Last week we were talking about terrible Thanksgivings. I relayed this story to the Chicagoist staff this afternoon. Basically it's about why I used to go out the night before with friends:
It was 1997, Mom was out running errands when I made it over to the
house (back then they lived directly between Marie's Riptide Lounge
and the pre-Note Blue Note on Armitage, so I could drink to sunrise
then stumble over to Mom's for biscuits and gravy at 5:30 on a Sunday
morning, but I digress).
Anyway, I arrive to find my stepfather passed out drunk in his
Lay-Z-boy with the football game on and the radio set to US 99. The
turkey is in the oven, which is set at 150 degrees. I check to see if
Mom had stuffed the bird; she hadn't, to which I breathed a sigh of
relief that there isn't a pool of bacteria growing in the turkey. I
pull the turkey out, stuff it, set the oven to 425, and place the bird
back in the oven.
Finished with that I turn around in time to duck a roundhouse punch
from my stepdad. He thought someone was breaking into the house.
When I asked who put the turkey in an oven pre-heated to 150 degrees,
he admitted that he did it because he was hungry. So I went to call
Mom but when I picked up the phone my brother was on the line chatting
on a 1-900 sex line. He was living in the basement and tapped
illegally into Mom's phone line.
Shortly after that Mom arrived with my sister in tow. Turned out that
the "errand" she had to run was to bail my sister out at the Wicker
Park police station for tagging fences with grafitti, which depleted
her of the rest of the food money. I went to the store, bought the
rest of the stuff on Mom's shopping list, and proceeded to sit through
the most uncomfortable Thanksgiving dinner ever.
Things have improved a bit. Since my stepdad doesn't drink anymore Mom doesn't allow so much as a non-alcoholic beer or sparkling grape juice into the house for fear it
might knock the old man off the wagon. I get to deal with the family sober.