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Monday, November 29, 2004



Since I'll be among those NOT attending "group therapy" in New York (ya brats), I'm going to tell you a little post Thanksgiving story. If you don't care for stories of resourcefulness in the face of poverty, well, so what, I'm telling it anyway. Have a sit. Get your coffee.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Pua, who lived on a tropical island in the middle of the ocean. For most people, that brings the image of paradise, sea breezes, perfect temperatures, beaches, and little brown girls in hula skirts and coconut bras. Oh shut up. I said most people. Work with me here. This little girl wasn't born into the tourist and vacation mentality of Hawaiian nirvana. Her family was just shy of constant hunger.

At Thanksgiving, her daddy, not being able to afford a turkey, and being in the military, brought home FREE cans of SPAM from the base. For those of you not in the know, more Spam is consumed in Hawaii than in any other place in the world. It's the poor man's filet mignon. You think I'm kidding? Check it out. Anyway, back in the day, it was given free to military families. Along with rice, powdered milk, and big wheels of government labeled cheese. A healthy pre-Atkins days diet to be sure.

Anyway, her mommy, being the clever woman that she was, learned to be very creative with Spam and one Thanksgiving decided to take a few cans and literally mold it into the shape of a turkey, which she then stuffed with white rice. She proudly presented it to her family and called it a "Spurkey". Smiling, she uttered the words, "God bless us, everyone, including Uncle Sam." It wasn't what everyone at the table expected, but it was welcomed and in between bites of the gelatinous goodness, there were giggles. It was, indeed, a Thanksgiving to remember.

Cut to 1997. Pua has grown up, has a family of her own now living in the midwest, and that family has fallen on difficult financial times. No turkey. She plans a lasagna dinner for Thanksgiving. The children are sad, homesick, and the thought of lasagna for Thanksgiving dinner isn't going over very well.

One day, while she was at her horrible job, making $6.38 an hour and working 60 hours a week to help make ends meet, she hears a contest on the radio. The deejays of the morning show; Bob and Tom, are asking people to call and share their most memorable Thanksgiving stories. Pua tells her friend Kris about her "Spurkey" story. Kris does a spittake with her coffee and tells Pua; "YOU MUST CALL THAT IN!" Pua dismisses it and unbeknownst to her, Kris calls it in on her behalf. The deejays say they MUST speak with Pua. Kris hands Pua the phone across the cubicle. They put Pua on the air and she tells the story while the rest of the department pops their heads over their cube farm walls and listens. The deejays are laughing their asses off in disbelief. Pua wins a $100 gift certificate to go grocery shopping. Turkey instead of lasagna for Thanksgiving!

The following day, when Pua comes to work, her desk is covered with cans of Spam with construction paper turkey tail feathers taped to them and a sign over her cubicle that says; "Happy Spurkey Day."

To this day, Pua still gets Happy Spurkey Day cards from her friends in the midwest. God bless us, everyone, including Uncle Sam.

And they lived Spurkily every after.


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