Our plump predicament comes from the way we think. In America life has become a daily quest for instant gratification. Do we think about the long term? Rarely. We ask ourselves, 'What sounds good?' That's where we get into trouble focusing on what we want rather than what we need. Then we invent new ways to satisfy ourselves.
And in his heart, I think, he's now learned what I came to believe, which is, as I've said all along, that the sun may burn brightly, and the faces of children may be plump and achingly sweet, but in the air we breathe, in the water we drink and in the food we share, there will always be darkness in this world.
If anything she was a shade too plump, but she knew the ninety-seven ways of making love that the Hindus are supposed to set much store by"•though mind you, it is all nonsense, for the seventy-fourth position turns out to be the same as the seventy-third, but with your fingers crossed.
George MacDonald Fraser
In every animal that walks upright, the deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the neck; then the breast and arms; the lower parts continuing to the last as plump as ever; so that covering all above with a basket, and regarding only what is below the girdle, it is impossible of two women to know an old from a young one.
And what else could we have come here for, except to sense these tiny victories? Not the big victories that crush and kill the victor. Not the wars and civil ructions, but the saving grace of a Hollandaise sauce that has escaped all the possibilities of culinary disaster and is being spread like a yellow prayer on a plump cod steak - victoriously.
A plump, well-fed stream is as satisfying to behold as a well-fed animal or a thrifty tree. One source of charm in the English landscape is the full, placid stream the season through; no desiccated watercourses will you see there, nor any feeble, decrepit brooks, hardly able to get over the ground.
Presently, out from the wrappings came a teapot, which caused her to clasp her hands with delight, for it was made in the likeness of a plump little Chinaman... Two pretty cups with covers, and a fine scarlet tray, completed the set, and made one long to have a "dish of tea, " even in Chinese style, without cream or sugar.
Louisa May Alcott
In District 12, looking old is something of an achievement since so many people die early. You see an elderly person, you want to congratulate them on their longevity, ask the secret of survival. A plump person is envied because they aren't scraping by like the majority of us. But here is different. Wrinkles aren't desirable. A round belly isn't a sign of success.
So it is not an accident that the Nazi lads vent a particular fury against (Einstein). He does truly stand for what they most dislike, the opposite of the blond beast intellectualist, individualist, supernationalist, pacifist, inky, plump... How should they know the glory of the free-ranging intellect and soft objective sympathy to whom money and violence, drink and blood and pomp, mean absolutely nothing?
John Maynard Keynes
In such a world as ours the idle man is not so much a biped as a bivalve; and the wealth which breeds idleness, of which the English peerage is an example, and of which we are beginning to abound in specimens in this country, is only a sort of human oyster bed, where heirs and heiresses are planted, to spend a contemptible life of slothfulness in growing plump and succulent for the grave-worms' banquet.
She leaned her uninjured shoulder against his plump, furry behind and shoved while she bitched to herself, "Four years at the military academy, two years at Kansas State University, survival camp in the swamps of Alabama, more schooling in Florida, and then torture endurance training with the Mossad and all so I could heave a bear's ass into a helicopter. Unfreaking real.
Since time is the one immaterial object which we cannot influence - neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish - it is an imponderably valuable gift. Each of us has a few minutes a day or a few hours a week which we could donate to an old folks home or a children's hospital ward. The elderly whose pillows we plump or whose water pitchers we refill may or may not thank us for our gift, but the gift is upholding the foundation of the universe.
As we lay huddled together under the tent, which leaked considerably about the sides, with our baggage at our feet, we listened to some of the grandest thunder which I ever heard, -rapid peals, round and plump, bang, bang, bang in succession, like artillery from some fortress in the sky; and the lightning was proportionally brilliant. The Indian said, 'It must be good powder.' All for the benefit of the moose and us, echoing far over the concealed lakes.
Henry David Thoreau
Strawberries that in gardens grow Are plump and juicy fine, But sweeter far as wise men know Spring from the woodland vine. No need for bowl or silver spoon, Sugar or spice or cream, Has the wild berry plucked in June Beside the trickling stream. One such to melt at the tongue's root, Confounding taste with scent, Beats a full peck of garden fruit: Which points my argument.
