Thanksgiving is coming, which means one thing — it’s time for pie.

But since our seasons are reversed here in the southern hemisphere, all of the things I associate with Thanksgiving in the Los Angeles aren’t here.  The trees aren’t changing colors. The tranny hookers on Santa Monica aren’t wearing their cold weather hotpants. The wildfires aren’t burning.

Worst of all, pumpkins aren’t in season. And I ain’t gonna Give Thanks for anything if I can’t do it through a mouthful of pumpkin pie.

Beautiful Wife’s folks had heard of our antipodean dilemma and sent a care package with pumpkin pie filling, so all we have to do is mix it with a few common ingredients, pour it in a pie shell, and commence with the nomming.

However, I’ve learned that the common ingredients aren’t so common.  In a country that creates 2 liters of dairy products per person per day, they don’t have condensed milk.  They didn’t even know what that phrase means, and I’m too ignorant to be able to explain it to them. I know it isn’t cream, and I know it isn’t custard, and I know it isn’t creme fraiche, and I know it isn’t, y’know … MILK. And those are the only choices I can find if you stay away from the solids.

But the embarrassment doesn’t stop there.  Not only can’t I find one of things that’s supposed to go in the pie, I can’t find the thing that actually makes it a PIE as opposed to a gloppy shapeless mess.

Some people don’t have a pot to piss in. I don’t have a pie crust to pumpk in.

When I asked the nice lady at the grocery store where I could get a pie crust, she said “…Your oven?”  She wasn’t trying to be mean; she simply had no frame of reference for someone who doesn’t know how to make a pie crust.

As I tried to explain what I needed, she squinted at me and then a look of gentle compassion washed over her face. The kind of look you give a pre-teen when you realize he must be just a little bit slow.

“Oh. You must be American.”

So now I’m home, with pie filling and nutmeg and whatnot, but without a pie.

Come Thanksgiving, I might just eat pie filling right out of the can. That’ll show ’em.