Thanksgiving week really throws a wrench into things like, say, funerals that require people to travel from a couple different states, so Grandma's wake and funeral has been put off until Monday, allowing us to spend just enough time dithering on Travelocity to watch ticket prices magically jump $200 in the 5 minutes it takes to confer on whether 44 minutes is enough time to change planes in Phoenix (it isn't) and then decide to take the flight that turns that layover into a whopping two hours and eighteen minutes, all the while gritting our teeth and trying not to think about the fact that it only takes ninety minutes to drive to Phoenix.
So if the first step in what is turning into Mary's Epic Funeral Week Extravaganza was booking flights and cars and hotels and wrangling family members who have decided to make the coming weekend the opening ceremonies for the Douchecadet Olympics, the second step was more of a side trip in the completely opposite direction. That being the road to Mesa and my (still very alive) maternal grandparents' house for Thanksgiving, where we were joined by some elderly second cousins and two neighbors from Calgary. Suffice it say that it was fairly pleasant until the inevitable spectre of politics popped in for pie, and the consensus around the table (with one abstention; I'll let you guess who) was that George W. Bush will be deemed by history to have been one of our greatest presidents, possibly the greatest ever. Also: if you voted for Obama to prove you're not racist, who are you going to vote for to prove you're not stupid? I almost think "Sarah Palin" is supposed to be the totally sincere answer to that one, but it was hard to tell.
It went ever so slightly downhill from there, so I graciously excused myself before I stabbed somebody in the face with a pie fork.
The grandma we're burying was a passionate Democrat. End of story.
Anyway, here's a preview of Chapter 3: get up insanely fucking early on Sunday, inconvenience a friend by getting her to give me a ride to the airport, fly on a goddamn airplane to Phoenix, sit around for 2 and change, fly on another goddamn airplane to St. Louis, take a shuttle to the rental car lot, drive two hours to the tiny ancestral Illinois hometown just in time for the wake, endure the wake for three hours, get carryout from an actual Mexican restaurant in the tiny hometown that's gotta be filled with guys wondering what cracker nightmare they wandered into, for fuck's sake, have a drink, go to bed, wake up the next morning, go to funeral mass, drive to the next town over for the burial, drive back, have a drink, hope that the moroseness devolves into bad singing rather than factionalism and gunplay, go to bed, wake up, kill a morning, drive to St. Louis, fly to Phoenix, sit around for another two and change, get back to Tucson at 11:30 pm.
So much to do, so little patience for doing it.