Jonathan Dobres

a small thanksgiving miracle

Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like swine flu, am I right, folks?

Yes, it’s true. The Tall One and I came down with The Flu That Dare Not Speak Its Name within days of each other. The Tall One got a blood test to confirm it, and since I was vaccinated for the less glamorous seasonal influenza, I’m assuming that my flu-like symptoms have been the product of the more exotic variety. The only odd thing was my lack of fever, but apparently a lack of fever is an unusually common feature of swine flu. The aches, chills, fatigue, and absolute bastard of a cough all scream “FLU!” to me, so I think I’ll be skipping the University’s much-delayed H1N1 clinics, if they ever happen.

H1N1 is not smallpox, no matter what CNN says. Owing to its bits and pieces of porcine RNA, most immune systems will get hit a little harder by this flu, but unless you have a suppressed immune system or a pre-existing pulmonary condition, you can shelve any nightmare scenarios you might have had about drowning in your own lungs. This flu will, however, knock you out of commission for about a week.

Did I mention that the week we got the flu also happened to be the week of Thanksgiving? This killed the plans we had to interface with healthy humans (I, keeping it local with friends, the Tall One, visiting family). Instead of seeing our loved ones, we would cough angrily into the void. Instead of chowing down on turkey and its various and sundry accent foods, we would quietly shiver in the living room. The only upshot to the flu is the appetite suppression, which would make it easier to bear the thought of all that food we wouldn’t be eating. Like pumpkin pie. Oh sweet God, THE PUMPKIN PIE!

Papa TastyAnd then! Riding in on a horse named Thanksgiving Miracle came the Tall One’s father, a man who on this website shall be referred to as (the incredibly story-appropriate) Papa Tasty. When Papa Tasty first heard of our illnesses he resolved to visit us on Thanksgiving and “bring some food”. I had expected a pumpkin pie and maybe some McNuggets. Let it be known that Papa Tasty, who is of Italian descent, does not screw around when it comes to food. He brought with him a Mayflower’s worth of goods: a fresh turkey, to be cooked according to tradition, mashed potatoes, stuffing, meatloaf, homemade chicken soups, plural, pumpkin pies, plural, shaved Asiago cheese, two kinds of cheese spread, bagel chips for appetizers, and a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken that existed solely to be eaten while the turkey cooked. When I expressed shock and disbelief at all this, he looked at me as if to say, “It’s Thanksgiving. You expect me to do this any other way?”

Were we ill with flu? YES. But was it all delicious? YES. Did I slip into a food coma? YES. Do we have more leftovers than we know what to do with? YES. Was it a Thanksgiving? YES.

So let it be known that on this Thanksgiving, though I had many things to be thankful for, I was above all thankful for the company, kindness, and generosity of Papa Tasty, who went out of his way to make sure that two sick dudes in Boston did not go without a proper Thanksgiving.