An Elvis impersonator went home for Thanksgiving dinner. His mother, a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, greeted him at the front door wearing a white dress and a wig full of shimmering blond curls. The Elvis impersonator blushed as his eyes accidentally passed over her blossoming dress, upturned by air coming from a floor grate in the entryway. “How are things, pop?” The Elvis impersonator waved to his father, sitting in the living room dressed in a constricting black jacket and baggy tweed trousers, a bowler hat cocked on the crown of his head. His father, a Charlie Chaplin impersonator, indifferently seesawed his stout mustache, his attention glued to the football game on TV. He stabbed a fork into a leather shoe on a TV dinner tray and bitterly sucked the shoelace into his mouth as if it were a noodle. Suddenly, the sound of someone beatboxing came from the kitchen, and a man moonwalked into the living room, wearing a military jacket and a single white polyester glove with starry sequins. The Elvis impersonator hugged his brother, a Michael Jackson impersonator, who was followed by his wife, a big-haired, fast-talking Dolly Parton impersonator, and their two boys: one slim and poised, the other husky and frantically waving his arms. Like Charlie Chaplin, they, too, wore bowler hats. The boys pinched each other and bonked one another on the head; Dolly Parton snapped at the pint-sized Laurel and Hardy, demanding they cool it if they knew what was good for them. “Starting them early, I see,” Elvis commented. His brother squeezed Hardy’s shoulder proudly and said, “I was thinking we could bring them to the state fair like dad did with us.” Charlie Chaplin swung his cane, signaling to his sons that they were blocking the television, the lip of the shoe flopping out of his mouth. When it was time to say grace, everyone held hands around the table filled with food, and Marilyn Monroe sang a sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday,” just like she did every year. Charlie Chaplin did a softshoe as he carved the turkey, and Elvis’s mouth watered as he dreamed of funnel cakes and corn dogs.
Caleb Bouchard lives in Atlanta, Georgia. His writing has recently appeared in As It Ought To Be, The Atlanta Review, Saw Palm, and Thimble Literary Magazine. His translations of the French poet Jacques Prevel have appeared in AzonaL and Black Sun Lit (also forthcoming in Poet Lore).
image: MM Kaufman