Thanksgiving is the time when families and friends come together, stuff their faces, and play board games. Violent, bloody board games. At our house, the conflict came early on, in front of the Cowboys-Redskins American football contest. The players were my three sisters (Megan, Kelly, and Molly), Megan's boyfriend Nevin, and Kati Voluntine. The game was Scattergories. The board was borrowed from Kristen. The equation was PAIN.
I am going to assume that any readers of this blog are civilized, cultured, non-Philistines, so I will skip any discussion of the rules of Scattergories. Suffice to say, it was a hotly-contested match, with many responses challenged and argued over. The boiling point came after young Molly entered "To Make You Feel My Love" as her "Song Title" for the letter T. Megan challenged, claiming the song's true title was simply "Make You Feel My Love." There was much yelling and name-calling, until Molly produced a Garth Brooks CD that validated her entry.
Molly then demanded an apology, and received no satisfaction. So she gathered her things and resigned from the game with dignity, at least until she emitted a string of profanities on her way out of the living room. There was a long pause, and then Kelly asked, "So, what'd you get for 'Things At The Beach'?"
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On Saturday, I made a visit to the lovely home of Ben and Doreen Cavin. Doreen and I became close last year on the set (her house) of the unreleased Cavin-Mehta production "Pharm Boys," in which she played the role of Sparkles the Drug Dealer. (Her most memorable line was, "Let me write you a letter. Dear Bitch: Where's my money?") And this weekend, as always, she was a wonderful hostess, plying us with delicious pie and other foodstuffs and chatting about life, and security, and all kinds of good stuff. Still, I saw a side of Doreen i'd never seen before.
She was more aggressive, like a lioness surveying a scene of grazing wildebeests. We were all just prey to her; potential victims in the hard-fought games of Spoons that occur at Casa Cavin every Thanksgiving. I didn't understand the level of hard-fought Spoons competition I was in for until my first round, when a spoon I thought I'd cleanly snatched was wrested from my fingers by an aggressive nine-year-old girl. It only got more intense. Aaron and Andy Cavin grappled over the final spoon in Round 3, nearly upsetting the coffee table in their Cain-and-Abel-esque struggle.
Doreen wrote me a letter in my second visit to the Spoons circle. I managed to grab two spoons in my hand, but lost both of them as Doreen leveraged her body at my elbow joint and refused to let go. I stumbled away confused, hurt, and sniffling. Thankfully, Mike's girlfriend Jessica got some payback in the next round by bloodying Doreen's nose with a wild elbow (seriously). Doreen still held the spoon, however.
This story doesn't exactly have a moral, except that you don't fuck with Sparkles. You just don't.
And the pumpkin pie was delicious.