"Giving Her the Bird"
by Jamie Ford
Margie couldn’t stand the smell of turkey. It made her puke. Literally. One whiff and she’d be heaving. When she was preggers with Thomas she had terrible morning sickness all through the holidays. The stretch marks had almost faded, but one peculiar scar remained. One whiff of a fat bird roasting––and you’d think it was syrup of ipecac.
"I thought we were having ham?" Margie asked in a way that was front-loaded with accusation.
"I’m tired of ham." Herb feigned innocence. Or at least ignorance.
"You know I can’t eat turkey!"
"It’s not turkey. It’s goose."
"That’s the same thing. Roasted bird smell equals me throwing up on your shoes. You want that for Thanksgiving?"
"I want something I can stuff. I can’t stuff a ham. You don’t like turkey. So I got another bird. What’s the big deal?"
"I’m gonna puke. That’s the big deal!"
"How was I to know a goose would make you sick? This is just a slight misunderstanding. Besides, since when is every bird now forbidden in my oven?"
Herb shrugged a "yeah".
"Maybe a few antiques your mother gave you are going to have a misunderstanding."
Little Thomas was yammering in his crib. Margie screwed up her face and steam-rolled out the kitchen and down the hall.
Herb heard glass breaking against the wall. Then Margie in the distance chirping, "Sorry, I just had a misunderstanding."
Herb smiled, kept basting and added more sage.
[Jamie Ford grew up near Seattle’s Chinatown and is busy writing his first novel, Surefire. He hangs out at www.jamieford.com and has been known to eat jellyfish, sea cucumber and chicken feet on occasion.]