A cautionary tale.
  1. The year is 2009.
  2. Every year my folks and I do Thanksgiving at the Cohen-Sarkisian house, in Glendale CA.
    We've been breaking bread and giving thanks with them as long as I can remember, going all the way back to when I was just a wee lil baby child. Can you get more Southern Californian than the name Cohen-Sarkisian?
  3. This year I decide to make a butternut squash and cheddar bread pudding from the most recent issue of Bon Appetit.
    If I think back too hard on this savory dish, I start to feel queasy.
  4. IMPORTANT THEORY #1: How to properly prepare one's body to eat Thanksgiving dinner is as follows...
    THE DAY BEFORE eat a big dinner, to expand one's belly in order to receive all of autumn's bounty • THE MORNING OF eat minimally, so as not to ruin one's appetite • HORS D'OEUVRES BEFORE THANKSGIVING DINNER are to be consumed with the utmost restraint. Save room for mountains of carbs.
  5. Early on Thanksgiving day I head over to my parents' house to cook. I'm feeling a little peckish, and it will be a good six hours until dinner. So I bake some frozen phyllo jammers filled with brie and cranberry.
    I eat them and they are tasty. This is all I will eat until we get to the Cohen-Sarkisian's. I bake the bread pudding and it looks and smells dope.
  6. We drive to the Cohen-Sarkisian home. Lois has gone above and beyond with the appy-teazer spread. At this point I am starving.
    So I go in deep on some delicious Armenian style string cheese and many Ruffles dipped in some straight-from-the-packet French onion dip.
  7. IMPORTANT THEORY #2: How to maximize your intake of deliciousness at the Thanksgiving table...
    FIRST HELPING must be treated as a sampler platter. Very small portions of everything that looks good to you • MAKE NOTE of your favorite items • SECONDS must be your absolute favorite dishes. Fill the plate. Go wild. There will be leftovers.
  8. Now I wouldn't say I was FULL from the appys, but it seemed like beasting two helpings of carbojams would be an uphill battle.
  9. I take my plate to the kitchen island, and load up my sampler platter situation.
    Nota bene: I'm a vegetarian, so in lieu of Turkey it's just moooooore of everything else.
  10. As I'm making my way through my plate, I start to feel a little strange.
    Overwhelmed • fatigued • sweaty • confused • already full
  11. I barely finish my first plate. I've really fucked this up, haven't I?
    Hindsight's a prick. I mentally list my regrets... I should have paced myself with more sensible nourishment throughout the day. I should have avoided the goddamned French onion dip. The brie in phyllo jammers were kind of weird.
  12. Instead of going for seconds, I plop down on the couch and begin losing my grip on reality.
    I feel as though I may never be able to get up.
  13. As everyone turns their attention towards dessert, I feel like I've entered a full on food coma of the soul. I am one with the couch.
    "Max, you aren't going to try the pie?" "I ate too much!" I moan, as though possessed.
  14. We don't watch football on Turkey Day, we watch a movie. The decision is made to run an Academy screener of recent rock doc Anvil: The Story of Anvil.
    I've already seen it, but I decide that only cinema can save me now. I try to pay attention to the film and not the ever widening chasm through which I feel as though I'm falling.
  15. Relatively early in the film, the drummer lays into some double kick-drum pattern, and I feel it rumbling me deep down. Then it hits me: imminent evacuation.
    I bolt off the couch and throw myself towards the bathroom; the Cohen-Sarkisian's lovely bathroom.
  16. I swing the door open just in time to not splatter it with everything I've eaten over the course of the day.
    To say that I missed the toilet would be a generous description of events.
    They had been in my parents' freezer for an awfully long time.
  18. I clean up.
  19. We go home.
  20. The food poisoning lasts another day or so.
  21. I am now extra cautious around: brie, phyllo, onion dip, savory bread puddings, Armenian string cheese, anything I consume in the 24 hours leading up to Thanksgiving dinner, and everything sitting in my parents' freezer.