written on a whim and quite loosely based on the format of the canterbury tales.
it’s about the gift my grandparents orr got me for my birthday.
* * *
if i can interrupt for just a moment,
i’ve got a story i wanna tell, but it’s a taaaaaad off topic. i should also preface; i’m slightly grumpy, a tad sweaty because of the humidity, and my ritalin just kicked in.
so don’t y’alls go judging.
today, i turned 32.
1) that’s not the story.
2) my grandparents, on my father’s side, are the
in da world.
. . . perhaps i should clarify – they give gifts just fine. i mean, i get the gifts, the gifts are appropriately packaged and arrive on time, etc . . . they just give really shitty gifts.
so, today, at about 2:30 PM,
i opened my front door, bag on my shoulder, to go to class.
there was a package on my front stoop.
internal monologue played something like, “birthday present! yesssssss!“
my eyes danced quickly to the return address area of the package (a quick and time-tested way to quickly ascertain the quality of the gift within the box).
Vester and Bonnie Orr
Something Something Street Name
Murray, KY Zip Code
i should have just left it there. i should have just walked away.
but my eyes betrayed me and scanned down to the red letters on the box, vile creatures they were, that read
PERISHABLE. REFRIGERATE IMMEDIATELY.
these words changed things. what was once simply a box,
mere moments ago,
was now a burden, a responsibility i could not ignore.
so i took the box inside.
the box was basically the dimensions of a box that might hold a 20″ flat-screen TV. a laptop box but thicker, if you will – it even opened in a similar manner, a cardboard briefcase that rested flat on one face while the top came open to reveal . . .
let us pretend there is a confetti monster,
and from this confetti monster comes
all forms of confetti,
shredded packing paper,
fake easter grass,
the confetti that falls on times square,
it appeared, initially, that s the confetti monster was feeling ill and potentially somewhat malnourished. and i can only guess he (i assigned a gender. and it’s a dude. sorry?) realized he wasn’t going to make it to the bathroom before throwing up, and he grabbed the first box he could find.
which was my gift box.
brown shreds of not cardboard not paper
i made the mistake of opening the box on my stovetop (it was off. i ain’t that foolish), the only currently clear surface in the kitchen (don’t tell my wife – i was supposed to clean up before leaving).
confetti on the floor. confetti on the stovetopcountertopinsomedrawers and some got under the eyes on the stove.
’twas quite a mess.
the gift itself?
mother f***ing cold cuts.
and a jar of spicy f***ing mustard and some f***ing water crackers.
i’m glad the lettering on the box
urgent the matter was,
because i thought it might just be
someone’s kidney or
pretty much anything other than
i’m done now.