Thursday, November 4, 2010
This got me to wondering about all the family tales which will be told over the long Thanksgiving weekend. I am one who believes the teling and re-telling of family lore is one of the strongest glues for binding the generations together. I adore large, multi-generational gatherings and always take a moment to be still and record the images, sounds, joys of the event . These memories sustain me during the times when the distances are too far for hugs.
I wondered if we, The Troll Family of Bloggers, would be sharing our family folklore after our gatherings?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Here at the Pond, one of my favorite stories is about Blowfish.
As a bit of background it might be helpful for y'all to know Blowfish is known for his tendency to focus on one thing at a time. Multi-tasking is not his style. Once something captures his attention that is ALL he thinks about. Another thing , Blowfish is pretty seriously a foodie. That man purely loves food of every description. More importantly you will never meet another individual who focuses more acutely on the entire process of food. Thinking about it, shopping for it, prepping for it, anticipating and then lingering over it. He is even one of those people who likes to know what's for dinner at 6am so he can spend the day looking forward to it. He is serious about his groceries and is blessed to have always had one of those super efficient metabolisms that allows this indulgence.
As a young man Blowfish served his country in the National Guard. He was assigned to a tank battalion with initial training somewhere in NY state and then speciality training with a mechanized batallion elsewhere.
As he tells it, his time in service to his country was mostly about how to get food. He had never experienced a period in his life where he did not have full access to kitchens, bakeries, delis, butcher shops or restaurants.
When he talks about his time in the service it always starts with, " I've never been so hungry ..."
So there came a time when his tank corps was assigned to a joint training exercise somewhere along our northern borders. I've heard camping out in the snow, sleeping under a tank and having no privacy for personal activities was not within Blowfish's comfort zones. None of those were as offensive as constant hunger. There came a day when he and others were standing around in the cold being hungry and miserable.
A fellow guardsman mentioned how annoyed he was standing around freezing his vulnerabilities while the stars were in a nearby town chowing down in what was reputed to be the best deli on the continent. This remark captured Blowfish's full attention. Where was the deli and what had they heard about the food?
Blowfish swears he never gave a thought to anything other than food.
The single focus thing.
He marched right over to the nearest tank and fired it up and headed for the deli.
Blowfish swears he did this because his options were to ride or hike through the snow.
He swears it never occured to him to not go to the deli, because he was hungry. Really hungry, had been cold and hungry for days so there was no way he was going to suffer anymore if there was a deli nearby.
For him, it was that simple.
In Washington, it was a bit more complicated when Canada called to inquire why we had invaded their country with an armored tank? The diplomats and the military brass scrambled for an explanation while Canadas counterparts screamed their displeasure and intentions.
Meanwhile back in town, Blowfish thoughtfully parked his tank in the square so as to not hinder traffic and made his way to the deli where he ordered a hero and a quart of chili to go. While waiting on his order, dressed in fatigues and heavily armed, happily munching on a pickle he was oblivious to the reactions all around him. Once served, he returned to his ride, climbed aboard and headed back to camp. Apparently he was so busy eating he failed to notice the sirens, flashing lights and police escort flanking his tank. His focus was elsewhere.
When finally this international incident was tracked to it's source, the embarassed head of the batallion summoned Blowfish to ask what the devil was he thinking when he invaded Canada with an armored tank? The answer was,
" Sir! I was hungry and I heard there was a really good deli in town. Sir!"
Of course, here at the Pond, part of what makes this family tale so funny to us is it is so Blowfish.
We usually follow up this telling with various accounts of his single focus escapades, pour some more wine and laugh a little harder. Blowfish is always a good sport about these tellings, along as we don't run out of food.
So do you have a family tale to share?
I would love to read it :-)
You are welcome to leave your family tale in the comments here or,
leave a comment here to let us know to come to your place for a fine tale.