Mr. Emerson watched, almost breathless, as she swirled the wine in her glass expertly, then lifted it so that she could examine it more closely in the candlelight. She brought the glass to her nose, closed her eyes, and sniffed. Then she placed the glass to her plump lips and tasted the wine, holding it in her mouth for a while before swallowing. She opened her eyes, smiled even more widely, and thanked Antonio for his precious gift.
The Chinese food arrives. Delicious saliva fills his mouth. He really hasn't had any since Texas. He loves this food that contains no disgusting proofs of slain animals, a bloody slab of cow haunch, a hen's sinewy skeleton; these ghosts have been minced and destroyed and painlessly merged with the shapes of insensate vegetables, plump green bodies that invite his appetite's innocent gusto. Candy.
Conventions vs. spontaneity. This is a dialectical choice, it depends on the assessment you make of your own times. If you judge that your own time is ridden with empty insincere formalities, you plump for spontaneity, for indecorous behavior even...Much of morality is the task of compensating for one's age. One assumes unfashionable virtues, in an indecorous time. In a time hollowed out by decorum, one must school oneself in spontaneity.
Two-thirty comes during Testifying. It's Janine, telling about how she was gang-raped at fourteen and had an abortion.But whose fault was it? Aunt Helena says, holding up one plump finger. Her fault, her fault, her fault. We chant in unison. Who led them on? She did. She did. She did. Why did God allow such a terrible thing to happen? Teach her a lesson. Teach her a lesson. Teach her a lesson.
When describing nature, a writer should seize upon small details, arranging them so that the reader will see an image in his mind after he closes his eyes. For instance: you will capture the truth of a moonlit night if you'll write that a gleam like starlight shone from the pieces of a broken bottle, and then the dark, plump shadow of a dog or wolf appeared. You will bring life to nature only if you don't shrink from similes that liken its activities to those of humankind.
I sometimes used to ask myself, what on earth did I love her for? Maybe fore the warm hazel iris of her fluffy eyes, or for the natural side-wave of her brown hair, done anyhow, or again for that movement of her plump shoulders. But, probably the truth was that I loved her because she loved me. To her I was the ideal man: brains, pluck. And there was none dressed better. I remember once, when I first put on that new dinner jacket, with the vast trousers, she clapsed her hands, sank down on a chair and murmured: 'Oh, Hermann...." It was ravishment bordering upon something like heavenly woe.
I sometimes used to ask myself, what on earth did I love her for? Maybe fore the warm hazel iris of her fluffy eyes, or for the natural side-wave of her brown hair, done anyhow, or again for that movement of her plump shoulders. But, probably the truth was that I loved her because she loved me. To her I was the ideal man: brains, pluck. And there was none dressed better. I remember once, when I first put on that new dinner jacket, with the vast trousers, she clapsed her hands, sank down on a chair and murmured: 'Oh, Hermann... " It was ravishment bordering upon something like heavenly woe.
It was one of those sumptuous days when the world is full of autumn muskiness and tangy, crisp perfection: vivid blue sky, deep green fields, leaves in a thousand luminous hues. It is a truly astounding sight when every tree in a landscape becomes individual, when each winding back highway and plump hillside is suddenly and infinitely splashed with every sharp shade that nature can bestow - flaming scarlet, lustrous gold, throbbing vermilion, fiery orange.
When describing nature, a writer should seize upon small details, arranging them so that the reader will see an image in his mind after he closes his eyes. For instance: you will capture the truth of a moonlit night if you'll write that a gleam like starlight shone from the pieces of a broken bottle, and then the dark, plump shadow of a dog or wolf appeared. You will bring life to nature only if you don't shrink from similes that liken its activities to those of humankind." (Letter to Alexander Chekhov, May 10, 1886)
The immense accretion of flesh which had descended on her in middle life like a flood of lava on a doomed city had changed her from a plump active little woman with a neatly-turned foot and ankle into something as vast and august as a natural phenomenon. She had accepted this submergence as philosohpically as all her other trials, and now, in extreme old age, was rewarded by presenting to her mirror an almost unwrinkled expanse of firm pink and white flesh, in the centre of which the traces of a small face survived as if awaiting excavation.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
My gripe is not with lovers of the truth but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? What good is truth, at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney? When the lightning strikes shadows on the bedroom wall and the rain taps at the window with its long fingernails? No. When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed, don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running to your aid. What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing, rocking safety of a lie.
