The Diggers got to experience thanksgiving in true American style this week as we were graciously hosted by a friends family in Maryland. The Hakos’ brought out the good cutlery as plates were piled high with pumpkin pie and garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. His dad expertly carved a honey glazed turkey as he said things like, ‘dude’ and ‘goofball’ and ‘me and my buddies were shooting the shit.’ It was the idyllic festivities of American, middle class suburbia and it was a lovely celebration. However, sadly it will only be remembered for, and was very almost ruined by, one thing. Lets just say that on the journey up here, upon us stealing his passport as a joke, Digger had hollered, “God I near shit meself there!” This exclamation, with it’s ever impeccable Yorkshire syntax, sadly turned out to be ominous foreshadowing of the forthcoming thanksgiving events.
The actual day had started out so innocuously. Hung-over from a night out in Washington DC we enjoyed Pork-roll-egg-and-cheese sandwiches with Pumpkin pancakes while watching the Macys thanksgiving parade. 10,000 people walk through the streets as part of the parade, midget humans (kids) with perfect, pearly white smiles, dance around floats dressed as elves, gingerbread men or cutlery whilst hundreds of adults hold the giant balloons. Digger enjoyed the balloons of his favorite cartoon characters but these were interspersed by floats which just seemed to be adverts for American companies. Kids with names like ‘Cody Simpson’ or ‘Whitney Wild’ took it in turns to sing Christmas songs whilst the commentators reminded everyone they should fly Delta Airlines or thanked Pepperidge Farm for a hundred years of mighty fine gram crackers.
Between each float were synchronized, marching brass bands. These seem to be at every American occasion from football games to presidential inaugurations to Under13 B girls soccer fixtures. I wonder what the per capita percentage of American people who can play some sort of wind instrument is. I bet its more than own a passport!
After a few hours of being waved at by hundreds of grown men dressed as Christmas presents (everyone bloody waves!), we went on a bike ride whilst Mrs Hakos prepared dinner. Digger initially said he may not be able to come cycling as our visit to the curry house the night before was repeating on him, but I said “do you think that a little tummy upset would have stopped the pilgrim fathers in 1621?” and he said “you’re so right” and went and got his bike.
Little did we know, as we stopped and swam blissfully in the Severn river, that back at the house Digger had ruined thanksgiving for the whole Hakos family. We were greeted on return by his father shouting “don’t come down here!” from the basement and Digger went white. Chris and I were still in the dark at this point but for Digger it was flooding back, flooding like the streets of New York in hurricane Sandy, or in this case like the basement of the Hakos family residence in East Maryland from the blocked toilet that had never met the rage of a bad Chicken tika masala.
There is some debate as to which of the Diggers actually blocked the toilet in the first place but at 4am not even a blocked toilet was going to stop Diggers drunken deli belly. Desperation made it impossible to find another toilet, drunkenness made it impossible for him to remember what he’d done the next morning and Mr Hakos pressing flush to try to empty the bowl had made it impossible to stop the flood of excrement from flowing onto the bathroom floor.
Mr Hakos has not given us the full details of the scene saying he cannot bear the memories though this thanksgiving we have many things to be thankful for. Firstly that the hastily bought multipack of scented candles did its job and secondly that the incident was never mentioned at the dinner table. It seemed like the kind Mr Hakos, like Obama pardoning the two thanksgiving turkeys, has forgiven the diggers.
Though at least Obama’s turkeys leave thanksgiving with their dignity. We have to live with the irony of having spent a whole morning laughing at shit thanksgiving floats when we had in fact made our very own, much shitter, float right here in the Hakos basement.