Growing up, Thanksgiving was always a pretty normal holiday at my fambly’s household. Pies would bake, dinner rolls would burn, my dad would spill boiling turkey juice on his bare feet, and I, despite having never gone to a single church service in my life, would force my family to bow their heads in silence as I led a weirdo prayer about God and arrowheads. Nothing too notetwerthy.
In fact, my most memorable Thanksgiving didn’t even happen on Thanksgiving. It happened a few days later, on what I call “The Day of Thirty and Five Fifteens.”
The Day of Thirty and Five Fifteens
In 2008, my cousins Ira and Holly hosted Thanksgiving, and they did a right fine jarb. There were all the makings of a good Thanksgiving: family, babies, turkey, and sturdy crackers. We talked and played and laughed and did all the things you’re supposed to do on a national holiday. It was fun! Everything was great!
And the greatness continued the next day. My cousin Petey and I woke up early Friday morning for our first ski trip of the season. We left the house around 6 a.m. and drove the two hours to Sunday River. We suited up in our suits, chairlifted up the mountain, and skied down one trail. Then we smiled and high-fived each other and clapped. Then we packed up and drove the two hours back home.
Thang was, I wasn’t feeling so hot.
Actually, I felt the opposite of so hot; I felt craptastic. Craptastic enough that on the drive home, we had to pull over at a gas station so I could run in and break my 10-year puke-free streak. You know what’s unfun? Throwing up in a public bathroom. You know that’s especially unfun? Destroying the one thing you’re proud of, like a 10-year no-vomit record.
When we finally got back to my house, after a ride of rolled down windows (by that I mean I farted a whole lot), I learned my mom and sister were sick, too. Apparently, we’d all caught the same bug our baby cousins had had a few days earlier. It sucked, but after a day of rest, a few bowls of chicken noodle soup, and some soda on the side, I was fine. Fine, at least, until the Day of Thirty and Five Fifteens, which happened after I’d returned to college.
Since the day I threw up in a gas station bathroom, I’d been perfectly healthy. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday all passed without incident. So, as I’m sure you’d understand, I didn’t expect Wednesday to be any different. And so, as I’m sure you’d also understand, when I burped a burp smelling of sulphur, rotten eggs, and human poop, I blamed it on the Golden Grahams I’d eaten for breakfast and headed to Writing for Mass Media class.
About four burps into class, my friend Owen whispered sweetly in my ear.
Owen: Daaaayummm. Smell dat? Someone keeps farting in this bitch.
Me: I… I think it’s me. Me burps. I think it’s me burps!
Owen: No, fool! Can’t you smell it? It’s a fart. The smelliest fart smell I’ve ever smelled. It smells so bad it’s scary.
Me: Um… I really think it might be me. I feel a burp coming. Here, let me do it straight in your face so you can tell for sure.
(I burp in his face.)
Owen: Oh my God. It is you. Do it again, it’s incredible. P.S. YA SICK.
And Owen was right — I was sick. Really sick. By 5 p.m., my belly had doubled in size with gas and angry stanks. My appetite was fine, though, so for dinner I ate a cheeseburger, fries, chocolate cake, and a Coke. As a result, my belly quadrupled in size by 6 p.m. and I was stankier and more uncomfortable than ever.
Which is unfortunate, because 6 p.m. was also the time of the college radio meeting — my first meeting as promotions director. Know what promotions directors have to do at college radio meetings? Speak. In front of tens of people!
What I did at that meeting doesn’t even count as public speaking. I could tell you about how I was completely hunched over, or how all I did was grunt, or how I couldn’t help but leak a few fartburps. All you really need to know, though, is that my pants were unzipped and unbuttoned. The whole time.
Then, when it was over, I went back to my dorm and pooped 30 times and let out five 15-second farts.