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Archive for November, 2010

Thanksgiving Disasters

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Thanksgiving is a holiday I associate with disaster; my memory bank is loaded with images of Thanksgiving mishaps. I’m not quite sure why these bad things always happened, but maybe it was because people got so carried away with emotions triggered by the presence of all that family that they lost their balance or forgot how to carry platters of food.

One year my grandfather, seated at my parents’ long dining table, temporarily forgot that he was sitting on a backless bench. He was reminded of this fact when, leaning back to sip a last drop of wine, he crashed to the floor. (Luckily grandfathers seldom sue for injuries sustained due to bad furniture.)

Sometimes, when we had a large number of guests, Mom hired some help for the occasion. One year, the help arrived having had a few too many crantinis. While the woman did fine when she climbed the kitchen stairs to change, she descended those stairs in a tumble, as my father would say, “ass over teakettle.” Luckily, she was unhurt, and even unfazed by the fact that her wig had arrived at the bottom of the stairs before she did.

Another year, a nephew tripped while presenting the turkey, sending it skidding across the dining room into the jaws of an ecstatic dog. There was also the Thanksgiving in Baltimore, when Tom’s sister Julie dropped a massive platter of sauerkrut, although this may have been been engineered by certain members of my family who were thus relieved of the responsibility of eating the stuff.

Do you have any Thanksgiving disaster stories (or is it just me?) Leave a comment!

 

Going To Mars? In These Shoes?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

I heard that NASA has plans to send astronauts to Mars—and leave them there. As in, forever.

This brings to mind all kinds of burning questions. First of all, who’s going to want this gig? What astronaut will volunteer to leave our awesome (okay, somewhat flawed) planet for an indefinite period of time? I mean, yeah, jobs are scarce and I’m sure the pay is good. But, with limited retail optionson Mars, who needs money anyway?

And just think: No more In-‘N-Out burgers? No Lady Gaga concerts? ? No Keith Oberman? (Oh, right, he’s toast anyway.) In the next election, how will they collect your absentee ballot? (B.O.’s gonna need it.)  And excuse me, no Hulu? And who can live without Twitter? I mean, let’s face it, Twitter is the new oxygen.

Given all these concerns, NASA might face a shortage of willing astronauts. Maybe we, the people, will be allowed to volunteer others for the trip to Mars. Favorite choices, I’m sure, would include John Boehner (do they have tanning beds up there?) and Glenn Beck, plus a random assortment of mothers-in-law and cable guys. I might nominate my neighbor who plays that loud, ’70’s music and who failed to prevent her dog from shredding my new Nike pants last week.

What if someone volunteered me to go to Mars? What the hell would I pack? I mean, how many pairs of hanky-pankies does a girl need for, uh, the rest of her life? Would I have to purchase comfortable shoes? Where do you even go to buy those? Would NASA supply essentials like the Sunday Style section, NPR and an occasional Krispy Kreme donut?

So, suggestions? What would you bring if you were going to Mars for life? (It could happen.) And/or, what would you miss the most? Leave a comment!