I know my blog is a Thanksgiving tradition for a lot of families, who lovingly gather around the laptop and read HIV/AIDS statistics which, along with a 4,000 calorie meal, helps to induce a nice late afternoon slumber.

But this year, I’m changing things up. Instead, I’m going to share a story about man and nature. Or, rather, woman and nature.

On Tuesday night, Gwenn and I went to Kiyoto, the Japanese steakhouse. See, my brother works late-shifts, and last year our family started this fine tradition. And it really is a lot of fun: no one has to cook and nobody is stressed out over it. I got to see mom, dad, my bro Kip and sis-in-law Deanna as well as Katelyn, my niece and a talented writer in her own write... er, right. (She’s 8, and would never use such a cheap trick as the ass-end of that last sentence.)

A Terrible Holiday Story

On the way to the steakhouse, I was driving on the interstate and the traffic at the bottom of the mountain was slowing to a halt. We were already running 10 minutes late. “They better not be gawking,” I said. Gwenn agreed. She hates nothing more than interstate gawkers.

We get to the scene, and there are a couple of cars on one side of the road, and another car on the other. Then I see a 50-ish year old woman walking across the road. Just as I wondered what she was doing, I noticed a deer sitting on the left shoulder, and the woman appeared to be approaching it. “Huh?”
Then, without hesitation, she wrapped her arms around its neck and attempted to lift it from the ground. The deer struggled, and I waited for the scene to get worse when the furry friend inevitably knocked this person unconcious. It seemed to be a death-defying move, at least it was from the perspective of someone with a bleeding disorder.
But no, Bambi just got up and tralloped off. Then, as the traffic moved rather quickly, there it was: another deer in the middle of the road. Possibly the mate of the one that was there moments before, waiting. Until it was interrupted, that deer on the side seemed to be looking towards the fallen one, which was apparently dead.
Gwenn was bummed. I’ve grown up seeing a ton of dead deer on the road, and even a few miles on I could only think of the woman: what the hell was she trying to do?

This Thanksgiving, as some of you are with your families, you will probably be one of the above characters. The misguided do-gooder (the lady checking on the deer, overreaching and causing annoyance), the annoyed (the deer that got the headlock), the victim of bad timing (the other deer and the car that hit it) or the gawker (you just sit on the sidelines and take it all in).

Me? Today I’m just going to stuff my face with as many mashed potatoes as it can hold.

Anyway, I really just wanted to wish everyone a nice, peaceful day. This story kind of sucked, so my early Christmas present to you and your family is this: next year, I’m bringing the statistics back.

Gobble, Gobble!

PS... to everyone who has supported the Epidemic in a Box online campaign thus far: I’m very thankful!