The whirring gears of a VCR player can be heard ever so faintly as the video cassette tape is inserted into the slot. For a few brief moments, nothing can be seen. Then, the grainy image of a Cracker Barrel restaurant appears. The video zooms in and focuses on the logo, which features the complimentary yellow and brown tones, and then zooms out again. The videographer walks inside the general storefront eatery and sits down at an occupied table. Directly across sits Christine Lyford, a bubbly Asian-American girl with her long, black hair tied up in a braid.
The video immediately focuses in on Christine’s plate, which is spilling over with a variety of colorful foods. Viewers cannot see the videographer, but they can hear her voice. Many would describe it as silvery and melodious…but then again, that just might be author’s bias.
Videographer (known as VG from now on): Wow, you have a lot of food on your plate! What’s your favorite dish here?
Christine: Well, the turkey, of course! Oh, and the mashed potatoes are awesome.
VG: I see you don’t have any cranberry sauce though. Smart move.
Christine: No, that would mess up the entire meal.
She begins to eat, and in the right-hand corner of the video, one can see a brown hand reach out and steal one of Christine’s pieces of buttered bread.
Christine (laughing): You thief!!
VG: So, Christine, how old are you and what grade are you in?
Christine: I’m fourteen years old and in the 9th grade.
VG: Aww, you’re a freshman. So small, so young, and so full of life. I remember those days. Just kidding. You have such great high school years ahead of you. Where do you live, and how long have you been attending TPS?
Christine: I live in Geneva, Florida and have been with TPS for five years so far.
The videographer pulls back the camera to show Cracker Barrel in all of its Thanksgiving glory. Miniature cornucopias line each table, and a stained-glass turkey lamp sits on the center bookcase near the fireplace while festive holiday music softly plays through hidden speakers.
VG: Is going to Cracker Barrel a typical thing for you on Thanksgiving?
Christine: Yes! Since my family is so busy, we don’t typically do many special things for Thanksgiving, but my mom, dad, brother, and I make sure to come here to eat dinner. Once, we celebrated Thanksgiving on a camping trip. About two or three years ago, we took our RV about an hour away to a campground over Thanksgiving break. I loved it!
VG: That’s so sweet! I love that! Okay, on to a much less interesting topic than food–school. What would you say is your favorite subject in school?
Christine: Well, I’m taking Algebra 2 Honors, Pre-AP Biology Honors, English 3 Honors, Spanish 1, Bible Survey, and World History. Out of those, I would probably say that Algebra 2 and Biology are my favorites.
VG: Oh my! You’re so busy. How do you handle the stress of it all?
Christine: Well, when I’m stressed, I always dive into an enthralling book.
VG: Same! Do you have a favorite?
Christine: I love The Chronicles of Narnia series and mystery books.
VG: I love Narnia. Oh no, my camcorder is about to die!
Signalling the end of their meeting, the videographer stands up. The two hug and express parting greetings.
VG: Happy Thanksgiving!
Christine: Happy Thanksgiving!
The video fades to black, and viewers are left with a sense of holiday serenity and a sudden, strange, yet overwhelming desire to throw away all the cans of cranberry sauce in their homes.