Barry Smith: Irrelativity
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Welcome to a special Thanksgiving edition of Irrelativity. Today I’ll be offering some tips on how to make this Turkey Day the most successful one ever.
Firstly, remember to never make the mistake that I just did by referring to the holiday as “Turkey Day.” I did that on purpose so you could learn. Granted, the take-home message of Thanksgiving is the consumption of obscene amounts of turkey, but let’s try to remain at least a little bit subtle about it for the sake of the traditionalists. Also, probably best not to use the word “firstly” too often, either. Some will see it as a sign of weakness.
Instead, let’s do our best to remember that today is a day to give thanks that our forefathers had the sense to kill the Indians AFTER they taught them how to grow corn and make marshmallow yams and cranberry sauce and stuff. Good move, Pilgrims. Also, let us be thankful that cannibalism wasn’t part of the original Thanksgiving celebration because, you know, tradition will prevail, and if “long pig” was on the menu this week, well … that would make giblet removal even more uncomfortable than it already is.
But enough of boring old history. On with the tips!
TIP: If at all possible, try to get yourself invited to a Thanksgiving dinner rather than hosting one. The benefits of this are obvious, but the downside is that you don’t end up with a fridge full of leftovers. Unless, of course, you show up with Tupperware.
TIP: Show up with Tupperware.
TIP: If the dinner you’re attending is potluck, R.S.V.P. as late as possible – like as you’re pulling into their driveway. This way all the major dishes will have been assigned, and when you cheerfully ask, “Hey, I’ve decided to stop by after all – can I bring anything?” the answer will inevitably be, “Well, we kinda have it covered. Uh … how about a can of fruit cocktail?” Provided you followed my tips in last week’s column about how to make a practical and delicious Road Hazard Survival Kit, you already have a can of fruit cocktail in your trunk. Just be careful not to let them guilt-trip you into doing all the dishes.
TIP: Don’t shy away from having the gathering at your house. Despite the work involved, hosting a Thanksgiving dinner can be a very rewarding experience. Not only do you get to provided comfort and nourishment for those you love, but there’s a good chance that the jerk who showed up at the last minute with fruit cocktail can be guilt-tripped into doing most of the dishes.
TIP: The meal blessing can be awkward. Some guests will expect it, some will demand it, some will be insulted, and that same old argument will break out – the one that always ends with someone using a cocktail fork to demonstrate their stigmata. How do you please everyone? Well, this year why not put together a multimedia blessing? Like a full-on Powerpoint thing; pictures, video, inspirational music, the whole bit. Even those who staunchly hate the Lord love a good slide show. Besides, everyone peeks during the blessing anyway – why not give them something to look at?
TIP: The turkey that you currently have your hand inside of is really nothing more than a 20-plus-pound lump of hormones and bacteria waiting to turn your holiday festivities into a mass vomitorium. If your bathroom layout doesn’t include troughs, then consider going veggie this year. By serving up either tofurkey or fauxtofurkey (tofurkey made from imitation tofu, for the real purists), you can be guaranteed that no one will bother to show up, thus greatly reducing both the risk of infection and the chances of your good wineglasses being broken. And you get to keep all the leftovers … leftovers that even your dog won’t acknowledge as food.
TIP: Above all, no matter what your plans this Turkey Day, remember to be thankful. Thankful that you’re fortunate enough to have food on the table. Thankful to be with your loved ones. And most of all, be thankful that nobody really knows what’s in a green bean casserole. Now dig in!
Next time: Tips for a successful Arbor Day.