Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Entry #19

"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?"

"A misunderstanding?"

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.]


Erik Ivan James said...

Good humor. What real people might say and do.

Bernita said...

Dear me.
This is a scene.
One wonders who wins the bicker( I got attached to those lamps in the picture, you see).

Bethany K. Warner said...

"You can't stuff a ham."
Love it. All the dialogue in this piece just rings true.

Jeff said...

I'm guessing they were gooseneck lamps she broke. hehe
Just kidding. Good story. :)

Robin said...

Great job, I really liked these characters!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. It was a challenge to do something light with such a heavy image.

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Good one, Jamie!

anne frasier said...


jamie, you'll be published soon. i have no doubt about that.

Lyn said...

ipecac - had to look that one up. lol I wish I could come up with some original comments - I'm reading through every story and agree with what most have already said. Your characters are funny and cruel - a sitcom in 250 words. Very good. Lyndon

Lyn said...

PS Funny title too.

Anonymous said...

If she got her husband to cook Thanksgiving dinner, she shouldn't be complaining. Good job, loved the humor.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, you're all too kind.

Jason--Big thanks for hosting. This is a great exercise; I love reading what everyone came up with.

Bhaswati said...

Good one with great dialogue. It was a joy to read this.

Mindy Tarquini said...

I hope you have your speech prepared for when you get The Call.

this is really good. Really good.

Ann Marie Simard said...

Good economical writing and theme subtly integrated to the story. Great phrasing. This was one of my favorites too.


Ann Marie Simard, Ph.D {literary studies and linguistics}

Esther Avila said...

:) I saw the title and started reading and you really had my curiosity up as to how you would fit the lamps in. I laughed when you got to it. LOL
And I smiled right along with Herb as he kept basting. Good job.

Anonymous said...

Jamie, what more can I say other than awarding first place? Tight writing with a skilled sense of pace. Excellent portrayal of the humor in the midst of a fight. That realistic complexity is why you won (in addition to high marks in every element)!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jason. And thanks again for hosting. I know this is a lot of work on your part and appreciate it very much.