I stopped in front of a florist's window. Behind me, the screeching and throbbing boulevard vanished. Gone, too, were the voices of newspaper vendors selling their daily poisoned flowers. Facing me, behind the glass curtain, a fairyland. Shining, plump carnations, with the pink voluptuousness of women about to reach maturity, poised for the first step of a sprightly dance; shamelessly lascivious gladioli; virginal branches of white lilac; roses lost in pure meditation, undecided between the metaphysical white and the unreal yellow of a sky after the rain.
Skye said when she looked at Lise, she saw a black mark, an aura. Just like the mark on Lise's thigh, it was a warming. Deenie thought of it now, of Lise and the stretch mark on her thigh. And how the fevered mind of her fevered friend might believe anything. But also, somewhere inside, it felt the smallest bit true. That the stretch mark was a kind of witch's mark, the blot of Lise's body that reminded you of what she had been -a plump, awkward girl- before the lithesome beauty took her place. It was a kind of witchcraft, that transformation.
At night, my own century-old wooden floors creaked while I dreamed of her, as she looked before radiation destroyed her famously enormous hair and removed all evidence of her addiction to homemade brownies. I woke to clammy sheets and the grim reminder that Liz's soul was not, in fact, speaking to me from beyond the grave. Rationally, I knew that memory synapses of plump, frizzy Liz were bursting forth from the depths of my brain. Emotionally, I wanted Liz back with me, no matter what her form-but getting her back would require a leap of faith that the rest of me (the stuff surrounding that Liz-shaped hole) just couldn't take.
If Mom is convinced that ballet lessons are a must, she should take them. Although it may look odd to see a thirty-year old woman hang- ing onto a bar and flinging a slightly plump leg in the air, the sight is not as pathetic as seeing her seven-year old daughter grimly going through such motions just to please her mother, when she would prefer to be at home designing new doll clothes. Although some parents are never quite ready to accept this fact, the child is not one of our possessions. We don't own him; we never will. We gave birth to his body; he may share some of our physical characteristics; but he does not inherit our desires. He's a different person, a separate entity, with his own likes and dislikes. It's a grave mistake to try to override a child's power of choice in what he wants to be and do. Some parents do this in an attempt to live their lives through the child.
I use the word 'fat'. I use that word because that's what people are: they're fat. They're not bulky; they're not large, chunky, hefty or plump. And they're not big-boned. Dinosaurs were big-boned. These people are not overweight: this term somehow implies there is some correct weight... There is no correct weight. Heavy is also a misleading term. An aircraft carrier is heavy; it's not fat. Only people are fat, and that's what fat people are! They're fat !
And so the game went on in this manner, a throng of children playing keep-away from a bowling ball tossed back and forth between two plump ogres. The air filled with shrieks and cheers and shouts of laughter as daring players thrilled at the sport. That is, all but the few poor souls knocked flat and captured. No laughter rose from behind bars because those in the birdcage knew what was in store. They would soon be lunch for a couple of hungry ogres. Now you might be thinking-didn't Gavin call it fun when he was swallowed by a wolf earlier? And didn't he tell that raven-haired girl it doesn't hurt to be swallowed whole by a bear? All true, all true. But here's a secret you might not know. Ogres chew their food. Luckily, it's only the first bite that stings.
Richelle E. Goodrich
I plucked one plump black olive from the plate and put it in my mouth immediately before saying, 'Well, I feel bad for you, then.' 'Why's that?' 'Because I love antipasto.' 'I guess I don't understand why that's a problem.' 'Because, ' I emphasized, cutting into a piece of salmon. 'I don't like to share.' I quickly slipped the smoked meat in my mouth before winking at him. His smile finally met his eyes again. 'Good to know, because I'm not the sharing kind of guy either.' He winked back at me, but it was so blatantly comical that I couldn't help the laugh that flew out of my mouth. 'Something tells me you're not talking about cured meats, ' I said before slapping his hand away from my olives. 'I knew you were smart.' I swallowed the olive I'd snatched from his hand and glared at him, while mouthing, 'Mine.' 'Funny, that's what I was thinking, too, ' he said, looking directly at me.
