The $100 Turkey

I’m having twenty people for Thanksgiving this year. Wanting to score a break in any possible way, I did all the grocery shopping for the big meal earlier in the week. I was smug. I admit it. I was thinking about all the poor wretches in the grocery store on Saturday, battling through the crowds and waiting in long lines at the checkouts. That was not going to be me, hehehehe….

I got the turkey and other menu items, and brought everything to the checkout. The lady stationed there struck up a conversation with me, about where she had found a better deal on stuffing mix and an argument she had had with her fourteen-year-old daughter. She also commented on my large shopping bags (which I have recently begun using as opposed to the plastic ones, kudos to my ecological awareness and committment to the environment). She figured that since the bags were so big, I would best know how to pack my groceries into them, whereupon I commented that I if had wanted to pack my own groceries, I would have gone to the Price Chopper. (Don’t mess with me; I am no grocery store virgin, and the SuperStore peeves me off on the best of days).

I got the bags, overflowing with autumn bounty and the promise of a happy family Thanksgiving, into the trunk of my car, and brought them home. I carried the turkey down to the basement and tucked it in the freezer, still safely ensconsed in its double plastic grocery bags. I also left the pumpkin pies in their bags and put them in the back of the fridge, with stern warnings to the other residents to Leave. The. Pies. Alone. Rolls into the freezer, cans and boxes into the cupboards, cider in the fridge, and I was done.

The next day, I went to cut some of the watermelon that I had bought the day before, and it wasn’t in its usual position on the counter. When I paused to consider it, I had no recollection of it coming from the car into the house. “That BagYerOwn Woman screwed me out of my melon,” I muttered, in irritation. I imagined her face smirking, as I walked away with my cart, fondly stroking the watermelon she had hidden under a pile of bags. “Hehehehehe,” she said, under her breath.

Back I went, and up to the service counter. “We write all the left items in this book,” the lady behind the counter told me, “And there is no record of a left watermelon.”

“Hmmm,” I replied. “Well, I shop here all the time, and I would not make up a story about leaving a watermelon. It didn’t come home, and I am not paying for another one.”

“Just go back and take one,” the lady replied. Which I did.

Three days later, all my daughters were home from university with their collective loads of laundry. Between that and getting the house ready for my company the next day, I almost forgot to take the turkey out of the freezer. It was my last chore before heading out for a hike, to catch the last moments of a spectacular autumn day. I opened the freezer, and lifted out the heavy bag…to discover a completely frozen-solid watermelon. BagYerOwn Woman had been much, much more clever than I had given her credit for. She’d screwed me out of the centrepiece of my Thanksgiving dinner, not merely a paltry, insignificant melon. She was good. She was verrrrry gooooood….what was worse, I was back in the Super Store on the Saturday before Thanksgiving with the other poor wretches, battling through the crowds and waiting in the long lines at the checkouts….While I was there, I picked up some “last minute items,” and the “forgotten” (yeh, right) turkey ended up costing me an extra one hundred bucks.

And a hike on a perfect autumn day.