Little Chute, WI:
The last time Darryl Haughpicknie celebrated Thanksgiving with his family, he was a 20 year old college sophomore home from UW-Madison for the holiday. The Green Bay Packers were still Superbowl champions. The Power Puff Girls had premiered just days earlier. Internet porn was still an exciting taboo.
That was in 1998, when Darryl, already beginning to nod off, accepted one more slice of pumpkin pie made from scratch by his Aunt Edna. Within minutes, Darryl slipped into a food coma that was to last the next eighteen years. His hospital bed and life support equipment have been a fixture in the Haughpicknie home for nearly two decades.
Until this afternoon, when Darryl shocked family members by groggily asking for a doggy bag from the living room, where his bed and IV stand have traditionally replaced the standard christmas tree for this family.
“We didn’t believe it at first.” said Darryl’s father, Hubert Haughpicknie. “With the whole family gathered, we’ve gotten used to the younger ones making Darryl part of their Thanksgiving shenanigans. Trying out their voice throwing skills and whatnot. Especially Edna’s brood – vicious little rug-rats. We always have to hide the cat in the back bedroom whenever those brats are here. And the matches. Plus every year, she’s dragging along another fiancée. They never last a full year. I gotta hand it to her though, she can make a pie from scratch that’ll drop you like a fat kid on a seesaw.”
“Edna was so devastated that year, she simply refused to bring another pumpkin pie after that,” said Darryl’s tearful mother, Gladys Haughpicknie. “I think it’s what finally drove the last nail in her marriage to George. But good riddance getting rid of that clown. Nothing but a money-grabbing sperm donor if you ask me. How she supported him for nine years, I’ll never know. Well anyways, we finally convinced her to make one of her pies this year. I think that was part of this miracle, I really do.”
Darryl, now 38, is still not totally acclimated to the changes in the world since his last thanksgiving meal. When asked what his two biggest wishes were on this thanksgiving day, he replied “Well, I’d really like one of those apple phones like my cousins have. And is there any pie left?’