Dead Butterfly By Ellen Bass For months my daughter carried a dead monarch in a quart mason jar. To and from school in her backpack, to her only friend's house. At the dinner table it sat like a guest alongside the pot roast. She took it to bed, propped by her pillow. Was it the year her brother was born? Was this her own too-fragile baby that had lived-so briefly-in its glassed world? Or the year she refused to go to her father's house? Was this the holding-her-breath girl she became there? This plump child in her rolled-down socks I sometimes wanted to haul back inside me and carry safe again. What was her fierce commitment? I never understood. We just lived with the dead winged thing as part of her, as part of us, weightless in its heavy jar.
Tadas was sent to the principal today, " announced Jonas at dinner. He wedged a huge piece of sausage into his small mouth. "Why?" I asked. "Because he talked about hell, " sputtered Jonas, juice from the plump sausage dribbling down his chin. "Jonas, don't speak with your mouth full. Take smaller pieces, " scolded Mother. "Sorry, " said Jonas with his moth stuffed. "It's good." He finished chewing. I took a bite of sausage. It was warm and the skin was deliciously salty. "Tadas told one of the girls that hell is the worst place ever and there's no escape for all eternity." "Now why would Tadas be talking of hell?" asked Papa, reaching for the vegetables. "Because his father told him that if Stalin comes to Lithuania, we'll all end up there.
The Patrician took a sip of his beer. 'I have told this to few people, gentlemen, and I suspect I never will again, but one day when I was a young boy on holiday in Uberwald I was walking along the bank of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I'm sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged on to a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters, who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature's wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining on mother and children. And that's when I first learned about evil. It is built into the nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.
There's forty-two thousand jobs, near ten thousand of 'em got by people like us. Everyone's gotta eat. Industry feeds 'em. They figure Little Bear here's gonna clean it up." He squeezed his baby, a dimpled plump girl with tufts of jet-black hair. "Paa paa ba baaa!" she said. It was time for a nap. Lou sipped from his thermos, and Little Bear's eyes drooped, and Missy remembered the voice of Rasmus Krook. 'The people will pay with their whole being: physically, mentally, ideologically, spiritually, with their land, their soul. And not just country people. Not just native people. Poison will flow through villages, towns, and cities and not stop. We must rise up. We must disrupt the system. Capitalism is a deception.' "You can help pirates, " she said, because that's the only answer she knew. Lou lifted his coffee in salute, and Missy stood up to jump.
I'd like to sit there, ' I said softly to the girl sitting in front of the other mirror. She scampered. I took over her abandoned make-up and painted my face. Red cheeks, to attract hungry vampyre glances. Black liquid eyeliner and mascara, to draw attention away from my bitter eyes. My silky-thin, raven hair, undone in waves over my bare shoulders. The magenta shade of apple gloss on my lips, to make them plump and inviting. Finally, a strapless golden dress that hugged my hips and not much lower. I stood up, feeling the cold air slide down the bare skin of my back like fingers, and panicked. I couldn't wear something like this! Not without a cardigan! A light dress jacket, at least! I took a gulp of Amrit's wine and detached myself from the fretting child in my head. Then I strode from the sleeping chambers.
The immense accretion of flesh which had descended on her in middle life like a flood of lava on a doomed city had changed her from a plump active little woman with a neatly-turned foot and ankle into something as vast and august as a natural phenomenon. She had accepted this submergence as philosophically as all her other trials, and now, in extreme old age, was rewarded by presenting to her mirror an almost unwrinkled expanse of firm pink and white flesh, in the centre of which the traces of a small face survived as if awaiting excavation. A flight of smooth double chins led down to the dizzy depths of a still-snowy bosom veiled in snowy muslins that were held in place by a miniature portrait of the late Mr. Mingott; and around and below, wave after wave of black silk surged away over the edges of a capacious armchair, with two tiny white hands poised like gulls on the surface of the billows.
The moon grew plump and pale as a peeled apple, waned into the passing nights, then showed itself again as a thin silver crescent in the twilit western sky. The shed of leaves became a cascade of red and gold and after a time the trees stood skeletal against a sky of weathered tin. The land lay bled of its colors. The nights lengthened, went darker, brightened in their clustered stars. The chilled air smelled of woodsmoke, of distances and passing time. Frost glimmered on the morning fields. Crows called across the pewter afternoons. The first hard freeze cast the countryside in ice and trees split open with sounds like whipcracks. Came a snow flurry one night and then a heavy falling the next day, and that evening the land lay white and still under a high ivory moon.
