Just thought I'd share my Thanksgiving Day with you.
It started by me being hit by a quark just as I was getting out of bed. A large, very green, and not-too-theoretical one. No strings attached, as far as I could tell. It had to happen on a holiday, when I'm off work anyway, right?
It hit me right in the solar plexus, breaking several ribs and tearing some ligaments. So, instead of spending the day with my family, I was in the Emergency Room of the Georgia Tech Particle Physics Lab.
I was on the phone about noon with my brother Dave (# 381), who said that nearly everyone said to say hi. I should tell you we are the quintessential nuclear family. There were supposed to be 3 more people here this year than last year (235 by count), as we had 3 new additions to the family. I was the only one not making it.
As a PhD probed my chest cavity with a helium-filled sphere, and a masters-level co-ed stopped my bleeding, Dave described the scene. He said that the more people got there, the livelier things got. Everyone seemed to just glow. The place had gotten so hot with all the family there, that even with the windows open and the whole house fan on, sucking 35 degree air through, the walls were starting to discolor.
I heard a kid in the background scream, "Aunt Bertha's finally here!" Dave said, "Well, that's everyone but you..." I started to reply, when I heard Aunt Bertha's laugh drift through the phone. I could easily visualize the scene - all of them crammed in the giant basement we had finished as 1 big room just for this occasion, all my family, including surviving cousins, nephews, etc - anyone left from the old days in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Alamagordo - the Curies, the Raydons, the Pleughtohniums. The phone started to buzz, and I heard hollering and apparent pandemonium. The only phrase I could make out was Dad yelling something that sounded like "critical mass", when with a loud noise, the phone went dead.
Every light in the building went out. A couple of seconds later, the building felt like it was in an earthquake. Right after that, the sound of a terrific explosion shook us again. One of the attending EEs ran outside to look, and came running back in a moment later, describing a mushroom cloud off to the northwest. I alone knew the exact location.
Later I found out it was a small blast, taking out only 3 blocks, altho a somewhat larger area still glows softly at night. I will visit there as soon as I am able, to leave some flowers, if they survive the hike in.
The co-ed with the tourniquet around my heart touched my face gently and asked, "What's wrong? Why are you crying?"
"Because I'll never get to taste the new pumpkin pie recipe Aunt Bertha was going to bring!", I sobbed.
I was wrong. Later, one of the profs brought me some glowing orange stuff he had found outside. It was delicious. Meanwhile, I have proposed to the co-ed (her name is Linda), and we will be married in a month.
I can hardly wait. In just a quarter of a century or so, there might be enough of us to start having these family reunions again.
Happy Thanksgiving from me & the rest of the turkeys@Roadkills-R-Us
Last updated: 2 Apr 1994
Copyright 1988, 1994 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.
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This copyright may be freely used, distributed and modified subject to the conditions noted above in the preceeding paragraph. Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514