I love Thanksgiving. The food, the family, the football – I literally and metaphorical devour it all. But this year, after being kidnapped by the Thanksgiving Snatcher a week and a day before Thanksgiving, I'm going to spend it all alone in my apartment with the door padlocked shut.
We all saw the news reports about the Thanksgiving Snatcher, the creep in the Snoopy-shaped SUV who would pick up joggers and force them to re-enact the first Thanksgiving in his dank basement. Some of us probably laughed at the ridiculousness of his criminal psychosis. We all assumed he would snatch someone else. I was that someone else.
For ten whole days I was held captive in the Thanksgiving Snatcher's compound. I have no memory of where I was, having been drugged unconscious by an ethanol-like substance that smelled strongly of pumpkin.
After coming to, I found myself with the Snatcher's other victims in a dark room dressed as a traditional Pilgrim. Other victims were dressed similarly, and some were in a Native American garb. In our pockets were slips of paper, detailing our new names and character backstories. I was Sarah Miller, a beautiful Pilgrim who dreamed of making love to a “husky Injun brave.” A quick comparison of notes revealed that all of the character descriptions featured a disturbing amount of casual racism and misspellings.
For the first three days, we were not fed. Water was delivered to us via a hose snaked through a grate in the floor. We gathered around like dogs, lapping up whatever dribbles managed to sputter out.
Day four was the preparation for the feast. The Pilgrims and the Native Americans were each tasked with bringing “tukeys” to the meal. Eleven live turkeys were lowered down a dumbwaiter. They were very angry and we only had our bare hands and teeth. You do not know misery until you have held down a violent turkey while a shirtless man in a headdress bites into its neck.
On day five, audio from a Panthers/Jets game from 2005 played at an excruciatingly high volume over a pair Bluetooth speakers we could not reach. When the game was over, it started back from the beginning. Eventually, we started speaking along with John Madden and Pat Summerall just to stay sane.
We were pleasantly surprised to meet a new victim on day six – quarterback Eli Manning. Handcuffed to his wrists were four cases of Coors Light. Since our only other beverage was a pitifully weak garden hose, we tapped the Rockies like it was mana from heaven. One of the Pilgrims nearly ripped Eli's throwing arm off to get at the Silver Bullet.
Day seven was the meal. The Thanksgiving Snatcher, dressed only in an Al Roker mask and no bottoms, tied us all up and seated us at a cheap folding table with Stove Top stuffing and uncooked instant mashed potatoes. Despite the fact that the only food we'd eaten in days was rancid, half-dead turkey, we were told there would be no meal until the Pilgrims, Indians, and Eli Manning all went around in a circle and said what we were thankful for. If any of our answers were deemed unacceptable - “fuck you,” “fuck you you psychopath,” “get me the fuck out of here I'm Eli Manning” - our host would trace our hands on construction paper to make hand turkeys, and then were sent to sit at “the kid's table.” I was wise enough not to displease the Thanksgiving Snatcher, but all of those who ate at the kid's table that night never spoke out loud again.
On day eight, we were dragged to an abandoned Best Buy at three AM and forced to unpack truckloads of discount plasma TVs. We stocked the shelves and prayed for a swift death. Then, a miracle came. SWAT teams burst through the door, whisking us to safety. The Thanksgiving nightmare was over, but the Snatcher's horror could never be undone.
So yeah, I think I'll just order some Chinese and fall asleep halfway through Die Hard With A Vengeance on cable. Also, Uncle Ted is a vocal Trump supporter and I refuse to patronize that shit.