Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Funnies

As we've said before, Thanksgiving is a pretty big deal in the US, and consequently there can be a lot of stress associated with it. When something is hyped up to such a degree, there are always bound to be disasters and tears, most of which are only funny in hindsight. 

Here are a few "funnies" we came across in our research. They might be urban myths for all we know, but they're entertaining:

"We visited our newly married daughter, who was preparing her first Thanksgiving dinner. I noticed the turkey thawing in the kitchen sink with a dish drainer inverted over the bird. I asked why a drainer covered the turkey.  She said, "Mom, you always did it that way." "Yes," I said, "but you don't have a cat!" 

A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but couldn't find one big enough for her family. She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?"  The stock boy replied, "No ma'am, they're dead."

"When I was a kid in Indiana, we thought it would be fun to get a turkey a year ahead of time for the following Thanksgiving. But by the time Thanksgiving came around, we sort of thought of the turkey as a pet, so we ate the dog.  Only kidding.  It was the cat."
.                                                               -- David Letterman

"My niece was in the kitchen garnishing the turkey on the platter for presentation. Her husband stood near her opening a bottle of champagne. The cork flew into the air and hit the overhead lights, which shattered and rained shards of glass all over the turkey."


The first Thanksgiving I hosted for my in-laws saw me sitting with my right hand in a bowl of ice water for the entire meal.  I had taken a large pot (like the one on the left) out of the oven, set it down and then grabbed the lid knob with my bare hand. Why it didn't register that it would be as hot as the pot itself, I don't know. All four fingers and my thumb had bright red, very painful burns on them which took weeks to heal.  Got me out of the washing up though.


One year, before the idea of being an expat occurred to me, I was doing Thanksgiving Day dinner with my erstwhile SO She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and her brother’s family.  We were doing the prep and the rest of the clan were coming for dinner.  After the pumpkin pies were made, because we were in a small flat (sorry, apartment—this was in America) we set them in the back bedroom on the floor to cool.

There were four adults there but I was the only one with children and, as such, had developed that special radar—the one that tells a parent that it is too quiet.  And then I thought about the dog.

You know what happened.  Very happy dog, two ruined pies.  So we did what you do in those situations.  We smoothed them over as best we could, put whipped cream on top and served them anyway.

Nobody died.  Nobody found out.  And nobody asked why the dog looked so smug.

Anyone else care to share?


  1. When I was young, my maternal grandparents always held Thanksgiving at their house and made the majority of the meal. One Thanksgiving they decided to visit family in another state leaving their kids and grandkids to have their own holiday. We all gathered at my uncle's house, where he was cooking the turkey. After 2 hours, the bird still wasn't done, my mother asked if he had thawed the bird before he cooked it. Dead silence and then he asked if that was necessary. Four hours later and we had turkey and pumpkin pie for dessert.

  2. When i was 14 years old, there was an english family that lived 5 or 6 doors down,that is houses away from ours. In talking with them about our thanksgiving holiday,I asked Mr.Bland if thanksgiving was celebrated in England.He said it was, on july 4th!


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