This story is about Thanksgiving... So it's late. Also it's more than four years old. So... You've been warned.
The year was 2008. It was Autumn in Texas, and Thanksgiving was on it's way. The day was like any other November day in Texas. Warm one hour and chilly the next. Nothing unusual. Except, for thousands of students, this was their last fall semester in high school. Now, to most, this isn't a big deal. After all it's the spring semester that counts isn't it? Well, not to one particular group of high schoolers. For reasons unknown to most, it was decided that they could not leave this school with pride until they had celebrated thanksgiving. Easy fix, right? Wrong. It wasn't. Why would I be writing about it if it was?
You see, Thanksgiving, although it be a day of thanks, is also a day to be with your family. That isn't, in and of itself, a bad thing. But it was bad for these young men. It meant that they would not be given a chance to celebrate it together. So they had to take the opportunity forcefully. Now you may be asking: "Why is Thanksgiving such an important holiday to these lady killers?". It isn't. Stop thinking. You're ruining my story.
These strapping young men of mystery saw no manner of getting around the holiday's obligatory familial requirements, so instead they did something completely unheard of. Relatively. I guess it's actually pretty common.... but they did it in an uncommon way. They decided to celebrate Thanksgiving before the actual day. No danger in that. Ah, but they decided to celebrate... during school hours! ... Again, there isn't much dange- BUT THEY DECIDED TO CELEBRATE DURING CLASS, WHILE NOT ATTENDING CLASS, AND AT A PLACE USUALLY RESERVED FOR FACULTY! Ah... now I have your attention.
It all began with a simple suggestion. "Let's celebrate Thanksgiving today. Right here." The suggestion, I am somewhat proud to say, came from me. I had been at this school my entire life. My suggestion was unwavering in it's surety. I know this school. As I grew older, it grew around me. I knew the rules, and I could jump through the loopholes like a Jack Russell going for gold. I earned this, and by gum, I was going to take it. I was immediately met by Heath's logic. He was known for it, and although it's truth was painful, I was thankful for it. "We don't have any good food, though." He was right. The cafeteria wasn't exactly overflowing with food meant for a true pilgrim's feast. No, the cafeteria overflew with... other... things... of questionable merit. Austin saw the plan falling apart before it have even been put together. "But we have a car. And Tom Thumb is across the street." He did it again. Known for putting the flicker of hope back into even the darkest of times, Austin had put this cunning plan back to the grindstone and before we could even put protective masks on, the sparks were flying.
"I have six dollars" I said.
"I have ten." Heath announced.
"I have like... seven or eight." Austin sung.
"I have twenty. What are we doing?" A familiar voice chimed in. The announcement was music to our ears, and the person is came from was none other than Juan. He had a well-paying job, or was at the very least better at saving money. Save for times like these, when desperate measures were called for. However, being the logistic one, soon uttered "However, gentleman, we would have to miss a class if we were to have the food in time for our assigned lunch period."
It was a jest, of course, as we all knew that none of the four gathered in this fateful meeting had a single worry on the subject, and frankly didn't give the slightest of turds. We shared in a hearty laugh that, if heard by lesser men, would have caused them to grow a thick patch of hair upon their chest.
We pooled our fourty-three dollars, and piled in to Austin's car. We drove to Tom Thumb, and on the 3 minute ride, discussed a plan to most effectively gather the proper Thanksgiving meal. Heath called dibs on the turkey, earning the right to take the most honorable and easiest of tasks. Juan would find drinks, Austin opted to find side dishes, and I was on dessert duty. As soon as we entered the store, we split. We had been here many times, and knew exactly where our quarry would be hidden. I easily found an Oreo ice cream pie in the frozen dessert section. Being something that needed to thaw instead of cook, it was a perfect choice for a group with no access to a kitchen. On my way to see the drinks Juan had decided upon, I passed the largest and most glorious watermelon. I had to have it. I set the pie down, picked the enormous fruit into one arm, stacked the pie atop it, then cradled the delectable orb in my arms, making sure to keep the pie balanced. We met each other at the register, asking no question of what the others had chosen. There was also a sale on 2 liter drinks. 2 for 1. We got four.
