Disclaimer: This story is written for entertainment purposes only. No profit is being made from it. No infringement on anyone’s copyright is intended.
November 1980: I’m Thankful for....
Written by Sue David
At around five in the evening, Hutch knocked on his partner’s door and got no answer. He poked his head into the apartment and called out to Starsky. Nothing. Hm. Wonder where the Galloping Gourmet is. Hutch sniffed the air as he cruised behind the couch and into the kitchen, both surprised and disappointed not to smell anything bird-like cooking. Starsky had lost the toss and won chef duties.
Starsky and Hutch had worked on Thanksgiving. They wanted to give two officers with family in town the chance to have the holiday off, and neither one had anywhere to go. Hutch’s parents were in Norway visiting an aging relative and Starsky’s brother had driven their mother to Florida hoping to cheer her up and bring some color back into her cheeks after a lengthy, flu-like illness. Here Hutch was, preparing to celebrate the holiday with his partner on the day after official Turkey Day.
Hutch walked in and put the nice bottle of Chardonnay he’d brought into the fridge, right next to the Marie Callender’s pies he’d picked up on the way to Starsky’s -- pumpkin for him, chocolate meringue for his best friend. He was in charge of wine and dessert and Thanksgiving had been too busy for baking. The exhausted detective had crawled up the steps at Venice Place at six Friday morning after a fourteen-hour day.
What Starsky thought of as traditional Thanksgiving fare was spread around the kitchen on the stove and countertops. Rolls, salad, cranberry sauce -- he insisted on the canned, jelled kind -- mashed potatoes, gravy, and dressing -- not stuffing -- salsa, and flour tortillas. Not too many meals went past Starsky’s lips without tortillas.
“Starsk, where are you?” he called. The oven was cool and no bird in sight.
“Out here,” came a muffled voice from the patio, “Hey, open the door, would ya?”
Hutch crossed to the French doors and opened them. He immediately burst into a fit of giggles at seeing his partner, his unwieldy curls wind tousled and going in every direction. His hands were full with a platter covered by what must be the main event underneath a large sheet of aluminum foil.
“Starsk, what are you doing out there and why is our dinner coming in with you?” he asked as soon as he stopped laughing.
Starsky put the platter down in the middle of the table. “Oven’s broken, buddy. I had to improvise. Man cook outside on flame!” he declared proudly. He had a little mesquite barbecue sauce on the tip of his nose and he looked about as disheveled as if he had gone a few rounds in a boxing ring.
“You barbecued our turkey?” Hutch asked incredulously.
“You bet. Never had it this way? I know it’s a little different, but you’re in for a treat.”
“Very resourceful,” Hutch replied with a smile.
“Help me set the table while it cools a little,” Starsky asked.
Half an hour later, the table was set, the wine open, the food dished, and the still-too-hot turkey sliced. The two detectives sat down at the table and Starsky raised his wine glass.
“Okay, time to say what we’re thankful for, Blondie. You go first.”
Hutch nodded, thoughtful for a moment. This Thanksgiving was brighter than the previous one, when Starsky was still healing from his near death experience after Gunther’s men shot him. “I’m thankful for you, buddy. Healthy, happy, and back at my side kicking ass and taking names,” he said with a wink as they clinked their glasses and drank to that. “Now you,” Hutch prodded.
Starsky smiled, “Well, I’m thankful for being here. I’m thankful Ma is better and Nicky could take her on that trip. Most of all, I’m thankful for you, Blintz. I could never have done it without you. To best friends,” he said as he put his glass up to Hutch’s.
When the meal was done, Hutch said, “Gordo, that was the best turkey I’ve ever had. Terrific idea. Thanks.”
“You’re welcome. Hey, Hutch, do you realize this is the first Thanksgiving one of us hasn’t been hurt or healing in years? Mostly you, I might add.”
“Okay, last year it was me, but, the year before, that punk girl shot you, the year before that you had the plague and I thought I was gonna lose ya, the year before that Tommy Marlowe nearly blew your hand off a couple of days after Thanksgiving, and the year before that I got pneumonia after I dove into the water off that pier when I thought you were drowning.”
Hutch laughed and said, “Guess November’s not our month.” He refilled their wine glasses and proposed another toast.
“To the future, buddy. Pain free,” he said with a grin.
Starsky nodded and smiled, his eyes twinkling, and said, “To the future, Hutch. Happy Thanksgiving.”