hair and worked in the sun all day which gave them a very brown complexion. So they chose Marronne, which means Brown. My grandfather anglicized it when he came to England.”
“Oh you’re english?” Questioned Morton.
“Yeah. We lived here for awhile a long time ago, actually. But then we moved back to England. We were going to move to Italy, where we have some family, but then the french took it over and we decided not to.”
“Well,” Said Morton “We live just north of you in Quagmireland. Where do you live, we should come visit you.” 
“We live in an historical little town called Canterbury.” 
Morton lit up. “Oh, you’re never going to believe this. Lisa, Lisa here is descended from the duke of Canterbury.” 
Nino smiled. “Oh, so you’re an O’Callaghan, eh?” He said to Mrs. Lisa Smith. “You ever find out where the family fortune went?” as an aside he said to Morton “You, the guy was an eccentric. Disinherited his kids and left millions of dollars of gold to some mysterious person in his will.” 
“So where’d it go?” Asked Mrs. Mary Brown.
Mrs. Lisa Smith got nervous. “It’s not polite to say.” 
“Oh come on, we won’t tell anyone.” Needled Nino cheerfully. 
It was obvious Mrs. Lisa Smith wasn’t going to say anything so Morton waved a dismissive hand at his wife and said “Oh, she’s very secretive about this but you’re alright people. He left it to us. Well, Lisa, specifically.” 

The room got very quiet. 

“Oh, look at the time. We’ll have to be getting back to our hotel, won’t we Nino?” 
“Oh. Sure.” 
“Thank you for having us, Dr. Smith. By the way, what sort of Doctor are you?” 


Before Mrs. Lisa Smith Could jump in Dr. Smith replied “I have a medical degree and several PHD’s.”
“Well!” Mrs. Mary Brown was impressed, “I Real Doctor AND a scientist! You’ve got quite a catch here, James. Take care of him, Doctor Smith. Good bye everyone!” 
Everyone said goodbye, and as they drove away Dr. Smith And Capt. Brown stood in the doorway, waving, occasionally. 
After a fashion Capt. Brown Said “What did she mean, I have quite the catch here?” 






1  There’s a certain subset of people in the Grand City of Legopolis who believe the world and all the things in it were created, all at once, exactly as they are, by an all powerful being by the name of Iacobus, latin for Jacob. 
This is, of course, baloney. It took me forever and many iterations to get everything the way it is. 

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