I was invited to an event that was being labeled “Half Thanksgiving.” The real Thanksgiving was approximately six months away, so the moniker made sense. My friend Amber was the hostess of this get together, and I was one of about eight people she invited. I brought along my wife, because she too like to occasionally eat food around dinner time. We got in the car about fifteen minutes before the event was to begin, and made our way over to Amber's house.
We arrived and were greeted by the mixed scents of all that is delicious. My nostrils filled with hints of cinnamon, basil and onions. We made our way through the kitchen, and into the dining room. My eyes relayed signals to my brain of what was awaiting us, and my stomach growled in anticipation. Across the tablescape was a cornucopia of standard Thanksgiving fare. A mountain of mashed potatoes was flanked by a crisp-crusted dish of green bean casserole. A platter of sliced white and dark turkey meat was nestled in between sun-colored cheesy baked macaroni and haphazardly stacked cubes of browned stuffing. I was beginning to like this idea of Amber's recently created holiday called Half Thanksgiving.
We each made ourselves an overflowing plate of all the available vittles, and then found a place in the living room where we could shovel the food into our salivating mouths. There was plenty of conversation to be had, but most of it was commentary regarding what was on the television. At first we watched a pop culture/geek chic program, but it was over by the time we had finished our food. Very little commentary occurred due to the current practices of chewing and swallowing. The next program was “Cops” (an American classic). I'm not sure why nobody changed the channel or even just shut off the television completely. As it turned out, I'm glad they didn't.
Amber subscribed to a service called “Caller ID on TV” through her cable company. This feature allows you to see who is calling your house on your television instead of having to look at the phone itself. Generally, one would consider that to be a very convenient feature, and would think nothing of the possible setbacks. Amber would soon learn about one of them.
As we all sat in her living room, digesting our food and watching the television, the phone began to ring. After the first ring, a text box appeared in the top left corner of her 46 inch wide screen TV. In that box were the words “Planned Parent” and the phone number of the incoming call. Using the Pythagorean Theorem, I determined that if she had a 46” wide screen TV with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and 12.5% of the screen was taken up by this text box; then Amber was experiencing exactly 113 square inches of pure embarrassment.
Her immediate response was, “That call is not for me, I promise.”
That did not quell the snickers and comical jabs aimed in her direction. One person muttered, “Guess who's coming to dinner” and another person chimed in with, “Amber, is there something you need to tell us?”
Amber is a fair-skinned redhead, and the color of her cheeks was in a race with her auburn locks to see which could reach the higher level of red. Her cheeks ended up winning by a nose.