James Carlos Blake
On westminster Bridge, Arthur was struck by the brightness of the streetlamps running across like a formation of stars. They shone white against the black coats of the marching gentlefold and fuller than the moon against the fractal spires of Westminster. They were, Arthur quickly realized, the new electric lights, which the city government was installing, avenue by avenue, square by square, in place of the dirty gas lamps that had lit London's public spaces for a century. These new electric ones were brighter. They were cheaper. They required less maintenance. And they shone farther into the dime evening, exposing every crack in the pavement, every plump turtle sheel of stone underfoot. So long to the faint chiaroscuro of London, to the ladies and gentlemen in black-on-black relief. So long to the era of mist and carbonized Newcastle coal, to the stench of the Blackfriars foundry. Welcome to the cleasing glare of the twentieth century.
Ol' man Simon, planted a diamond. Grew hisself a garden the likes of none. Sprouts all growin' comin' up glowin' Fruit of jewels all shinin' in the sun. Colors of the rainbow. See the sun and the rain grow sapphires and rubies on ivory vines, Grapes of jade, just ripenin' in the shade, just ready for the squeezin' into green jade wine. Pure gold corn there, Blowin' in the warm air. Ol' crow nibblin' on the amnythyst seeds. In between the diamonds, Ol' man Simon crawls about pullin' out platinum weeds. Pink pearl berries, all you can carry, put 'em in a bushel and haul 'em into town. Up in the tree there's opal nuts and gold pears- Hurry quick, grab a stick and shake some down. Take a silver tater, emerald tomater, fresh plump coral melons. Hangin' in reach. Ol' man Simon, diggin' in his diamonds, stops and rests and dreams about one... real... peach.
Ma was heavy, but not fat; thick with child-bearing and work. She wore a loose Mother Hubbard of gray cloth in which there had once been colored flowers, but the color was washed out now, so that the small flowered pattern was only a little lighter gray than the background. The dress came down to her ankles, and he strong, broad, bare feet moved quickly and deftly over the floor. Her thin, steel-gray hair was gathered in a sparse wispy knot at the back of her head. Strong, freckled arms were bare to the elbow, and her hands were chubby and delicate, like those of a plump little girl. She looked out into the sunshine. Her full face was not soft; it was controlled, kindly. Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding. She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials. But better than joy was calm. Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.
In all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox, and demand my Reasons. They are these: 1. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor'd with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable. 2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman. 3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc'd may be attended with much Inconvenience. 4. Because thro' more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin'd to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes. 5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement. 6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy. 7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy. 8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!!
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below, When what to my wondering eyes did appear, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!" As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the housetop the coursers they flew With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too- And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight- 'Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Clement C. Moore
The car drove slowly down the road, following the slow speed limit to a tee. The engine hummed almost inaudibly to the couple so used to the sound; it was practically a lullaby. The man and woman in the two front seats both struggled to keep their drooping eyes open. The man concentrated hard, with the cool air from the vents blowing on his face. Being behind the wheel of a car was always a challenge after driving for hours. The twig of a girl curled up next to him rested her black and teal hair against the window, peering out into the jet-black night. She watched the city lights pass by, so much brighter than usual against the dark sky. She read the sign that passed by ever so slowly, and smiled slightly. 'Welcome to the town of Crimson, ' she mumbled in a scratchy voice. She wasn't so excited, but at least that meant she could stretch her cramped legs soon. 'I know you don't like the idea of moving, but you'll get used to it. I promise, in a couple of weeks you'll like it here, ' the man's deep voice said, crackling with fatigue. 'I hope so, ' she mumbled. 'Hey, I promise, ' he assured her. 'Alright, ' she said, passively. She glanced over at him and gave him a small smile, taking in his details. His hair was naturally black, and the tips were red, thanks to her suggestion, and it reached down to his jaw. His sleepy eyes were green, contrasting with his pale skin. His nose was thin and rounded, but not too thin, and his chin came to a smooth point. His lips were plump and decorated with snakebite piercings. She eyed the rest of him, then, from his beautiful face, down his thin frame, over the black clothes he wore, to his thin wrists; the left covered in a tribal tattoo. He smiled back, and caressed her smooth, pale cheek lightly with his thumb. She smiled again, and looked out the window once more. She watched the town pass by agonizingly slow. At least she could take in the details. The town looked like it had come straight from the Renaissance, but modernized. Instead of candles, they of course had light bulbs. She found it kind of eerie, yet nice. The town was so active, and alive. Everyone was out, and going about their business. They seemed friendly, too. Some of them waved as the car passed by. She smiled, amused, and looked at the clock. 'Wow, this town is so active, for being 3 in the morning! You would think they'd all be sleeping, ' she said. 'We're not, ' he told her. 'They didn't travel hours to get here, ' she replied. 'Yeah, yeah, ' he said in defeat. 'We're almost there, ' he added, with an ear-to-ear grin. She knew he was excited, and suddenly she was too. She hadn't been, but she suddenly felt like she was on an adventure, and was totally psyched. She sat up with a grin almost as big as her husband's, and peered out the window into the night. He let out a soft laugh. 'You're cute, ' he told her, eyeing her up and down. She was more pale than he was, but it suited her well. Her entire frame was thin, and her face was oval. Her eyes were blue and held the look of excitement. Her eyebrows were naturally thin and the right one was pierced. Her nose was small and pointed, and she had a shiny ring through her septum. He found her the most beautiful creature in the world.
