Bloated by a meal I didn’t want, I ripple like a hippo in mud. You once claimed that life was a custard pie, but now have demonstrated that it’s a roast fowl of any variety, slogged down with squash, beans, carrots, and mashed potatoes. Stuffing, of course. The stuffing from the world’s oldest and saddest sofa. Remember when we played man and wife on your family sofa while your father dozed over his bible and your mother herded the laundry? That’s the very sofa that has given up its stuffing to flatter this oven-tempered bird. I ate too much because you threatened me with tiny sneers that would topple a gnome. Now the eruption of secret gases. Now the layering of fat on fat. How many cells must I burst with my private disdain? How often must I re-buckle my belt? No wonder a previous generation preferred braces, suspenders, or a rope. You want to merge me into that past generation with hardly a sigh. That will happen once this cold snap snaps. Then the genius of Christmas will flatter us into music we don’t understand. The old superstitions will apply, and the meal that has so distended me will erupt with an Etna of delight.

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