Poets’ Corner: Thanksgiving Banquet, A Meta for Consequences of Excess?

Poets’ Corner: Thanksgiving Banquet, A Meta for Consequences of Excess?

In this Thanksgiving poem by our not-regular-enough contributor David Feela, an endless buffet becomes a meta for a world increasingly divided by haves and have nots and the consequences of ignorance and indifference. Spoiler alert: in this unusual case, the haves get their comeuppance. Food for thought as we are slumped over our holiday table in a tryptophan haze, bowed by our own excess.


The Killer Buffet

The roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and cranberries looked better than ordinary, so the older couple didn’t hesitate to pay the friendly buffet cashier.

“It looks like you could feed an army,” the husband remarked.

“Nobody goes away hungry,” the cashier replied.

They paid for the All-You-Can-Eat Thanksgiving Special, picked up a clean plate, and started loading it with various entrees.

“These sure are unusual serving spoons,” the wife remarked.

“They’re pretty unusual,” the husband replied.

Having maximized the surface of the plate by arranging layers for each of the seven food groups, the couple sat down at their table and started to eat. They’d been raised on a farm and so the lesson of eating properly and eating all that was on your plate constituted a way of life.

Little conversation transpired except for brief comments like, Try this, or a simple jab with a knife–communication designed to enhance the eating process and not lead toward any discussion of serious ideas. They excavated their way through the seven layers until, as their parents had instructed many times over, they had cleaned their plates.

“I think I’ll go back for a little more of that dressing,” the husband said.

“The turkey was so tender,” the wife replied.

The couple returned to the buffet line, picked up new plates, and as is the habit in buffet lines, intended to take a little less food on this second trip. But this was no ordinary buffet line.

The serving spoons were indeed unusual. As spoons, the handles were specially shaped to comfortably fit the hand, and the spoons themselves were deep and allowed for a heaping portion to be scooped every time. In fact, these spoons would not allow themselves to be used in a dainty or petite manner. If a customer wanted a single cherry tomato to garnish the plate, the spoons refused to discriminate. They simply lunged into the food and came up with an impressive quantity of vegetables.

The couple had never handled spoons like these and so they came away holding plates piled with as much food as on their first trip through the line. Naturally, as people raised on a farm are taught, they felt obliged to eat everything on their plates.

“Maybe a slice of that pumpkin pie would be nice,” the wife remarked.

“I might try a few more cranberries,” the husband replied.

They returned to the buffet line, picked up new plates, and as they walked past the food the spoons went wild, jumping from the pans, mounding their plates with generous portions of the same food they’d already eaten twice.

“They’re sure not skimpy here,” the husband remarked.

“It’s a pretty good value,” the wife replied.

Of course, they ate everything on their plates and pushed them toward the center of the table, convinced they’d eaten all they could eat and that they’d certainly received their money’s worth. But the spoons levitated in the air and carried abundant servings of steaming food directly to their table.

Nothing could be done except to eat what was before them, and so the couple reluctantly picked up their forks and continued to clear their plates.

This time, however, the spoons refused to let their plates be emptied, and the food kept coming, spoon after spoon, and no matter how quickly or slowly the couple chewed, the spoons kept pace.

“I sure am getting a little full,” the wife remarked.

“Yeah, me too,” the husband mumbled around a mouthful.

But they kept eating, because people were starving all over the world, and the spoons only knew how to feed the hungry.

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