Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Aftermath

It’s just half past Thanksgiving and Z has everything cleaned up and put away already.

Yeah…I know….

We hosted Thanksgiving this year for about 180 of Z’s immediate family.

Yeah…I know….

There are a lot of Z’s immediate family…and they’re all hungry…all the time.

There was some confusion at first as to just how many there were going to be. At first we were told that a good size contingent from out of town was not going to be able to come.

Z felt a little bit snubbed by this and was somewhat disappointed.

I felt a little bit blessed by this and was a somewhat overjoyed.

I tried to be sensitive to Z’s feeling so I kept my cartwheels confined to the backyard.  I thought the front yard was way too over the top. 

In the end, the cartwheels only served to make me dizzy as the plans changed…again…as these sorts of family things always tend to do, and Z was happy that most everyone could make it….

And despite the cartwheels, I was happy Z was happy and, to be honest, that most everyone was going to make it too…but again, like I said, I was dizzy.

Z began to plan this event in earnest a couple of weeks ago.  One of her older brothers—and since Z is the youngest of this brood…they’re all older. It’s just a matter of by how much—usually hosts the gathering.  That’s fine, since most of us have adopted a “better you than me” attitude to the holidays, anyway. This year I was actually planning on having buttons and t-shirts made up to promote that particular sentiment.

Anyway, Z’s brother—who I’ll call, Z’s brother, since he’s never told me his name and I don’t really know what else to call him…plus he’s like 4 times bigger than me so I call him as little as possible—usually hosts the event but had a bit of trouble with a large tree crashing through his roof and into his house during the hurricane, a few months back.


So apparently having a tree in your living room is not conducive to holiday entertaining…unless of course it’s Christmas.  So it’s just bad timing, I guess

Not wanting to disappoint all her hungry family members, Z graciously stepped up and agreed to step in.   And of course that affected me and put a hold on my T-shirt marketing campaign.

One of my many assignments was to find a Turkey large enough for 180 people. Of course I immediately thought of my friend Sal since he’s the biggest Turkey I know…


Get it?  Sal’s the biggest turkey I know….

I really crack me up!

So I swung by Sal’s and said, “Come on…we have to find a Turkey for Thanksgiving.”

Sal, always astute, says, “Everyone eats Turkey on Thanksgiving.”

“Yep”, I answered, no slacker myself. “Kind of a tradition”

“Why is that?” Sal queried, always with a thirst for knowledge.

“I believe it has something to do the with the starving Pilgrims who couldn’t figure out how to use the newfangled electric ovens in the new world, and the Native Americans, formerly known as Indians, bringing them Turkey to eat for the first Thanksgiving,” I responded, always with a thirst to please.

Sal considered this for a second. “So if the Native Americans, formerly known as Indians, had brought lasagna instead of Turkey, we’d all be making lasagna instead?”

“Someone would be making lasagna, yes,” I replied. “But I doubt it would be you….”



So after that little bit of fractured history, we hit the grocery store, picked out a suitable turkey, checked that all his papers and parts were in order, and loaded him into the car.

Now, I know you’re expecting me to create this whole Turkey persona to begin a witty dialogue with, much as I’ve done in the past with much less inanimate objects than a Turkey, but I’m not…for a couple of reasons.

One…Turkey’s aren’t as witty you would think.  Gobble gobble is pretty much all you get.

And two…I try not to create clever personalities for anything that’s going to be my dinner as it tends to interfere with my digestion. 

So having delivered the Turkey—

Okay, his name is Enrique, but he goes by Henry and he was making plans to get his GED when he was snapped up by a band of itinerant Turkey hunters, just after Halloween.  He tried reasoning with the hunters, offering to do their laundry for a year, and almost had a deal, until one of the hunters insisted that the Turkey only use powdered detergent, which Henry refused to do because of his severe allergies to anything powdered.  Hence, instead of doing laundry for a year, a task he was ill-suited for anyway, he ended up as my dinner. 

His last words were reported to be: “Thanksgiving blows….”

There…satisfied? Making you rethink those leftovers now, isn’t it?

Z out did herself, in addition to Henry, with about a thousand side dishes and accoutrement.  There was one close call when someone, unacquainted with tradition, had almost smushed up the canned cranberry instead of leaving it in the shape of the can…which is one of the best things about cranberry. In fact I can’t really think of anything else cool about cranberry.

There were of course all the usual suspects of stuffing, mashed potatoes and a thousand assortments of vegetables…each of which have a name and a story…but maybe some other day.

Z’s relatives were well behaved for the most part, and some of them even pretended to remember me. I know you think that’s a joke, but there are really so many people at these things that it’s hard to keep track of all the new additions…even after 30 years or so.  There was one uncomfortable situation, in fact, when somebody asked the guy sitting at the end of the table to pass the string beans, and it was discovered that he was actually in the wrong house.  But it turned out he was lot of fun and I think he’s coming back for Christmas.

All in all, everyone had a great time...including me…and the new guy.  Henry made for a fine dinner and everyone had their fill. I was proud of Henry and his accomplishments…and I like to think that he was too.

Besides, what was he going to do with just a GED in this economy?

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