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The worthless, leftover days of November

Who remembers turning 24?

Right now there is some current and/or future funny uncle/aunt that’s thinking “if you can remember it you didn’t do it right!”

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Debaucherous imbibing aside, what was so great about turning 24?

As any good shelf of greeting cards will tell you birthdays are milestones in people’s lives, and that the only genuine way to tell your cousin to “Have a Happy Birthday” is with a card inexplicably featuring Carmen Sandiego … that costs me $4.

Now, pursuant to an agreement I made with myself over a decade ago, since I wrote the word “genuine” I know have to listen to Ginuwine. I suggest you do the same.

When you turn 10 years old you get to proudly announce that you have reached double-digits and have convinced yourself you crossed the threshold into adulthood.

When you turn 16 years old you get to drive … or at least you did when I turned 16. But now they make 16 year olds get a graduated licence, which is a shame. I drove by myself for the first time when I?was 16 and I didn’t get hurt when I drove or when I left the mall and backed into that Dodge Dakota.

When you turn 18 you get to register to vote for a failed third party that has convinced you this is the year to singled handedly shake up the election system, then realize that it was pretty much just you and Ralph Nader’s mom who voted for him.

When you turn 21 you finally get to overpay for drinks at a bar.

But what about 24? What happens then?

Nothing.

Such is the final week of November.

Due to a strange calendar schedule this year there were only a few days of November left following Thanksgiving. In fact, by the time you’re reading this, the last bits of November will have already slipped away.

Huh.

I guess I didn’t think that through when I started writing.

Well, since I can’t warn you about the massive problem that occurs in the final days of November, I shall fill the remaining column inches with excerpts from my soon to be released e-book: “Flirting with Cooking with Disaster.” It’s the story of a man who dreams of a life as a private chef to the greatest spies of our time, but instead watches TV and eats Chicken in a Biskit. It is in no way based on my life. Enjoy.

As Wes Burns sat on his couch in Marshalltown, Iowa, eating Chicken in a Biskit, he thought to himself, “What am I going to write my column about this week?”

Brushing Chicken in a Biskit dust from his fingers, Wes sat up in the cold light of pre-dawn, as a revelation swept over him.

“I can just make up some story about how the last few days of November are pointless since everybody has already mentally moved on to December,” he thought, as his excited hands dug further into the box of Chicken in a Biskit. “I can compare it to a worthless birthday, like 24 or 31! People love that sort of thing!”

The chair across the room slowly swiveled around, which was strange for a rocking chair, to reveal a mysterious stranger.

Wes brought his eyes up to meet said mysterious stranger, his gaze as intense as pure, poultry flavor confined to a simple snack cracker.

“Who are you?” asked Wes, wondering why Nabisco couldn’t just spell “biscuit” correctly.

The stranger pulled her wire rim glasses down her nose until her steely eyes met Wes’ aforementioned gaze.

“Wasn’t there some kind of problem you were going to tell people about,” growled the stranger who Wes thought of as an snarling ogre because it made it easier to marginalize her perfectly valid argument. “Something about the last days of November being boring. Halfway through it suddenly became an excerpt from your unreadably terrible novella. What happened?”

“It’s too late!” yelled Wes with all the lung capacity an out of shape, pack-a-day smoker can muster.

“What’d you say?” growled the smelly, reasonable ogre.

Wes muted his TV. Reruns of “Century City” (Lawyers! In the future!) would have to wait.

“Sure, there WAS a problem, but it’s too late! By the time my trusted readership of family, friends and people that think this is Rose Kodet’s cooking column have read this it will already be December!

The stranger threw a shoe at Wes, knocking his Chicken in a Biskit to the floor like so much bourgeois Cheez Its.

“Why didn’t you think of that before you started writing?” asked the stranger, unrepentant over the spilled Biskits.

“You think I didn’t already wish for that?” yelled Wes, as if jilted by a genie. “It’s obviously too late now, since I have to be at the office really early tomorrow to lay out the Thanksgiving edition of the paper! What do you want me to do?”

The stranger replied in a curt, stilted manner. “Start. Over. Write. Something. Else.”

Wes leaned back into his couch, hunger creeping up into the place where once he had some Chicken in a Biskit. “I should cook something, thought Wes. “I wonder what it would be like to be a professional cook? Or maybe a professional cook … for a spy!”

You’re welcome, America.