Ultimately, the roast turkey must be regarded as a monument to Boomer's love. Look at it now, plump and glossy, floating across Idaho as if it were a mammoth, mutated seed pod. Hear how it backfires as it passes the silver mines, perhaps in tribute to the origin of the knives and forks of splendid sterling that a roast turkey and a roast turkey alone possesses the charisma to draw forth into festivity from dark cupboards. See how it glides through the potato fields, familiarly at home among potatoes but with an air of expectation, as if waiting for the flood of gravy. The roast turkey carries with it, in its chubby hold, a sizable portion of our primitive and pagan luggage. Primitive and pagan? Us? We of the laser, we of the microchip, we of the Union Theological Seminary and Time magazine? Of course. At least twice a year, do not millions upon millions of us cybernetic Christians and fax machine Jews participate in a ritual, a highly stylized ceremony that takes place around a large dead bird? And is not this animal sacrificed, as in days of yore, to catch the attention of a divine spirit, to show gratitude for blessings bestowed, and to petition for blessings coveted? The turkey, slain, slowly cooked over our gas or electric fires, is the central figure at our holy feast. It is the totem animal that brings our tribe together. And because it is an awkward, intractable creature, the serving of it establishes and reinforces the tribal hierarchy. There are but two legs, two wings, a certain amount of white meat, a given quantity of dark. Who gets which piece; who, in fact, slices the bird and distributes its limbs and organs, underscores quite emphatically the rank of each member in the gathering. Consider that the legs of this bird are called 'drumsticks, ' after the ritual objects employed to extract the music from the most aboriginal and sacred of instruments. Our ancestors, kept their drums in public, but the sticks, being more actively magical, usually were stored in places known only to the shaman, the medicine man, the high priest, of the Wise Old Woman. The wing of the fowl gives symbolic flight to the soul, but with the drumstick is evoked the best of the pulse of the heart of the universe. Few of us nowadays participate in the actual hunting and killing of the turkey, but almost all of us watch, frequently with deep emotion, the reenactment of those events. We watch it on TV sets immediately before the communal meal. For what are footballs if not metaphorical turkeys, flying up and down a meadow? And what is a touchdown if not a kill, achieved by one or the other of two opposing tribes? To our applause, great young hungers from Alabama or Notre Dame slay the bird. Then, the Wise Old Woman, in the guise of Grandma, calls us to the table, where we, pretending to be no longer primitive, systematically rip the bird asunder. Was Boomer Petaway aware of the totemic implications when, to impress his beloved, he fabricated an outsize Thanksgiving centerpiece? No, not consciously. If and when the last veil dropped, he might comprehend what he had wrought. For the present, however, he was as ignorant as Can o' Beans, Spoon, and Dirty Sock were, before Painted Stick and Conch Shell drew their attention to similar affairs. Nevertheless, it was Boomer who piloted the gobble-stilled butterball across Idaho, who negotiated it through the natural carving knives of the Sawtooth Mountains, who once or twice parked it in wilderness rest stops, causing adjacent flora to assume the appearance of parsley.