Our bounty: A rotisserie chicken (no cooked turkeys available), Two family sized bags of chips along with chip dip, a plate of cheese and crackers, a can of cranberries, a watermelon, an Oreo ice cream pie, and four 2-Liter sodas (Mountain Dew, Coca-Cola, Root Beer, and Sunkist)
We had extra money. We split it evenly and called it even because that's what splitting things evenly makes them.
We went back to the school and met with our first, and largest issue. We didn't know where to eat all of this food. The catwalks? No that would be too difficult and uncomfortable. In a car? Not enough room. My mother's classroom? Not enough time before the children would come back in to learn math vowels or whatever first grade is about. Then it dawned on us. A table so large it could hold our over-sized feast. The "Teacher Table" in the cafeteria. A risky move. As seniors, we were given some leniency on what rules we could bend. But this table was not a rule. It was an unwritten law. Teachers sat there. TEACHERS sat there. We knew that, although it was our only option (that we thought of), it would be a direct invasion of faculty land. Some might say... and act of war.
However, we had a good while before they needed it, so we placed our items across the two connected tables which we could have replicated anywhere else, and spread ourselves out. There was to be one empty chair on either side of each participant to make room for each respective meal. We took plasticware from containers, and immediately began the buffet.
Each bite was intense. The chicken was the first to go, and rightfully so. Although not a five star quality chicken, it was steaming hot, and incredibly tender. Seasoned with the feeling of victory. We ate the drumsticks and wings of course, although the breast meat remained as our attention turns to our other treats. The chips and dip dwindled slowly as I used a plastic butter knife to cut through our leviathan of a watermelon. As soon as it's thick shield of green was broken, we split it in two and engorged ourselves on it's innards. It was barbaric. Not out proudest moment. Every time I looked at the 2-liter bottles they were emptier than the time I had previously seen them. Before we knew it, half of the pie was gone, a warm chicken lay pulled apart on the table, and watermelon juice was dripping onto the floor.
We knew that, if this was seen, it would cause ourselves more trouble than it was worth. We grabbed napkins, and make quick work of the mess. Just as we were debating what to do with the leftovers, we heard it. The sound of our judgement. We did not yet know what our verdict would be, and fear almost took hold. But we had fought too hard this day, and our food-fueled adrenaline was not yet gone. We stood in confidence to face the gruff voice of "The Rev".
"What is all this?" He asked, with an honest curiosity.
Our only response was the truth, and in unison we replied. "Thanksgiving..."
We explained to him that we had just eaten our thanksgiving meal, and were about to clean up, until a stroke of inspired genius hit us. We had threatened to take the table that rightfully belonged to the teachers. Much like (blah pilgrims blah indians blah history of thanksgiving). We were monsters! But we could still set things right. We offered some of our feast to him.
He eyed us for a moment. He asked what we had. We went though the list of items we had bought. There was a silence. Finally, he spoke.
We did it. Peace was reestablished. Although technically it was never lost. Whatever. We asked if he wanted us to clear any of it away, and he told us to leave it. We made sure, and he insisted, so we left. Assumedly, the other teachers on lunch duty enjoyed what was left of our feast that day, but we weren't staying around to find out. This was my favorite Thanksgiving dinner ever, as it taught me the most valuable lesson of all. If you shirk responsibilities and go do what you want, even if it makes a mess in a place that you don't belong, if you play your cards right, you won't have any negative consequences ever.
... Okay not really. It was just a fun thing we did that "The Rev" was cool about. Kinda makes me regret never having him as a teacher. Oh, well. Have some cool "Rev" memories anyway.
It is my favorite thanksgiving dinner so far, though.
Also we never opened the cranberries and also never saw them again.
Thanks for reading!