Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Thanksgivings of Yore

ThanksgivingsThe 4th Thursday of November is definitely the bestest holiday. Food, Family, Friends and Football. 4 of the 5 Fs. I most fondly remember the Thanksgivings of yesteryear. The big old family reunions, which I looked forward to, until about five seconds after I hit the driveway, then it all comes back… why I left home. And they always made me sit at that stupid fold- up cardboard kids table. Never got to graduate to the wooden table because none of them would die. Darn medical advances.

Thanksgiving was my mother’s designated holiday and she thought she was cooking for the Eighth Tank Battalion. Every year she’d seek out a mutant poultry farm and buy a turkey the size of a La-Z-Boy recliner, so it was turkey for weeks. Turkey till YOU trot. Turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, turkey ala king, turkey shakes, until finally, turkey carcass in hot water. Soup? No, Ma, it's skeleton juice. Gobble till you wobble.
These were potluck occasions, with every family responsible for schlepping their version of a vision of a side dish. Lime Jell-O with olive shreds in it. Because green food is nutritious food. Oyster raisin dressing. Lamb pudding. Creamed rutabaga. Beet pear slaw. Hollowed out pickles filled with ranch dressing and cheese curds. Herring balls. 
Thirteen bean salad. No, I wish I were making this up. I had no idea there were 13 different types of edible beans. I had no desire to eat them all at one sitting. I certainly would not have chosen to be in a houseful of 23 other people who had eaten 13 types of edible beans. “Crack a window, Billy. Well, break it then.” Candle flames turning blue all over the house. “Methane is our friend."
Dinner is delayed because my mother’s sister is late and four assembled families who last ate at breakfast are taunted by the fowl perfume of a roasting turkey for six hours and as frenzied as coyotes suspended over a yard full of wounded bunnies. All of the nuts and chips and some of the throw pillows and smaller children have long since disappeared. 
My aunt finally arrives accompanied by her bizarre mystery food. Seems innocent enough; a glass Pyrex dish with tinfoil on top. International symbol for normal food, I believe. But no, it’s a food ruse. A culinary ambush. Lift the foil and this stench shoots straight up. Ceiling tiles curling at the edges. Three rooms away watching football, grown men go “the hell was that?” Children crying uncontrollably, “Daddy, I’m scared.”
A greasy grey mass that appeared to be boiling, but is nowhere near any apparent heat source. Round misshapen objects floating to the surface. Nobody would go near it. Somebody made a feeble attempt and the spoon broke. Mom elbows me in the side: "Billy, try some of Aunt Hoogolah's Dupamouche." "Okay, Ma, let me get a separate plate." The old separate plate trick. We lost more animals that way.
The evening ends with two matriarchs locked in a mortal death clinch, bumping bellies on the back porch with 100 mm. menthols dangling from their mouths while their spouses trade wild drunken blows on the driveway and the kids pelt them with greasy poultry bones from behind raked piles of leaves. Aah, memories. And that was way back in 2009. Some traditions never die. This year, I’m bringing the Dupamouche.
Will Durst is a San Francisco based humor columnist who frequently tells jokes. Out loud. On stage. In front of people. Ideally.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

In Praise of Serena Williams

Serena Williams is a wonder ...

Read More

All the President’s Con Men

It’s almost impossible to me...

Read More

What Would It Take to ‘Win’ the Drug War?

After decades of warfare, th...

Read More

Battle of the DC Network Stars

The ongoing warfare between ...

Read More

For the Love of Reason

Far be it from me to divide ...

Read More

Swamp Thing

During the 2016 presidential...

Read More


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:



Login reminder Forgot login?


Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid