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Thanksgiving --2022--

TexasBred

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"Winston, come into the dining room, it's time to eat," Julia
yelled to her husband.


"In a minute, honey, it's a tie score," he answered.


Actually Winston wasn't very interested in the traditional
holiday football game between Detroit and Washington .


Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports
Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its "unseemly
violence" and the "bad example it sets for the rest of the
world", Winston was far less of a football fan than he used
to be.


Two-hand touch wasn't nearly as exciting.


Yet it wasn't the game that Winston was uninterested in.


It was more the thought of eating another Tofu Turkey.


Even though it was the best type of VeggieMeat available
after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity
Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden
foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce,
and mincemeat pie), it wasn't anything like real turkey.


And ever since the government officially changed the name
of "Thanksgiving Day" to "A National Day of Atonement" in
2020, to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims' historically
brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost
a lot of its luster.


Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting.


The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent
light bulbs made the Tofu Turkey look even weirder than it
actually was, and the room was always cold.


Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act
of 2016, mandating all thermostats - which were monitored
and controlled by the electric company - be kept at 68
degrees, every room on the north side of the house was
barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.


Still, it was good getting together with family.


Or at least most of the family.


Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October,
when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving
medical treatment.


He had had many heated conversations with the
Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private
insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone
was forced into the government health care program.


And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment,
it was a futile effort.


"The RHC's resources are limited", explained the
government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the
phone.


"Your mother received all the benefits to which she was
entitled.---- I'm sorry for your loss."


Ed couldn't make it either.


He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night, the
only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021
outlawed the use of the combustion engines - for
everyone but government officials.


The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles too far, and
Ed didn't want to spend a frosty night on the road
somewhere between here and there.


Thankfully, Winston's brother, John, and his wife were
flying in.


Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had
extra cushions for the occasion.


No one complained more than John about the pain of
sitting down so soon after the government-mandated
cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated
his hemorrhoids.


Ever since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity
bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added
"inconvenience" was an "absolute necessity" in order
to stay "one step ahead of the terrorists."


Winston's own body had grown accustomed to such
probing ever since the government expanded their
scope to just about anywhere a crowd gathered, via
Anti-Profiling Act of 2022.


That law made it a crime to single out any group or
individual for "unequal scrutiny," even when probable
cause was involved.


Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus
depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine.


Almost.


The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most
Americans expect a Court composed of six progressives
and three conservatives to leave the law intact.


"A living Constitution is extremely flexible", said the
Court's eldest member, Elena Kagan.


" Europe has had laws like this one for years.----
We should learn from their example", she added.


Winston's thoughts turned to his own children.


He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter,
Brittany, mostly because she ignored him.


Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she
could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement
Dinner.


Their only real confrontation had occurred when he
limited her to 50,000 texts a month, explaining that was
all he could afford.


She whined for a week, but got over it.


His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether.


Perhaps it was the constant bombarding he got in public
school that global warming, the bird flu, terrorism, or any
of a number of other calamities were "just around the
corner", but Jason had developed a kind of nihilistic
attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and
outright hostility.


It didn't help that Jason had reported his father to the
police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made
criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which
outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another
human being.


Winston paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been
considered excessive before the American dollar became
virtually worthless as a result of QE13.


The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government
initiated was, once again, to "spur economic growth."


This time, they promised to push unemployment below its
years-long rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly
hopeful.


Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston
thought, before remembering it was a Day of Atonement.


At least, he had his memories.


He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children
would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days,
long before government promises to make life "fair for
everyone" realized their full potential.


Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never
realized how much things could change when they didn't
happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get
used to them.


He wondered what might have happened if the public had
stood up while there was still time, maybe back around
2011, when all the real nonsense began.


"Maybe we wouldn't be where we are today if we'd just
said 'enough is enough' when we had the chance," he
thought.


Maybe so, Winston. Maybe so.
 

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