The latest thing in journalism and sociology on the eve of Thanksgiving is writing ‘survival guides’ for dealing with relations who may not share your political beliefs. This isn’t anything new, but after this election, many familial relationships are turning fratricidal.
What I mean is that people are being threatened with hellfire, being disinherited, having their college money pulled and things of that nature. This is really getting sick and the country is getting sicker by the day. Thankfully (ha!), I won’t have that issue this Thanksgiving as my wife, my son and I are in total agreement.
After dipping my toe in enough political talk on Facebook, I’ve had enough. I will enjoy my bubble of personal friends and acquaintances while keeping my eye on the Trumpsters through the Internet. Life is too short to argue with intractable hateful people.
|Just try not to think about it|
Anyway, so I had a Thanksgiving family memory to share. I call it ‘Thanksgiving 1975: The Year of Blood on the Turkey.’
It started out as a usual Thanksgiving. Mom was struggling with the whole turkey dinner and tension was growing between her and dad. This happened for many reasons. The first was that my mother was a failed cook in the eye of my dad’s mom, who could create the greatest feasts known to man and boy I miss them.
|Not our family|
Mom had a tendency of boiling everything which accounts for my dislike of most vegetables that are good for me: asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts – all boiled to limpness. The smell of such atrocities still makes me retch so my wife has standing orders never to prepare those dishes, well, like my mother.
So my mom would try her best and inevitably fail. WE never said anything but my dad would occasionally offer a small critique here and there, just enough to set mom’s teeth on edge. Inside she knew, she KNEW she was being judged.
Another reason was when my father decided it was time to eat, it was time to eat. However, inevitably, mom wasn’t quite finished with everything and kept rushing back and forth to the table to put the rolls out (inevitably burned), the side dishes, etc. My father would yell “Jeezus Christ, would you please just SIT down already – we’re all (I’m) hungry.”
And, also without fail, the tension would get to my mother by Christmas which would be observed by the annual ritual of her smashing a dish to the kitchen floor and screaming “Merry Christmas God-damn it!”
|Yeah! Like this. Except, um, not her.|
Well anyway, the tension was so thick this particular Thanksgiving that you could cut it with a knife which was exactly what my father did.
As the former Marine who should know something about using knives started to slice the turkey, he cleanly sliced into his own thumb, going almost to the bone.
Do you remember that old Saturday Night Live bit from the 70s with Julia Child cutting herself spurting fake blood all over the kitchen? Well, that’s pretty much what this looked like except the blood was real.
After this I don’t remember too much except there was a lot of yelling and screaming to get a towel to wrap the thumb in and for mom to drive dad to the ER.
My sister and I sat and looked at the Turkey which looked like it had been freshly butchered except we knew whose blood it was and it was gross.
|Gratuitous Sarah Palin turkey photo here|
I went off to watch the Cowboys-Lions game and we waited for dad to come home. When he did, he had his entire hand wrapped with a metal splint to keep the thumb in place. He would wear that for week and then spend weeks more squeezing a rubber ball in his hand to get his strength back.
Mom offered to clean off the bloody parts of the turkey and re-heat it but we had long stuffed ourselves on mashed potatoes and rolls and wanted nothing to do with the bloody beast. After all, the blood had now soaked even deeper into the bird.
“Christ Con(nie) just throw the damn thing away,” my father said. Not quite as dramatic as old man Bumpus’s dogs hauling the carcass away but my mother had this look of eternal sadness that was shared by Ralphie’s dad in ‘A Christmas Story.’
|You will never know the feeling|
It wasn’t her fault, but in her eyes, it was.
And we did not go out for Chinese. At the time there were no Chinese restaurants in Chardon and dad was expecting a big ER bill anyway so he wouldn’t have spent the money.
All in all, it really sucked that year, but I learned my lesson – buy an electric knife and let it do the work for you.
|I actually have this exact knife – Parents wedding gift|
I hope none of you deal with a Thanksgiving disaster in your life and for God’s sakes, toss the giblets. Who the hell really wants to eat those?